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The study sought to ascertain the influence of parental status on students’ academic performance in secondary school in Abakaliki metropolis. The study adopted descriptive survey design. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was made up of 120 teachers that were selected from four government own secondary schools in Abakaliki metropolis. Questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. The researcher made use of frequency and mean for data analysis. The study also revealed that parental level of education, parental motivating assistance, parental economic background, parental social status which influence students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Abakaliki metropolis. In accordance with the findings, the research recommended that the government should provide adult education programme for the uneducated parents on the need to be educated, uneducated parents should learn from the educated ones on how to reduce birth rate in their families, parents should continue to motivate their children so that they will be influenced positively, parents should learn to improve in the way they provide conducive learning environment for their children
1.1 Background to the Study
From birth to age eighteen children spend just a fraction of their lives in school. Thus it is not surprising that many factors outside the school environment can significantly influence students’ prospects for academic success in schools. This factor (parental status) is in play both during the years before children begin formal schooling and while they are actually enrolled in elementary and secondary school.
Traditionally, family status variables such as socio-economic status and parents' level of education have been regarded as predictors of children's academic performance. Increasingly, research has suggested that, rather than having a direct association with children's academic achievement, socio-economic status and parents' level of education is part of a larger constellation of psychological and sociological variables influencing children's school outcomes (Joan, 2009). Attendant of standard secondary school may be access to resources, such as income, time, energy, and community contacts, that allow for greater parental involvement in a child's education. Thus, the influence of socio-economic status and parents' level of education on student outcomes might best be represented as a relationship mediated by interactions among status and process variables (Joan, 2009).
There is evidence that parents‟ education will affect students‟ academic performance in schools. According to Grissmer (2003) parents‟ level of education is the most important factor affecting students‟ academic achievement. Taiwo (2002) submits that parents‟ educational background influence the academic performance of students in secondary school. This, according to him, is because the parents would be in a good position to be second teachers to the child; and even guide and counsel the child on the best way to perform well in education and provide the necessary materials needed by the child. This was supported by Musgrave (2000) who said that a child that comes from an educated home would like to follow the steps of his or her family and by this, work actively in his or her studies. He said further that parents who have more than a minimum level of education are expected to have a favored attitude to the child’s education and to encourage and help him or her with school work. They provide library facilities to encourage the child to show examples in activities of intellectual type such as reading of newspapers, magazines and journals. They are likely to have wider vocabulary by which the children can benefit and develop language fluency.
Onocha (2005) concludes that a child from a well educated family with high socio-economic status is more likely to perform better than a child from an illiterate family. This is because the child from an educated family has a lot of support such as a decent and good environment for academic work, parental support and guidance, enough textual and academic materials and decent feeding. He or she is likely to be sent to good schools where well seasoned teachers will handle his or her subjects. Children’s academic achievement was found to be affected by varying family processes. Campbell and Wu (2004) said that the home environment and family processes provide a network of physical, social and intellectual forces and factors which affect the students‟ learning. According to them, the family’s level of encouragement, expectations, and education activities in the home are related to socio-economic status, while Song and Hattie (2004) agreed that families from different socio-economic groups create different learning environments that affect the child’s academic performance. There is no doubt that parents‟ attitudes help to condition their children’s attitudes. A parent who shows complete regard for education might have some effect upon his or her children’s education progress. Many studies have examined the relationships among those constructs and students‟ achievement. Schunk, Pintrich and Meece (2008) affirm the fact that there is a consistent finding of motivation being related to achievement behaviors.
Finally, heredity also increases a chance of students performing better academically in secondary schools. For example, a child can inherit some skills form the parent which either increases or decreases their academic performances in school. Some behaviors are inherited from parents, and a child whose parents are literate may inherit such skill from the parents which the reverse may contribute to the failure in student’s academic performance in secondary school.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Do you know that everyone is born with certain potentials which could be developed under favorable condition for the growth of one’s personality students may be expose to the same curriculum and taught by the teachers, yet they may not attain the same level of success. Some students make good grades one may wonder why they are remarkable difference among students performance in secondary school.
One of the factors that contribute to this difference in students’ attainment is parental status (level of education and socio-economic status). Students performance in school is something which is usually not obvious to the casual observation, expect through an assessment in form of examination and other forms. This is the problem this research work is set to evaluate.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study as intended by to investigate influence of parental status on students’ academic performance in secondary school in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study sought to:
1. Investigate how parental educational level enhances students’ academic performance.
2. Find out how parental motivating incentives improve students’ academic performance.
3. Examine how the parental economic background determines students’ academic performance.
4. Determine how the social status of parents affects the educational performance of students.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study, the influence of parental status in the academic performance among students in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State cannot be over emphasized. The study is not only much significant to Nigeria in general. Amongst the importance of this research works are:
1. It will serve as a reading text to knowledge about how parental status affects the performance of students.
2. It will serve as veritable tools for seminars, public lecturers as well as a medium of awareness campaign on the role of parental status.
3. It will serve as an expository literature, on parents’ involvement irrespective of the occupational status not only to secondary students but to all and sundry.
4. It will help in exposing the teacher to the influence of parental status in the academic performance of the students.
5. It also helps planners to know that children are from different family background.
Above all, this piece of work will offer very useful suggestion on the implication and role of family and teacher play to prevent low parental engagements in the student’s academic performance of Abakaliki Locality and the need to rehabilitate the PTA (parents, teachers association) meeting.
1.5 Research Questions
This study is to find out the influence of parental status on students academic performance in secondary schools in Abakaliki metropolis. The study would answer questions like:
Answers to the following questions:
1. How does parental educational level enhances students academic performance?
2. How does parental motivating incentives improve students’ academic performance?
3. How does parental economic background determine the academic performance of students?
4. How does parental social status affect the educational performance of students?
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study concentrates on the influence of parental status in the academic performance of the students in Abakaliki metropolis Ebonyi State. Some of the public and private schools will be sampled in Abakaliki metroplolis.
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