INFLUENCE OF PARENTAL BACKGROUND ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN

INFLUENCE OF PARENTAL BACKGROUND ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN

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ABSTRACT

This project was designed to research into the influence of home background on the academic performance of children in selected schools in Edo State. To guide the study, five research purpose, five research questions and five research hypotheses were formulated. The design adopted for this study was Ex-post Facto design. The population of the study consists of all primary pupils from the fifty three primary schools in the three local government areas in Benin city Education Zone. The fifty three primary schools in the zone have a population of seven thousand, nine hundred and forty five primary pupils. Out of the fifty three schools, twelve schools were sampled using proportionate random sampling technique. In the twelve schools, all PRI 5 pupils numbering eight hundred and sixteen (816) were used as the subject of the study. The research instrument was questionnaire on family background influence (FBI), designed by the researcher and validated by experts. The reliability of the instrument was established using Crunbach alpha method. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation while t-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The instrument was pilot tested in Obollo Afor Education Zone, using 30 pupils. The reliability coefficient was 0.69. The finding of the study revealed that: Pupils from educated parents achieve more than those from uneducated parents in academics; pupils from high-income status parents enjoy considerable advantage in academic achievement than pupils of low income status parents because their parents were able to afford necessary materials and equipment needed for effective learning in the school; parental level of motivation also influenced pupils’ academic achievement because motivation and reward served as a form of reinforcement for children’s learning at school. Based on these findings, the study recommended among others that parents should diversify their sources of income to be able to provide fund for their children’s schooling. Parents should equally realize the importance of using rewards and other measures to motivate their children.     


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Over the years, the nation has been experiencing a drastic fall in the academic performance of pupils and pupils at the various level of education.  Scholars of different school of though has attributed this ugly trend to many factor such as poor teaching methodology, inadequate instructional facilities and a lot more from the look of things, these scholars seems to heap the blames either on the pupil or the teachers who most times are not actually the immediate causes.

However, a chose observation reveals that this trend has an undeniable relationship with one parental background in terms of their socio-economic status.  Only recently the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria president Olusegun Obasenjo in his monthly presidential media chat, held in October 2003, cried out in regards to the poor academic situation terms that our----'' graduates are fast becoming more of half baked graduated---'' what a mess.

Meanwhile, as this scenario continues to thrive, many more meaningful individuals both from the academic and non-academic field  of the society not only shares their grievances they also point accusing fingers towards the teachers and the pupils. They give little or no attention to the pupil's socio-economic background, which from act appearances seem to be one fundamental cause of poor academic performance in school.

We have it on records that a child spends more time at home with his or her parents than he or she spends in school.  This makes the home of greater influence in this regard.  Little or no wonder it is said ''charity begins at home''

Be that as it may, we cannot over labour the fact that poor performance of a country's citizens at various level of education has a way of tarnishing or beautifying that countries image.

Considering the magnitude of this problem, it therefore becomes very expedient that this project be carried out as it is hoped that it will help in savaging the problem or situation as it were, to a very reasonable extent. It is against this background that the researcher is interested investigating the influence of family background on pupils academic achievement in Benin city education zone of Edo state. The researcher intends to investigate the variables in the family background with a view of assessing their relative influence on academic achievement of primary school pupil in Benin city education zone.

Statement of the Problem 

It is almost becoming a common and accepted knowledge those poor performances of pupil in our school is due to the inadequacies of teachers or pupil non-challant attitude to study. This is purely a wrong assumption that needs an investigation as we cannot afford to loss sight of the drastic effect that ones parental background have on the academic performance of the child.

It is in cognisance of this that the following questions become very important.

1.    What role does the socio-economic position of parent's play in the academic performance of the child?

2.    To what extent does the level of education of parents affect the academic performance of pupils

3.    Is there any relationship between living condition at home and academic performance of pupils?

4.    How does the family structure in terms of monogamy, polygamy and size affect the academic achievement of  pupil

5.    How far does the attitude of parents and guidance affect the academic performance of pupils?

Purpose of the Study

Generally, the purpose of the study was to find out the influence of family background on pupils’ academic achievement among primary school pupils in Benin city Education zone. 

Specifically, the purpose of the study is to find out:

1.                  The influence of parental level of education on academic achievement of primary school pupils.

2.                  The influence of parental occupation on pupils’ academic achievement.

3.                  The influence of parental income on pupils’ academic achievement.

4.                  The influence of family size on pupils’ academic achievement.

5.                  The influence of parental motivation on pupils’ academic achievement.  

Research Questions 

The study will provide answers to the following research questions:

1.                  What is the influence of parental level of education on pupils’ academic achievement?

2.                  What influence does parental occupation have on pupils’ academic achievement?

3.                  What is the influence of parents’ income on pupils’ academic achievement?

4.                  What is the influence of family size on pupils’ academic achievement?

5.                  What influence does parental motivation have on pupils’ academic achievement?

Research Hypotheses 

 The following hypotheses will guide the studying and will be tested at 0.5 level of significance.

1.                  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the influence of parental level of education on pupils’ academic achievement

2.                  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the influence of parental occupation on pupils’ academic achievement.

3.                  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the influence of parents’ income on pupil’s academic achievement.

4.                  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the influence of family size on pupils’ academic achievement.

5.                  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the influence of parental motivation on pupils’ academic achievement. 

Significance of the study 

Theoretically, the findings of this study are considered significant because it can help in providing empirical information in identifying and explaining the various family background variables and the influence of the variables on pupils’ academic achievement. This will help in better understanding of the phenomenon. Moreover, it is expected that the findings will help to explain the functionality of the theoretical postulations Maslow’s motivational theory. According to Maslow, motivation is very important in learning, and a learner under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaivour aimed to achieving the set goal. The pupils is motivated to learn when their physiological need like shelter, food, water, rest and safety needs like love and belonging. The satisfaction of these needs leads to the quest to satisfy higher needs which boarder on self esteem and self actualization. The understanding of this theory especially as it relates to pupils teachers and parents would be of particular significance to researchers in the field of education and family studies.

 Practically, the finding of this study will be useful to the following: the teachers, pupils, parents, school guidance counselors, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), educational administrators and the society at large.  

The finding of the study will be of immense help to the teachers. The teachers will realize the necessity of individualizing their teaching by structuring their teaching methods and instructional resources to take care of the divergent parental backgrounds of the pupils. This method may yield more positive result than the traditional system which assumes that all children have similar family background. The findings of the study will also help teachers to exercise patience with slow-learners as they vary methods of instruction to accommodate divergent family background. 

 The findings will be of immense importance to pupils. The pupils will realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially those from low status families. Such knowledge will go a long way to reduce frustration in the pupils and also reduce drop-outs which occur as a result of frustration. Rather, the pupils should be made to adjust and help themselves by studying hard at home and also make proper of the books and materials that are provided for them at the school library.  Through the findings of this study, parents will realize the importance of improving their educational standard so as to influence their children’s academic performance. Parents will also understand the need for them to improve their socioeconomic status so as to be able to provide the necessary motivation in form of learning materials and other things which will enhance their children’s learning and their academic performance. They will equally acknowledge the importance of positive motivations and encouragement and provide some, by making the family environment more conducive for their children.

 The school guidance counselors will also benefit from the findings of this study. They will be in position to guide and counsel pupils in the area of personal social interactions, academic performance and career choice.

The findings of the study will help Parents Teacher Associations (PTA) of schools in promoting the academic performance of pupil. This is because at PTA meetings, parents know their functions and responsibilities at home, to help solve their children’s problems both home and school environment. 

 The findings of the study will be of immense help to educational administrators. They will use the findings in the formulation of policy that will regulate equal educational opportunities for all children irrespective of their family background in the distribution of equipment, facilities and amenities to schools. 

The findings of this study will help the society at large in identifying how family environmental variables such as what parents’ level of education, parents’ income, parents’ occupation, parents’ motivation and family size on pupil’s academic performance. This will act as a check on increasing low academic performance among pupils, occasioned by the fact that some parents, teachers and counselors do not have adequate knowledge/input required of them.

Scope of Study

The study is limited to primary schools in Benin city education Zone of Edo state. The context scope of this study is limited to finding the influence of family background on academic achievement of pupils with particular regards to parental level of education; parental occupation, parental income, family size and parental motivation.


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