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1.1 Background to the study
Education plays a prominent role in the overall development of a Nation. Education not only provides knowledge and skills, but also inculcates values, training of instincts, fostering right attitudes and habits. Hornby (2001) defines education as a process of teaching, training and learning especially in schools or colleges, to improve knowledge and development of skills. The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hands of the parents. And parents are the most important and influential elements in the lives of their children. They have the power, ability to shape, sustain and develop their children who will be interested, creative and tolerant, through their positive involvement in the learning process and educational activities. On the other hand, parents who do not involve in their children educational process are likely to be capable of repressing and destroying the motivation and ability of their children through neglect and indifference to their achievements.In addition,
Adeyemo (2001) explains that the child‟s first place of contact with the world is the family. The child as a result acquires initial education and socialization from parents and others significant persons in the family. The parents indeed are the child‟s first teacher, and when parents are involved in the education of their children; having interest in mathematics early enough, such children are likely to perform and achieve better result later.
In another development, academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. Observation and reports have shown that success or higher academic performance has become a herculean task to accomplish by students in recent times. Poor academic performance was recorded both at the secondary schools and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria. The performance of students at all levels of educational institutions in
Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry. Poor academic performance of students has been of great concern to educationist, guidance and counselors in particular. Despite all guidance programmed and counseling strategies mounted in schools to improve the students‟ academic performance that were recorded yearly. It becomes necessary to find out the causes of such poor academic performance in Nigeria‟s secondary schools. Though these poor academic performances have been attributed to students‟ factors such as attitude to school, approach to learning and academic self-concept. Apart from the students‟ school factors, parents‟ factors such as parents‟ supportiveness, poverty, gender, values also cause poor academic performance. More so, other socio-economic status of parent includes parental education, parents‟ occupation, and parents‟ family size. The socio-economic status therefore is a way of dividing members of the society in terms of wealth, prestige and live chances. Hornby (2001) sees socio-economic as relating to society and economic of people from different background. The socio-economic status of a family may likely affect the schooling of the children either positively or negatively. Parental education is one of the socioeconomic variables likely to influence academic performance of students. The occupational statuses of parents as another socio-economic variable likely influence students‟ academic performance positively or negatively.
The family size is another socio-economic status that is likely to influence students‟ academic performance. Family size therefore deals with the number of siblings in the family. The more the family size, the less sufficient would be the resources to carter for the family, vice versa. Therefore, it is on the basis of the variables so far discussed that the background of this study is based.
In the Federal Government of Nigeria (2004) national policy on education, has been adopted in education as an instrument “par excellence” for effective national development.
However, despite the government‟s commitment to education, the quality of education in our schools seems to have been somewhat declining, thereby giving successive governments‟ serious concern.Similarly, the indicator of this poor quality of education is apparently visible in the somewhat poor in the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) in recent years. For instance, in year 2013, about 74.6% students performed poorly while 25.4% did well in SSCE. (Akwa Ibom State education resource centre, 2013).The poor performance in the junior secondary school examinations has been blamed on the students‟ inability to face their studies squarely as well as parents‟ inability to offer their socio-economic support to their children. Unfortunately, business studies is one of such secondary school subjects that have been plagued by poor performance. Business studies is an important subject in the school‟s curriculum as it is considerable body of knowledge that is useful to the nation. Business studies is an aspect of vocational education. It is also a fundamental subject which can be seen as a basic necessity for understanding the economic developmental process, not only at the individual level but at the national level.
As a matter of fact, business studies is regarded as a pre-vocational course, which is offered to provide opportunity for gainful employment or for self-employment. Aliyu(2001) has pointed out that, the aim of business Studies is to educate students in a cluster of skills or specific jobs. This is because of the belief that such skills would enable a student to be minimally competent in many specific tasks and also be able to develop the proper attitudes to service that are required in the business office. Also, based on the prospect that business studies offers to the learners, the researcher expect that effective teaching of the subject in Akwa Ibom State may likely render it as one of the subjects that may make possible contribution to the economic development of the state.
1.2 Statement of the problem
There have been numerous controversies over the question of academic performance of Nigeria secondary school students. The low performance of students especially the SSCE has clearly lent credence to this study. The academic performance of the students is a reoccurring issue, usually both in and outside the academic circles. Teachers are often blamed for low academic performance of the students, without actually finding out other related factors that can contribute to the students‟ problem as far as academic is concerned. Most people are quick in pointing accusing fingers on both the child and the teachers, should the whole problem be heaped on the teachers who always want the best from their students? The truth is that the foundation of the child socialization is laid at home, more so, they spent more time at home than in school. Many factors in the family could have contributed to the high or low performance of the students. More so, students‟ massive failure in Business studies at the Senior Secondary Schools certificate examination in Akwa Ibom State in recent times precisely in 2011 to 2014 is considered alarming and this does not seems to augur well for Akwa Ibom State government. Some researchers tends to attribute the massive failure of students in examinations to poor teaching methods, while others observed that students are responsible for the massive failure as a result of poor reading habit and lack of interest in the subject.Abubakar, (2015) has observed that inadequacy in reading habit affects not only reading for leisure but also for academic success.
The evidence of this poor academic performance of the students can be seen in SSCE conducted by Akwa Ibom State government in year 2013; the results revealed that 74.6% of the students who sat for Business studies examination performed poorly while only25.4% did well. (Akwa Ibom State Education Resource Centre, 2015). In view of this, the researcher had an urge to carry out this study using empirical evidence to find out precisely whether socioeconomic status of the parents influence academic performance of students of Business studies in Government Senior Secondary Schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to assess the influence of socio-economic status of parents on secondary school students‟ academic performance in business studies in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. Specifically, the study seeks to:
i. Determine the extents to which parents‟ level of education influence students‟ academic performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom state.
ii. Determine the extents to which occupations of parents influence their students‟ performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
iii. Determine the extents to which parents‟ family size influence their students‟ academic performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 Research Questions
The research work provides answers to the following questions:
i. To what extents does parents‟ level of education influence their students‟ academic performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State?
ii. To what extent do the occupations of parents influence students‟ performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State?
iii. To what extent do parents‟ family sizes influence students‟ academic performance in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom state?
1.5 Testing of Null Hypotheses
In line with the general and specific objectives, the following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significant.
i. There is no significant difference between performance of students whose parents have higher educational qualification and those with lower educational qualification in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
ii. The occupations of parents do not significantly influence the performance of male and female students in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom state.
iii. The family size of students do not significantly influence their academic performance in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom state.
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of the study are expected to be beneficial to the following:
The findings of the study would be of tremendous benefit to teachers which would help them have better understanding of the influence of parents‟educationon academic performance of students. This will go a long way to affect the teaching and learning of business studies in senior secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State. Hence, they will provide the students with positive educational guidance such as the choice of future career in business that would be of beneficial to them in their chosen occupation. And equally advice parents through Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to sensitize them on ways to take care of their children‟s education and improve their academic performances.
The findings of the study would be useful to Senior Secondary Schools‟ students to suggest measures to understand their parental statuses and this will enhance effective and better academic performance of the students.
The findings of the study would be beneficial to parents to provide them with information on how they would improve or otherwise the academic performance of their wards positively or negatively. Also, the findings would help parents to counsel and guide their children both at home and in school. More so, it will assist parents to take up their responsibilities as parents.
The findings of the study would also be significant to educational authorities by providing educational facilities and equipment such as computers and text books to facilitate effective learning in order to provide functional education in the society. This will help students from less privileged parents used such materials they would not be provided by the home.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the study
For the purpose of the study, it is assumed that:
(i) Parents‟ education influences academic performance of students in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
(ii) Parents „occupation influences academic performance of male and female students of in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
(iii) Parents‟ family size influences academic performance of male and female students in secondary schools in Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to government Senior Secondary Schools in Uyo local government area and specifically, Senior Secondary Schools‟ (SSS2 and SSS3) students in three selected Government Senior Secondary Schools (GJSS) in the study area. SSS2 and SSS3 Students were selected because they have more knowledge of the subject and covered a large portion of the syllabus in schools. The schools were selected as a result of been the oldest schools in that area. Also, the study was delimited to students‟ respective parents/guardians who are civil servants or public servants in Uyo local government area. This was because of their level of employment status, education, and family sizes. More so, the study is delimited to students‟ promotional examinations result records, because it showed the students‟ academic performance.
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