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1.1 Background to the Study
The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hands of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologists that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home. It is not out of place to imagine that parental economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school. Whatsoever affect the development environment of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. Parental status is one of such variables. When a woman’s nutritional status improves, so too does the nutrition of her young children (Lisa cited in Ogunshola and Adewale, 2012).
Parents of different socio economic classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes (Rothestein, 2004). The home has a great influence on the child’s psychological, emotional, social and economic state. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2000), the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual's life. This is because the family background and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance.
Education being one other major means of providing an opportunity in life and belong to a suitable social class, modern Nigeria family now plays crucial roles in the performance of children in school. It is widely recognized that many factors are involved in child’s academic performance such factors as parental educational level, occupation, income, social class and type of parenthood for instance the socio-economic characteristics of the family in school. All these factors have a bearing also on the duration of the student stay and achievement at school. On this premise, Hill (2004) pointed out that socio-economic status of parents has some influence on the academic performance of children.
Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. Observations and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by Secondary School Students in Biology in recent times. Hence, poor academic performance were recorded both at the junior and senior secondary school WASSCE levels of education in Nigeria (Tenibiaje, 2009).
The performance of students at all levels in educational institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry from time immemorial. Poor academic performance of students has been of great concern to educationists, guidance and counsellors in particular. Despite all guidance programmes and counseling strategies mounted in schools to improve students’ academic performances, poor performances are recorded yearly.
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