The Effect Of Juvenile Delinquency On The Learning Of The Children In Primary Schools

The Effect Of Juvenile Delinquency On The Learning Of The Children In Primary Schools (A Case Study of Kwali Area Council Federal Capital Territory Abuja)

This chapter has been devoted to the Review of Related Literature to the research work. The researcher reviewed the related literature based on the following sub-heading:

2.1 Meaning of Juvenile Delinquency.

2.2 Delinquent Behaviour Found Among Primary School Pupils.

2.3 Causes of Delinquency.

2.4 Prevention of Delinquency.

2.5 Effects of Stealing on the Learning of the Children.

2.6 Effects of Aggression on the Learning of the Children.

2.7 Effects of Cheating on the Learning of the Children.

2.8 Effects of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse on the Learning of the Children.

2.9 Effects of Promiscuity on the Learning of the Children.

2.1 Meaning of Juvenile Delinquency

          According to RAND Corporation (February 18, 2015) Juvenile delinquency is “negative behaviours of children and teens that may result in crimes or illegal actions-frequently caused wide spread problem in communities”.

Merriam Webster Dictionary and the Thesaurus (1991) define juvenile delinquency as “conduct by a juvenile characterised by anti-social behaviour that is beyond parental control and therefore subjected to legal action”. Merriam Webster (1991) elaborates on the definition as “a violation of law committed by a juvenile and not punishable by death or life imprisonment”.

According to Webster New World College Dictionary, (1953) juvenile delinquency is “behaviour by young persons of not more than a specified age, usually 18 years, that is anti-social or in violation of the Law”.

The American Heritage Dictionary in its own way, defines juvenile delinquency as “anti-social or criminal behaviour by juveniles”.

The Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, defines juvenile delinquency as “the habitual committing of criminal acts or offences by a young person, especially one below the age at which an ordinary criminal prosecution is possible”.

Collins English Dictionary (2010) views Juvenile Delinquent as “a child or young person guilty of some offences, act of vandalism, or anti-social behaviour or whose conduct is beyond parental control and who may be brought before a Juvenile court”.

According to NTI (2000), EDU 113, juvenile is “a young person before the age of 18 years”, while delinquency was explained by the same book as, “any anti-social behaviour which violates the norms and values of a particular culture or society”.

From the various definitions of juvenile delinquency as well as juvenile, it can be deduced that, juvenile delinquency is an offence of criminal nature usually committed by a young person below the age of 18 or at the age 18. It is suffice to say that since primary schools have pupils of ages up to 12 and above, juvenile delinquents are likely to be found in our primary schools and they can affect learning negatively, that is learning of the offender or/and other pupils.

2.2 Delinquent Behaviours found among Primary School Pupils

According to NTI (2000), EDU 113, delinquent behaviours found among primary school pupils includes: stealing, aggression, cheating, alcoholism and drug abuse, and promiscuity. They are explained thus:

  1. Stealing: In schools, stealing can emanate in form of stealing pencils, biros, erasers, books and even money from other classmates. Children sometimes steal their parent’s money and bring to school. The teachers are advised to note any child that comes to school with a lot of money and report to the school authority.
  2. Aggression: “Young pupils especially boys tend to be aggressive. Aggression may take the form of fighting, bullying of junior ones by seniors, damaging of school property, and mockery. In a few cases death has resulted due to fighting. Aggression is a typical reaction to frustration”.
  3. Cheating: “A common act of delinquency is cheating. Some children cheat at examination, bringing in written materials, copy from other pupils, especially during examination and test. Teachers should be vigilant to detect cheats. The teacher should take time to explain to such pupils the implications of cheating. The parent should also be notified”.
  4. Alcoholism and Drug Abuse: “This is found among boys of upper primary classes-some of which are of secondary school age. Illicit gin and drugs are sometimes brought to the school in small containers. The teacher should watch out for such cases and provide the necessary remedy. Alcoholism and drug abuse if not checked may lead to addiction in later life”.
  5. Promiscuity: “In upper primary classes, some matured girls may be promiscuous. They may have boyfriends among the matured boys and even teachers. Due to ignorance of family planning, some of the girls may become pregnant. Pregnancy may lead to abortion which may result in dangerous consequences such as death. The teachers should watch out for signs of pregnancy for early detection and refer to medical sources”. It can be deduced from above that there are many delinquencies exhibited by the pupils in the primary schools.

 2.3 Causes of Delinquency

According to Reading Craze (2015/3/13) the following are the causes of juvenile delinquencies.

  1. Family: “Family is the basic socialization agency for children. Children learn basic concept about good and bad from their family, they make their values and set the norms of the society. Family can make or break the personality of the children. In the family, the most important role is played by the parents and siblings. Most of the adolescents who show delinquent behaviour in any form belong to families that could not give firm foundations to the children. Broken families, single parent families, separated families, frequent parents’ fights, lack of trust and confidence among the parents, criminal parents or psychological problems in parents can be the most important reason behind Juvenile delinquency”.
  2. Personal Reasons: It is obvious that sometimes family, teachers, neighbours, or other teen have nothing to do with delinquent behaviour of the teenager. The cause is sometimes based on personal reasons. “Sometimes the adolescent faces hardship in life due to some psychological or physical problem that he is going through”. The personal reasons are explained thus:
    1. Physical Concern: The society many at times is cruel towards a handicap and this attitude develops a negative feelings in the handicap and this may result into a crime by the handicap. “Those adolescents who are suffering from some psychological or physical problem want to take revenge from the society, friends, family or peer group”.
    2. Social Concern: “Teenage boys and girls go through several social problems when they are not socialized human being. Some teens are very harsh and rude to talk and they cannot control their anger or aggression as it is their nature. Most of the gender biased boys talk to the opposite sex like they are slaves and they do not respect them. Their violence and aggression make them commit crime that other boys will never do”.
    3. Psychological concern: “Mental disability is another big cause of juvenile delinquency. Mentally ill boys or girls can commit any crime without knowing the consequences of it”.
    4. Drug Abuse: “Drug has become widespread among teenage boys and girls. Drug use is prohibited by laws in many societies. Drug use in youth can be very dangerous as they can commit violent crime when they take drugs”.
    5. Peer Groups Influence: “A Peer group is a very strong force that can cause delinquent behaviour in the adolescents. When friends commit crime, adolescents often learn to do it and they cannot understand the consequences of the crime. Peer group rejection can also be the cause of Juvenile delinquency. Adolescents can also show delinquent behaviours when they cannot get similar resources as their friends have”
    6. Society: “Society sometimes become very negative and creates difficulties for the youth. Society is a strong force in developing the personality of the teens. Developing negative feelings from the society can become a reason behind juvenile delinquency”. For example, the society may label a teen criminal once he commits a crime, though it may be his first time. But as a result of the labelling he will see himself a criminal and will repeat the same offence another time without feeling embarrassed. From the above, it is glaring that family, self, peer group, and society are the causes of juvenile delinquency. To combat it therefore, all must be involved.


2.4 Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency

          According to (NTI 2000, EDU 113), schools can help to prevent delinquency through the following:

  1. By providing atmosphere free from emotional tension.
  2. By providing facilities for co-curricular activities to be used by the pupils.
  • By ensuring that teachers behave well to show good examples for the pupils to emulate.
  1. By developing good reading habit in pupils.
  2. By creating avenue for all children to experience success in their academic pursuit.
  3. By engaging in public enlightenment

According to Wikipedia (2015) juvenile delinquencies can be prevented through the following ways: Substance abuse education and treatment, family counselling, youth monitoring, parenting education, educational support and youth sheltering. “Prevention through education aids the young person to interact effectively in social contexts therefore diminishing needs for delinquency”. From above it can be implied that all the stakeholders in education, viz: parents, teachers, government, students should engage in the education of the pupils so that they will all shun juvenile delinquencies. Also, those that are already found in one act of the delinquency or the other should be educated on the need to stop it. Lawyer (1/6/15) suggested the following ways of preventing juvenile delinquency:

  1. Education: “Model programs have assisted families and children by providing them with information. Some programs inform parents on how to raise healthy children, some teach children about the effects of drugs, gangs, sex and weapons, and other aim to express to youth the innate worth they and all others have. All of these programs provide youths with the awareness that their action have consequences”.
  2. Recreation: “One of the immediate benefits of recreational activities is that they fill unsupervised after school hours. The department of education has reported that youth are most likely to commit crime between and, with crime rate peaking at 3.00pm. Recreational programs allow youths to connect with adults and other children in the community such as positive friendship may assist children in later year”.
  • Community Involvement: “Girls scout, boys scout, church youth groups, and volunteer groups all involve youth within a community. Involvement in community groups provides youth with an opportunity to interact in a safe social environment”.
  1. Parental and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses: “Nurses involve in the ‘parental and Infancy Home Visitation’. They visit low income, single mothers. During this visit, they focus on the health of the mother and the child as well as supporting relationship between them. They also ensure that the mothers are enrolled in Health and Human services programs”.
  2. ParentChild Interaction Training Programs: The program is usually between the parents and the children and usually last for two weeks. The aim is to teach parenting skills to parents of children between ages 2 to 7 who exhibit major behavioural problems. “The program places parents and children in interactive situations. A therapist guides the parents, educating them on how best to respond to their child behaviour, whether positive or negative”.
  3. Bullying Prevention Program: “The Bullying Prevention Program is put into place by elementary and Junior high school settings” An anonymous student questionnaire are filled by the students in respect of who is doing the bully, which children are most frequently victimized, and where bullying occurs on campus. On learning where bullying occurs at their school, the teachers and the administrators set up class rules and facilitate discussions that will address the problem.
  • Prevention Program within the Juvenile Justice System: A youth joining the Juvenile Justice System will be opportuned to receive intervention assistance from the state. From the state, the youth may receive drug rehabilitation assistance, counselling, and educational opportunity. “The Success of the Juvenile Justice System is measured by how well it prepares youth to re-enter the community without committing further crimes”.


2.5 Effect of Stealing on Learning of the Children

According to Amber Erickson Gabbey (December 9, 2013) in (2015) “Stealing is the act of taking something that does not belong to you without permission. An example is removing an object from store without paying for it. Talking on the effect of stealing, he says, “Stealing affects the people who steal, in their lives, and the victim of the theft. People who steal often suffer guilt, shame, or embarrassment after stealing something. They may be afraid to tell anyone for fear of punishment… victims of the theft can be angry, feel disrespected and be afraid of future theft…victim of theft often feel less safe, are less trusting, and are worried about repeat theft. These feelings can cause paranoia or violent behaviour”. From above, it can be deduced that, stealing affects the person whose property was stolen psychologically. Meaning, a child whose book, erasers, rulers, money had been stolen will suffer psychologically and thus his learning will be affected negatively.

According to (2015) “Whoever is stealing is probably nervous during the act itself. If she gets away with it, she may be relieved at first. Later, she feels lousy because she knows what she did was wrong. She also might be afraid that someone will discover her secret, and she will want to deny it. But lying will only make matters worse. If she gets caught, she may be really embarrassed. Then she may be ashamed, because she let down her family. She may feel like nobody trusts her anymore. She might feel stupid and worried” from above it can be deduced that, stealing also has psychological effects on the child that steals and not only the victim. This psychological effect is negative on the child in question and also his learning will also be affected negatively because of the embarrassment, worries, and shame he or she will experience.

Effects of Stealing Free Essays (2015) in In talking about how stealing affects one’s life says, “I have learnt from this incident. I have learnt many things from this incident. And I have learnt how stealing can affect your life.” from the above, it can be implied that stealing affects one’s life negatively. Therefore, stealing in school can affect both the thief and the victim’s lives negatively particularly, their learning.

 2.6 Effect of Aggression on the Learning of the Children

          According to Lakeland behaviour (2015) “aggression is broadly defined as a behaviour or disposition that is forceful, hostile or attacking. This behaviour may occur as a result of retaliation or may even occur without provocation”. On effect of aggression Lakeland behaviour (2015) continues thus, “aggression can be the result of numerous causes, some of them serious illness. Thus leaving aggression untreated can lead to serious complications and permanent physical, legal and psychological ramifications. Some of the potential complications with serious aggressive tendencies at risk include: Difficulties interacting appropriately at work, in school, and in social-environments, loss of social network, troubled parent-child relationship, social expulsion, unemployment, drug and alcohol use and abuse, drug over-dose or alcohol poisoning, increased risk of injury, law violations and legal troubles, self harm, suicide or violence”. It can be deduced from above that aggression makes interaction at work and school difficult. It can therefore create fears in the pupils in school and also makes the school environment unfavourable for learning. Thus, the learning of the pupils will be affected negatively.

According to Wikipedia (2015) “aggressive behaviour can impede learning as a skill deficit, while assertive behaviour can facilitate learning. However, with young children, aggressive behaviour is developmentally appropriate and can lead to opportunities of building conflict resolution and communication skills”. From above, it can be concluded that aggressive behaviour is an impendent to learning of the children in the school.

 2.7 Effect of Cheating on the Learning of the Children

          According to (2015) “every year, some students are found guilty of cheating in exams, even if they did not mean to cheat, often, this happens because the students do not know what the rules are”. It can be implied from above that most of the cheatings in examinations and tests in primary schools happen because the pupils do not know the rules. It is therefore very necessary that the teachers explain to the pupils the rules of examination and/or test to avoid cheat.

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