In the recent past cases of gender based violence have been on the increase especially among young girls and boys in school. In particular are cases of peer-to-peer and teacher child sexual harassment experienced in primary schools across the country. This study therefore sought to investigate the relationship between gender based violence and children’ academic performance in primary schools in Lagos State. Social Feminism theory was used to guide in conceptualization of the study. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study population comprised of children, guidance and counseling teachers and principals in public primary schools. The study used simple random sampling technique to select 97 children from the target population who participated in the study. All the 18 principals and one guidance and counseling teacher from each of the 18 primary schools were selected to take part in the study. The sample for the study was therefore 133. On the other hand purposive sampling technique was used to select all the guidance and counseling teachers and school principals to participate in the study. The study collected primary data using simplified questionnaires. Reliability of instruments was ensured through piloting and reliability testing of questionnaires. Data obtained was analyzed statistically using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics included frequencies and percentages. Findings were presented using tables and discussions. Study findings revealed that female children underwent almost all types of bullying as opposed to their male counterparts who never experienced both non-consensual and sexual assaults. Violence and abuse being prevalent at schools is a major hindrance to the education of girls and negatively influencing their school performance. In conclusion there are acts of Gender based violence which is a serious issue that has some impact on the performance of children if not mitigated whether reported by any group of respondent or not. As a mitigation measure, school principals have regularly been educated on how to address the issue within school. The ministry has also introduced life skills programme taught in schools in every class so as to help them cope with every day challenges including gender based violence. However there was no concrete information from the respondents to confirm whether life skills programme is being executed effectively in primary schools. This information will also assist school managers in designing programmes to reduce the cases of gender based violence in schools which is hoped to help in taming the declining performance in primary Schools.

1.1 Background to the Study
Access to education is a crucial right for all children, and plays a vital role in poverty reduction and socio-economic development. Children’s education and protection rights are neither regarded nor satisfied by States when school-related gender violence and abuse put boys and girls physical and psychological well-being at risk. Gender violence in and around schools has been perceived in recent years as a serious worldwide phenomenon that has been disregarded for a really long time in the school environment. Schools are not generally the child-friendly places they are presumed to be (Ellis, 2014).

Gender based violence (GBV) remains to be a global concern regardless of geographical, cultural, social, economic, ethnic, or other boundaries (UNESCO,

2014). It happens both within the school and outside the school environment. However, gender based violence in schools is a complex, multifaceted societal concern (Save the Child & Action Aid, 2010) referred to as Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). SRGBV includes violence or abuse that is based on gendered stereotypes or that targets children on the basis of their sex, sexuality, or gender identities. The underlying intent of this violence is to reinforce gender roles and perpetuate gender inequalities. It includes rape, unwanted sexual touching, unwanted sexual comments, corporal punishment, bullying, and verbal harassment (Kibriya, Tkach, Ahn, Valdez Gonzalez, Xu & Zhang, 2016). SRGBV is also a violation of basic human rights, particularly to children who are defenseless, and represents a major hindrance to participation in education, gender equity and to the realization of Education for All (EFA) goals (Alexander, 2011) and now the recent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The EFA, and part of SDGs key objectives is to strongly advocate for international education agenda and enhance gender equality in education. These objectives have been key in attracting international attention and guiding the educational operations over time. Through these initiatives, considerable gains have been made in access to education in both developed and developing Nations (Concern Worldwide, 2013).

Amidst these initiatives, SRGBV continues to be one of the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights violations in the world and a major challenge to the achievement of EFA across the globe. Plan and Child Helpline International (2011) has established that globally, between 500 million and 1.5 billion children experience violence every year, mainly within schools. Furthermore, an estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys experienced sexual violence. In the United Kingdom, it has been established that SRGBV in and around schools is a major barrier to the realization of all children’s rights to education, and protection from all forms of violence and abuse (Pinheiro, 2006).

In Bangladesh a survey by Plan programme (2007) established that 91% of school children reported having been physically punished and in India study carried out across 13 states found out that more than half of children reported having been involved in different forms of sexual abuse. Surprisingly in Swaziland, one-third of girls between ages13 and 17 revealed that their first sexual experience was forced and that it took place in their own homes (Fraser, 2012).

In Nigeria it is not clear on the origin of gender based violence in school however, the first case to be publicly highlighted can be traced back to 1991 where high school male children invaded a girls' dormitory and raped more than 70 girls, another 19 female children died while escaping from the attack at a tender age of 15 and below (Sang, 2008). In July 1996, several girls were attacked and raped within the school compound in Muranga. In 2006 there was yet another case of mass rape against schoolgirls in which approximately 15 girls were victims as fellow children staged a protest within the school in the middle of the night (Mathiu, 2008). In 2007, a group of boys in who were demonstrating against their internal school administration and conditions raided a neighboring girls school and sexually assaulted the girls (Ruto&Chege, 2006). In all these incidents there is an orgy of gender based violence and sexual assaults targeting the girls and suggests an emerging culture of mass sexual violence against girls in schools in Nigeria.

Outside the school environment, increase in gender based violence against school going children still remains to be a challenge. According to Munyui (2004) the Nigeria police recorded 1,987 cases of rape in 2001 compared with 2,908 reported cases in 2004 which accounts for 46.4% increase between the duration under study. These are the cases that were reported others occurred but remained unaccounted for. The actual figure is thought to be higher considering that not all violations are reported. InLagos Municipality the prevalence level of gender based violence against school going children stands at 47% (Githinji, 2011).

Statistics indicate that although boys have been victims of gender based violence and sexual assault girls are more vulnerable (Githinji, 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates are that between 36 and 62 percent of all sexual assault victims are aged below 10 years. Further statistics from Abuja Women’s hospital in Abuja indicate that 55% of those who are sexually violated are girls aged 0-15 years (Munyui 2004). Gender based violence against girls includes group rape attacks of girls that occur periodically.

GBV has various effects on the psychological, social and economic life of the victims. It has been identified as a profound health problem, compromising victim’s physical health, and eroding their self-esteem. In addition to injury, violence exposes women to other health risks. Sexual abuse enhances risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and adverse pregnancy problems among women. The costs of handling sexual violence remains high but in almost every society in the world there are social institutions established to address gender based violence which adds to the cost of GBV (Heise, 2002).

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Gender based violence has been a major social problem in the Sub Saharan African countries and has had a far reaching effect on economic development especially through discrimination of one gender from active participation in economic development. Erosion of the social fabric and moral values has also emerged in the recent development in gender based violence especially among the young.

Cases of gender based violence in Nigeria have been on the increase within school environment (Munyui, 2004; Ruto&Chege 2006; Sang, 2008; Mathiu, 2008, Githinji, 2011), the most common forms of gender based violence being sexual harassment perpetrated by peers, teachers and members of the community. Statistics from the Molo Sub State Hospital (2014) indicate that at least 3 to 4 cases of GBV are reported monthly. At the same time Lagos State Education office in (2014) revealed that FSLC performance has been declining from a mean score of 5.08 in 2011 to 4.98 in 2012.

Global data on SRGBV are fragmented. While there is some evidence on the harmful effects of SRGBV, its impact on academic achievement in particular has not been studied extensively. Studies in Nigeria on gender based violence on school going children has focused on the number of cases rather than the effects and impacts. Kibriya, et al., (2016) depicts a number of factors that influence children academic performance such as children’ sex and age, teachers’ sex and experience, parents’ education, and geographical location. However, violent acts such as bullying were more influential than the individual effect of these other variables. In Lagos State, data on the effects of SRGBV on academic performance remains scanty. This study specifically sought to identify the common types of gender based violence cases that take place in primary schools, including the current trend of SRGBV and its effects on the performance. The study also sought to identify the measures that have been put in place to mitigate against the effects. It is with this in mind that the current study broadly sought to determine the relationship between gender based violence and children academic performance in primary schools in Lagos State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study sought to investigate the relationship between gender based violence and primary school children academic performance in FSLC examination in Lagos State.

1.4 Objectives of the Study
This study sought to fulfill the following objectives. To

i. Identify the common types of gender based violence cases in primary schools in Lagos State.

ii. Establish the trends in gender based violence in primary schools in Lagos


iii. Determine whether gender based violence affects children academic performance in primary schools in Lagos State.

iv. Identify the measures that have been put in place to mitigate against the effects of gender based violence in primary schools in Lagos State.

1.5 Research Questions
The following were the research questions that were addressed in this study;

i. What are the common types of gender based violence cases in primary schools in Lagos State?

ii. What are the trends in gender based violence in primary schools in Lagos


iii. Does gender based violence affect children academic performance in primary schools in Lagos State?

iv. Which measures have been put in place to mitigate against the effects of gender based violence in primary schools in Lagos State?

1.6 Significance of the Study
This study may bring into light the emerging SRGBV issues and their manifestations in Primary Schools. It is also hoped and intended that, this information will assist school managers in identifying, monitoring and handling cases of GBV in schools.

This information may also assist school managers in designing programmes to reduce the cases of SRGBV which is hoped to help in taming the declining performance in primary Schools.

It is also hoped that the study may assist the ministry of education in developing policy measures to tackle GBV in schools and develop strategies for improving the much sought performance in schools. Further parents and the community at large may also benefit by being able to identify the forms and effects of GBV which will assist in addressing the problem of gender based violence in and out of schools, this is hoped to have a trickle-down effect to the community as a whole.

1.7 Limitations of the Study
The study was limited by shortcomings in theories that explain gender based violence and its relationships with children’ academic performance in schools. Therefore to handle the challenges posed by study theories, the study sought to adapt existing gender theories in the school environment using its tenets and principles in structuring the study. Secondly, the study was limited to GBV in public primary schools therefore the situations in private and primary schools were not captured. Further, some of the respondents were not willing to expose the perpetrators who might have been close relatives or those in authority and the extent of the violations.

1.8 Delimitations of the Study
The current study was confined to analyzing the common forms of gender based violence cases in primary schools, their causes and effects on the performance of children in primary schools. Geographically the study was confined to public primary schools within Lagos State. The study also sought information from only the following categories of respondents’ children, guidance and counseling teachers, and principals to maximize on the quality of the research findings and not any other.

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