The study surveyed effects of ethno religious conflicts on the academic performance of students in Government secondary schools in Gassol and Bali local government area of Taraba State. Based on a detailed literature review, a total of four research hypotheses were formulated and tested on samples sizes of 100 in Bali and 100 in Gassol representing the total population of 4 public secondary schools in Gassol and Bali local governments area of Taraba State. The instrument employed for the collection of data was the structured questionnaire. The methods of the analyses used were frequencies, percentages, chi-square, and Pearson Correlation.  From the data analyzed, the following findings were made; that school authorities do not render assistance to students affected by ethno religious conflicts to improve academically. Secondly, the strategies teachers employ in trying to reintegrate traumatize students affected by ethno religious conflicts are not enough. Also, that traumatized students make more noise, participate actively in extracurricular activities all in an attempt to reintegrate themselves into the school and society. Again, that teacher renders some basic assistance to students affected by ethno-religious conflict. Finally, political and traditional leaders do not assist these affected students by ethno-religious conflict with basic needs of life and ways to cope academically.











1.1     Background of the Study

Human beings are born into the society and are classified according to ethnic group, race or nationality and religion influences the action and behavior of individuals. Getui in ethnicity and conflict by (Tarimo and Manwelo 2009), further observed that any attempt to prevent once livelihood, freedom of expression, right to socialize, access to political representation and right to exist results to conflict.  Ethno religious conflict means a situation in which the relationship between members of one ethnic or religious group and another is characterized by lack of cordiality and mutual understanding “driven” by suspicion, fear, and tendency towards confrontation in a multi ethnic and multi religious society. Humans are fallible and have the tendency of disagreeing at some point which leads to conflict. The frailty of human nature creates room for evil thought to inhabit the heart and push for violence acts against fellow human beings, the twin evils of religious intolerance ethnophobia has besieged the Nigerian society for decades.

Taraba State is not immune from the experience of ethno- religious conflicts, in the year (2001), there was an ethnic conflict between Fulani herds’ men, Jukun and the Tiv people which resulted to lost of hundreds and thousands of lives and destruction of properties worth hundreds of millions. In recent times there has being serious clashes between different ethnic and religious groups, farmers and herds men in the state. The most affected local Governments are Gassol and Bali. These conflicts’ have left nothing to desire, only untold hardships poverty and frustration among the populace of these areas, (Gudaku, 2007). The social and economic development of these areas keeps deteriorating by persistent occurrence of this menace. Survival in these areas have become “If,” meaning if I survive an attack the next hour I will go to farm, or go to school.


According to West African Examination council (WAEC, 1999) identified and categorized problems responsible for students’ poor performance as inadequate facilities in schools, inadequate and unqualified teachers, parental, family, societal issues and poor government policies and funding of education (Ajila and Olutola, 2002).

Poor performance of secondary students in internal and external examinations in Gassol and Bali local government area of Taraba State, has posed a serious question to parents, teachers and the general public. Based on an oral interview conducted by the researcher, in these local governments, reveals that out of one hundred students who have completed Secondary School, only about thirty percent can read and write correctly.  This is a pointer to the fact that attainment of the goals of the National Policy on education in establishing schools: “preparing individual for: useful living within the society and higher education” …cannot be achieved.

Persistent ethno-Religious conflicts, is one of the major causes of poor performance of students. The devastating effects these conflicts are clearly reflected in the poor academic performance of students in secondary schools: class tests, assignments, internal and external examinations and concrete output in the society. Based on the fact that student affected by ethno religious conflict cannot afford basic needs of life, food, water, shelter, medical care, security and leave in internally displaced camps (I.D.P) and are traumatized. These students are unable to go to school, pay their tuition, buy the required text books, writing materials and study in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning because the structures, facilities have been burnt down vandalized and equipment’s stolen from the schools.  Mass migration of people affected by ethno religious conflict to new and unfamiliar environments results to trauma, frustration and students are unable to attain their goals and aspirations in life.  This research seeks to address the devastating effects of ethno religious conflict on students and ways to manage its effects on student’s social, religious and academic life in Gassol and Bali local government.



1.2 Statement of the Problem

Persistent ethno religious conflict is one of the major factors contributing to low academic performance. Their resultant effects are low academic performance in internal and external examinations, West African Examination Council, (WAEC), National Examination Council NECO), trauma, financial difficulty, political alienation, insecurity, hunger and low enrolment into school and attendance due to vandalized facilities and structures. However, before the devastating impact of ethno religious conflict, school enrolment and attendance was very high, school structures and facilities averagely managed, academics performance improving periodically, economic and social activities normal with trust and mutual relationship among different groups and LGAs in Taraba state. The persistent occurrence of ethno religious conflict within these local governments is making the future and dreams of students in education a mirage, most especially their present psychological challenges in the (IDP) camps and the insecurity, which is stopping people from farming in these local governments and its adverse effect is economic hardship. Hence, necessitate this study.


This research work, seeks to investigate the devastating effects of ethno religious conflict on the academic performance of students in Bali and Gassol Local government areas. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Find out if school authorities and teachers have assisted students affected by the devastating effect of ethno religious conflict to improve academically.
  2. Find out the strategies teachers employ to reintegrate traumatize students affected by ethno religious conflicts.
  3. Investigate the role played by traditional religious and political leaders to curb ethno religious conflict and assist students affected by ethno religious conflict.




To be able to address the effect of ethno religious conflict: the researcher poses the following research questions:

  • To what extent do you think ethno religious conflict has affected students’ academic performance negatively?
  • Have school authorities and teachers render assistance to students affected by ethno religious conflict?
  • Is the strategies teachers employ to reintegrate traumatize students affected by ethno religious conflicts enough?
  • Has political and traditional leaders made any effort to curb ethno religious conflict and assist students affected by ethno religious conflict in the sampled LGA?


The following null hypotheses were formulated to be tested in this study:

Hypothesis One

Ho: school authorities and teachers have not rendered Assistance to students affected by ethno religious conflict.

Hypothesis Two

Ho: There is no significance relationship between ethno religious conflicts and poor academic performance of students.

Hypothesis Three

Ho: Political and traditional leaders do not make any effort to curb the rate of ethno religious conflict in the sampled LGA.

Hypothesis Four

Ho: The strategies teachers employ to reintegrate traumatize students affected by ethno religious conflicts is not enough.


The work will be of benefit to students, teachers, parents and the community in knowing the devastating effect of ethno- Religious conflict, how it affects students’ performance and how to manage conflict. The finding of this research work will benefit schools and serve as a guide for public secondary schools especially within Bali and Gassol local governments of Taraba State. This work will benefit students to know that ethno religious conflict is part of human limitations and the need to live peacefully.

This work will also be of immense benefit to teachers and serve as a guide to adopting better ways of handling low academic performance of students as a result of trauma from ethno religious conflict. This study will further be of benefit to the government, political, traditional and religious leaders in knowing the extent of damage ethno religious conflicts inflict on people and students as a result of a leaders’ inability to govern properly.  This research work will be of benefit to researchers on similar topic in the future.


This research work has Nigeria at heart but is limited to Gassol and Bali local government areas of Taraba State. However, the researcher used selected secondary schools in Gassol and Bali LGA as the population of the work.

Finance, time and availability of materials were the major constraints the researcher encountered while carrying out this study.


Ethnic: a group of people who shared a common and distinctive culture. In its classical meaning, ethnic relates to a number of a particular ethnos (Thomas 17).

Ethnicity: a feeling of belonging to a distinctive cultural or linguistic group or a manifestation of ethnic consciousness in socio-cultural group or the manifestation of national consciousness.

Effects: According to the new international Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language: effect is a   result or product of some cause or agency: consequence. change that produces’ in one person or thing by another which often is perceived to be negative.

Performance: the act of carrying out or execution of the functions required of one (.Websters New International Dictionary)

Academics: scholarly related to school, college or university. Websters Comprehensive Dictionary.

Religion: “is man’s awareness and recognition of his dependant relationship on a Transcendent Being, the wholly other, namable or un-namable, personalized or impersonalized, expressible in human society through beliefs, worship and ethical or moral behavior” Ekwunife (1990). It could also mean beliefs, precepts, values and actions of human beings which to some large extend shapes and guide their spiritual, economic, political and social life.

Ethno-Religious conflicts refers to those involving groups where religion is an integral part of social and cultural life, and religious institutions are representative, possess moral legitimacy, and mobilization potential. Where conflicting groups defined themselves along ethno-religious lines, religious identity can create sharp distinctions between parties, and increase group mobilization.

Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or action, against a group or community, which either results in or has high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation. This definition associated intentionality with committing the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces.

Conflict: Conflict is an interactive process manifested incompatibility, disagreement or dissonance within or between social entities.


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