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Background to the Study
A family is an institution, the primary socializing agent of which a child is a member since it is in the family the child is born. Obayan (2003) stated that the family is the bed rock of any society the foundation for the academic achievement of the child. A stable and well developed child can be guaranteed by a stable family. The current bad economic status of the country has exposed children to undesirable challenges that have negatively affected their academic performance in school.
The quality of an educational institution is measured by the academic performance or success of the students. Over the years, improvement in academic performance of students in school has become the common concern of parents, legislators, teachers, counselors and psychologist. According to Bell (2002), parents devote a lot of resources to their children’s education because they believe that good academic performance will provide a stable future for them. In addition, Wilkins (2001) opined that many educational authorities have sought to find out reasons for the downward trend in the academic performance of secondary school students. Omolewa (2002) affirmed that academic performance of a child could be traced to the kind of friends he keeps and the home he comes from. Thus it is believed that when parents monitor home work, encourages their children participation in extra-curricular activities; are active members of Parents Teacher Associations and help children develop plans for their future, that children are more likely to respond and do well in school.
Education is frequently concerned about the need to improve students’ academic performance and achievement. Academic performance, most especially of secondary school students has been largely associated with many factors. Most students in secondary schools in Nigeria are confronted daily with challenges of coping with their academics under serious emotional strains such as a long walk to school, inadequate instructional material and teaching facilities, poor school environment and being taught by some un-motivational teachers with low work morale. Couple with these is family factors such as uncooperative attitude of parents to their children’s study and the socio-economic status of parents.
Family background includes parent’s educational status, marital status, occupational status, financial status, parental discipline and family size. Parental educational status is the educational level attained by parents of the students. This will be one of the major factors to be investigated by the researcher because of the influence it can exert on students’ academic performance. The level of educational attainment of parents influences the academic performance of their children. In a family where both the mother and father are educated, their children are always taken good care of in their academic activities. They may go through their children exercise books after school or may employ a private teacher to teach them after school. While others in this categories arranges for their children to attend extra-mural classes after school hours in order to enhance their academic performance at school. By so doing their academic performance will be improved. In the case of illiterate family, the need to supervise their children’s exercise book is not there, hence their children’s low academic performance in school. There is evidence that parents education can positively rub off on student’s academic performance because the parents are in a good position to be second teachers to their children. Their assistance in this regard spurs their children’s interest in learning and thereby enhances their academic performance in school. Educators, students, parents, guidance counselors, curriculum planners, government and the society has lamented that the maternal and parental deprivation of the essential needs of the young students have prompted their poor performance in public examination, such as Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination, West African Examination Council, and National Examination Council.
Marital status is the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. Person’s marital status indicates whether the person’s is married or single. Observation has shown that not all the parents of the students who attend the public secondary schools are living together with their children as husband and wife. This leaves a gap in the child’s emotional development; which may in turn take its toll on the child’s self-esteem and academic performance. Studies show that children from intact families that is, with two continuously married parents tend to fare better on a number of cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes than children living in other family forms.
Occupational status of parents is another factor that tends to influence on students’ academic performance. According to Yee and Eccles (1988), Career modeling from parents could make a noticeable impression on the children’s intellectual development. For example mothers who engage in menial jobs like hair dressing, sewing, petty trading, farming, catering, among others are more likely to have less contact hours with their children. This can affect the vocabulary and communication skills of their children. These mothers will most likely want their children to toe the line of the trade and as a result may not bother to lay much emphasis on the early intellectual development of their children.
Financial income of parents is also a factor influencing students’ academic performance. Parents whose financial income are either high ranging from N100,000 and above per month or low income below N100,000 have been identified as having a positive effect on student’s persistence and academic performance.
Parents who discipline their children are giving their offspring the best chances in life. The attitudes and aspirations that parents have concerning their children’s schooling and success undoubtedly influence the way they behave towards their children attending school. Children, who are discipline, respond to teaching and learning of the formal school successfully, they use their own effort and skill in accomplishing the desired outcome in education. While ineffective monitoring of students has been associated with poor academic performance. Parents in their bids to discipline their children have been found to be authoritative, democratic or permissive. Children whose parents are authoritative more than not live in constant fear of such parents and may most likely transfer such a fear to significant others in the school environment. Such children have low self-worth, insecurity, and may found it difficult to consult with teachers.
Family size refers to the total number of children in the family. Information from literature depicted that children from larger families are found to do worse than children from smaller families. Research on the effects of sibling’s size and position has been based on a theory of the allocation of parental resources. The size of the family in which a child grows affects his intellectual development. In a large family a child may not be given maximum attention especially in his academics. The issue of home works, payment of school fees, attending Parent Teachers Associations and many more may not be convenient for the parents as they have to cater for many children. While children are well catered for and perform better in small size family. The case of large family is more prevalent in third world countries which make it difficult for children from this country to perform optimally in their academic pursuit.
Statement of the Problem
Although, scholars have identified the correlation between parental influences on children academic performance in the primary school, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary –aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their academics. Education generally, is a continuous process of enculturation, which begins from cradle (birth) and ends in grave. The type of education one receives determines his future potentials. Parents and guardians are ill-feeling about the harming rate of poor academic performance of students in schools. What they do eventually is to call the teachers to questions the student’s poor performance. Little do they know that other factors apart from teacher’s abilities such as family background do influence student’s poor performance. The family being a primary unit of socialization and where most of children learning take place cannot be single or left out in identifying course of poor academic performance of a child.
In addition to these is poor study habit, students competence in English, students’ attendance in the class, the learning environment, peer group influence, poor memory, individual intelligence, lack of motivation, low self-concept, state of health, learning facilities, anxiety, extra-curricular activities, distance of schools, poor teaching methods, poverty and lack of interest in education, communication, poor concentration, poor coordination, poor diet, finance, trauma, poor ability to follow through on projects, proper guidance, family stress, knowledge, ability, lack of vocation goals, low socio-economic status of the family, poor family structure, accommodation and living condition, students/lecturer rapport, poor quality teachers, inadequate and out of date instructional materials, negative attitude to work by teachers among others. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the influence of family background on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools.
For the purpose of this work, seven research questions were raised and answered.
The following hypotheses were formulated:
Purpose of the Study
The Overall aim of this study was to examine the influence of family background on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District, Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:
Significance of the Study
This study would be of significance to parents, students, educators, guidance counselors, curriculum planners and government. The parents will benefit from this work because the findings of this study would make them aware of the influence of family background and how it affects or improves students’ performance. This knowledge will motivate Parents to provide warm, social climate for their children at home; form accurate belief and expectation regarding their children’s performance so that they can excel in post schooling endeavor. The students will benefit from this study because the findings would motivate them towards learning and studying; preparing them to cope with challenges that could hinder academic performance. This finding would benefit the educators because theories with different topics such as intrinsic motivation, self-concept, attribution, goal orientation, self-efficiency and expectation have been established to help them perform better, improve their productivity and understand student’s domains of educational learning.
The guidance counselors through the findings of this study would be aware of the type of counseling service to render to students and parents for better efficiency and performance. The findings of the study would help curriculum planners to plan school curriculum that will cater for all categories of students that will enhance their academic performance in school; ensure adequate learning facilities, incentive, qualify manpower to educate the students for better tomorrow. The findings of the study would motivate the government to create the needed environment in public secondary schools that will accommodate students’ from different family background.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study covered all the public senior secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District. This comprised of Ikpoba-okha, Oredo, Egor, Ovia South West, Ovia North East, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas of Edo State. Using only English Language and mathematics subjects of the public Senior Secondary schools. The study was delimited to only public senior secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District. The senior school promotion examination results conducted by the schools in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 sections were used to determine family background influence on students’ academic performance in English language and Mathematics for two years in public senior secondary schools in Edo south senatorial district of Nigeria. The researcher intends to look at only the variables found in this work as constituting family background.
Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms were operationally defined by the researcher to give clarity to the understanding of the content of this study:
Family Background: Is the parents’ status to which the child belongs. Such as marital status, educational status, occupational status, financial status, parental discipline and family size.
Students Academic Performance: Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. It is measured using grade A, B, C, D. of students’ in S.S.3.
Marital Status of Parents: Marital status is the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. Person’s marital status indicates whether the person’s is married or single.
Parental Educational Status: The Educational level attained by parents of the students is: High: those educated more than degree level and those less than degree level.
Parental Occupational Status: The type of job or employment parents depends upon for living. Employed- civil servant, banker and those not having job-unemployed: farmer etc.
Parental Financial Income: High parental finance– those who take home above N100, 000 per month and Average income – those who take home below N 100,000 per month.
Family Size (of students): The total numbers of children in the family in addition to the child. Large family size above six (6) children and Average family size below six (6) children.
Parental Discipline: Daily routines generally structured to respond to children’s need. Parents that is either authoritative or democratic
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