One of the international agenda is to utilize all available human and non-human resources towards enhancing youth’s educational and moral development. However, evidences abound that a good number of Nigerian youths are drawn by negative socio-economic experiences to a life of full time or part time hawking. The consequences of this life-style on the educational aspiration and moral development of the youths were studied in this research. The research comparatively surveyed the levels of criminal intent and educational aspiration of school-age hawkers and non-hawkers in North-Central Cities of Nigeria. Thus, it employed purposive sampling technique to draw a sample of 246 school age hawkers from Lokoja and Ilorin in Northern Nigeria. Data were obtained using two researcher-made questionnaires; Criminal Intent Questionnaire (CIQ) and Educational Aspiration Questionnaire (EAQ). To answer the raised research questions, data were analyzed using frequency count and percentages while t-test statistic was used to test the postulated hypotheses. Findings showed that school-age hawkers have higher criminal intent (73.98%) and low educational aspiration than school-age non-hawkers (14.63%). It was also found that the criminal intent and educational aspiration of the two categories of sampled respondents varied on the basis of gender. While criminal intent was higher on the side of male hawkers, educational aspiration was higher on the side of female non-hawkers. Based on these, it was concluded that on the basis of gender, hawking can develop criminal intent and discourage educational aspiration in school-age children. Thus, it was recommended that parents and Nigeria government should intensify efforts at reducing hawking among school-age children, if the country wants to avert raising youth with criminal orientation and if it wants to be among nations around the world to achieve the goals of Education for All (EFA) come 2015.
Key words: Intent, aspiration, school-age, level, criminal, high, low.
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