Why do some Nigerian kids hawk on Roads instead of attending classes in school?


When Schools resumes after a month of vacation for students in Nigeria, many students take their holiday period hawking goods in the streets, some in order to get money for their academic study when the school resumes but the other group in order to support their family’s meager earning while the other majority hawk in the streets as a result of child trafficking and child labour.


Most well to do parents send their children to school but use the maids with them as slaves. Some of them for this reason send them out there in the street hawking.  Some parents allow their children to hawk in order to assist the family make the ends meet. They would not ordinarily allow their children to hawk if they are well off. Therefore there are lots of reasons why kids hawk in the street instead of attending classes. It all depends on their different peculiar circumstances.


Some students spend time hawking during Holiday in order to get money to either pay for their school fees or to help their family but some of them who make huge income eventually consider what the point wasting time in the school and would prefer to drop out instead of continuing when the school resume what this means is that most Holiday, children instead of resting are engaged in variety of activities.


A girl of 12 who just finished her primary school education says she sold onions throughout the summer holiday because she needed to make money during the holidays in order to be able to move forward to secondary school.



“If I don’t sell onions, I will not be able to go to school because my parents do not have enough money.

“I am hoping to go to form one,” she says. So my mum encouraged me to sell onions so that I can make money that will be used to send me to school.”


She says that if she had an option, she would not have spent his holiday period selling onions in the streets. Instead, she would have attended computer classes like his mates who come from affluent families.


While some kid’s families could pay for sending them to classes and youth camps during the holidays, other children are compelled by circumstances to hawk goods on the streets in order to raise money for the new school year.


In Nigeria, school holidays are well known by scores of kid-hawkers in the streets. To help their parents, the kids sold goods such as towels, plastic and leather bags, chair pillows, books, pens, pencils, stickers, flags and second-hand clothing. Some sold food, such as Irish potatoes, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh spices, salt, cakes, fish rolls, meat rolls, cooking oil, bean rolls, boiled groundnuts, sweets and biscuits.


But unlike the girl above, some children say they prefer hawking good to attending school.


Bolu another girl of 13-years says she gathers diverse goods from shop owners and sells depending on cyclic demands. With the beginning of the new school year, she is now selling schoolbags.


“I like selling in the streets at all times,” he says. “I enjoy the exercise. I make money from selling bags. Sometimes, I sell books.”


She says he started hawking goods during primary school to earn money for his education. But she liked assembling money and disliked going to school and therefore he dropped out of school education after primary school. She also said:


“Nobody forced me into the business,” he says. “After my primary education, I decided not to go to school again. I make between 800 naira ($8.50) and 1,500 naira ($10.00) daily, and I hope to own a shop someday.”


Irrespective of how each and every one of us perceive it, I think more should be done on the part of government in making sure that primary school child should be in school when needed rather than walking through different streets in the name of hawking.