The major aim of this study was to investigate the Effect Of Banditry On The Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students A population of  1000 secondary students  from SS1-SS3 responded to a self-structured validated questionnaire designed for the study. Three   research questions and objectives were formulated to guide the study. Major findings revealed that banditry significantly affects the academic performance of secondary school students.Based on the findings, it was recommended that owners of schools and other stakeholders in education should take bold steps to fence and protect school environments from intruders to ensure safety of the students.


Banditry in Nigeria is like a cankerworm which deep-eats its victim.  The pervasive hausa-fulani armed banditry and its associated threats towards educational attainment in the North-West region of Nigeria, particularly, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto and Niger States, have become a subject of national security and public concern. Chukwu (2020)

Education deprivation in the North-West region has been exacerbated by armed banditry due to the mass displacements in affected communities. However, the escalation of banditry contributed to a high number of out-of-school children in the region. Out of the 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 30 percent are in the North-West (Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano) and Niger States in the North Central region. Besides, insecurity in the communities had a negative impact on young boys and girls, as school activities in vulnerable areas were disrupted. The few existing schools were unable to operate properly for fear of kidnap of students or attacks and killing by bandits . Parents prevented their children from attending schools due to insecurity on major roads. This in turn increased the job turnover of teachers in these communities.

A failed attack by bandits in schools was recorded on May 1, 2019, at the Government Girls Secondary School in Zuru LGA of Zamfara State (Vanguard Reports 2019). Also, a ‘threat note’ to shut down a Government Day Secondary School at Talata Mafara LGA of Zamfara State had further created tension as students and teachers stayed away from the school. This situation further exposes children to the risk of exploitation and violence.

Insecurity in schools has been studied in diverse ways in the literature. For instance, in most sub-Saharan African countries, insecurity in schools has been studied at the state level, especially where the state uses its repressive mechanisms to quell student rioters and put student leaders in prison under torture (O’Malley 2007). On the other hand, in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Palestine, focus has been on attacks on educators as well as how wars can stop children from getting an education (O’Malley 2007). For example in countries like Afghanistan and Palestine, statistics have recounted numbers of teachers killed as a result of violent conflict and abductions (Human Rights Watch 2006). In North America and Europe, the interest in schools and insecurity has mostly been directed at war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Iraq. In these countries, O’Malley writes, “schools, places that should be safe for children, have increasingly become the prime target of attacks by armed parties” (2007, 7).

Insecurity has been identified as being an anathema to education patronage and development. (Hausler, Urban & McCorquodale, 2011; The World Bank, 2011; Abdulrasheed, Onuselogu & Obioma, 2015) as neighbourhood become insecure (Abdulrasheed, Onuselogu & Obioma, 2015); and schools and colleges are looted, destroyed and abandoned, teachers assassinated, scholars threatened, and students recruited as child soldiers (Hausler, Urban & McCorquodale, 2012; Jones & Naylon, 2014).

The 2011 World Bank Development Report found that people in fragile and conflict-affected states are more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school as those in other developing countries. Access to education has been identified as the panacea to the ‘persistent challenges of insecurity facing Nigeria’ (Ndoma-Egba, 2014). In the same vein, falling education coupled with illiteracy have been identified as the main cause of insecurity in the northeastern part of Nigeria (Asaolu, 2012; 2015, Murray-Bruce, 2013). Although Nigeria has the world’s worst record of having some 10 million children out of school, with nine out of these ten millions coming from the North (Nyesom Wike quoted in Naij.com, 2015), data on prevailing literacy level in Northeastern Nigeria suggest that basic education has been experiencing serious problems in the region before the insurgences. For instance, basic education in Borno State were shown to had shortage of classes for teaching and learning, shortage of instructional materials and teachers (NUT, 2007); teachers’ salaries were not paid, leading to frequent strike by basic school teachers (NUT, 2008). As at 2013, Yobe and Borno have the highest illiteracy levels in the country. A whopping 83.3% of boys over 6 and adult men in Yobe state have no formal Western education. The figure for Borno which is number two on the list is 63.6%.


The concept of insecurity connotes the state or quality of being insecure. Security in simple terms means protection of lives and properties from destruction. According to Onifode, Imhonopl and Uorim (2013) security is the dynamic condition which involves the relative ability of a state to counter threats to its core values and interest and their primary beneficiaries are the citizens. In addition, sharing the view Abraham Maslow, Iyenger (1977) stated that an insecure person perceives the world as a life threatening jungle, feels unsafe, unhappy, rejected, hostile, and pessimistic, shows a sign of tension, conflict and guilt, and tends to be neurotic and generally egocentric. It therefore seems that when a student studies in an environment that is characterized by insecurity, the student may suffer socially, mentally and emotionally and it makes sense hypothetically to state that all these are likely to affect not only his behavior and psychosocial adjustment but may also affect his academic performance.

According to Ojukwu and Nwanma (2015), insecure school environment, including the dilapidated conditions and teachers’ negative attitude to condone and accept the emotional needs of students, which will lead to undue influences and clashes of a local community interfering with school business. Also, they stated that in insecure school environments the psychological problems of the students are never met or carelessly handled, there are always segregations in the school community along religions, tribal and sectarian lines as students may ignore teachers’ directives and may also challenge the teachers on certain concepts and school properties may likely be deliberately damaged by the students to show their disapproval of managements decisions (Ojukwu & Nwanma, 2015).

Also Ojukwu and Nwanma (2015) reported that in a school environment characterized by insecurity, lateness is the norm in school and students are allowed to freely use handsets and phones. Annually, the external results of the school are always bad as a result of poor teaching climate of the school as having been shown by 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 WAEC results cited above. Other instances of insecurity of the school environment include that sometimes female staff and students complain of being raped or impregnated leading to school dropout (Ojukwu & Nwanma, 2015). Also, parents complain that their children are bullied and injured and the classrooms are overcrowded, poorly ventilated and lit (Ghazi, Shahzada, Tariq & Khan, 2013). The above painted school environment may most likely affect students’ academic performance.

 Statement of the Problem

Recently major stakeholders in Education such as government, industries, communities, parents, schools even students and many others have been lamenting over the poor quality of Nigerian students in both learning and character suggesting a poor academic performance. Researchers and authors have speculated reasons for the failure on the part of the Nigerian students in secondary schools including those in North east to acquire the necessary social, psychological and academic skills to cope with demands of life and living in and outside the school. Their findings and suggestions tend to point at those issues which tend to waste students’ time and then have false notions about true life situations. Others have focused on teaching and learning materials as well as students themselves. An area that seems to have been neglected by past researchers is the effect insecurity of school environment will have on the academic performance of the secondary school students. Educators have long emphasized that many students perform poorly in their academic work not because they do not possess the mental ability to do well. An area that seems to have been neglected by researchers is the issue of insecurity of the school environment and the effect it could have on the academic performance of the secondary school students.

Research Questions

The study sought to answer the following questions:

  1. How do bandits activities impact on students academic performance in secondary school education  in North East?
  2. What effects do loss of parents as a result of bandits activities have on students participation academic performance in secondary school education ?
  3. To what extend does physical displacement of parents influence students participation and academic performance in secondary school education in Yobe?
  4. To what extend do attacks on schools by book bandits affects students academic of students?

Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the Effect Of Banditry On The Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students

The specific objectives of the study were to:

  1. To investigate the effect of acts of banditry on students participation and academic performance in secondary school education in.
  2. To examine the effect of loss of parents  due to bandits activities on students academic performance in secondary school education
  3. To analyze the influence of physical displacement of parents by bandits on students participation in secondary school education .
  4. To examine the influence of attack on schools by bandits on students’ participation and academic performance

Significance of the Study

Considerable attempts may have been made at researching on some variables or factors affecting students’ academic performance but little or none has focused on the effect of insecurity on the academic performance of secondary school students. Also, given the wide ranging effects of students’ poor academic performance and its concomitant social and destructive emotional effects on the students, parents, society and the nation It is appropriate and should be a welcome development to investigate the effect of insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students with the view of proffering solutions for a better performance by students.