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OPTIMUM LEVEL IN ACADEMIC PURSUIT
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youth. This is because the development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources.
Academic performance or attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. One of the things that stand out as a major influence or determinant of student academic performance in secondary school is the family background. The family is the primary environment of the students and it stand to exert tremendous impact of the students academic performance (Redding , 2006: Nyarko 2010 ). Moreover, the family is the primary agent of education in the child, thus the way the child lives, the food he or she eats and his / or her life style is influence by the family. The type of family system a child is expected to cold influence his/ her academic performance in school.
Kellaghan (1993) affirmed, that academic success of a child depends greatly on what parents do in the family. Stephen and ceci (2001) observed that parent child interactions are forces that lead to better academic performance. Also, Aremu ( 2000) , found in his study that students that received democratic type of parenting, performance better than which their counterpart from autocratic homes
Furthermore, many children have been hindered from reaching their optimum level in academic pursuit due to some negative factors arises from the family. These include lack of parental encouragement, lack of conducive environment, poor finance and housing, poor feeding, ill-health and lack of interest on the parts of the students . Children whose school needs are not provided for at home may forever remain underachievers and this could effects the general development of the country in terms of physical and human resources development .
According to Hurt (1961). The amount of quality and learning that a child receives rest and family environmental factors such as the socio-economic status of parents which include education, family style, the social climate in the home and the level of intelligence of parents.
In the natural sense of it, every students desires to perform well academically. This however cannot just come in a platter of gold. A better academic performance requires hard work, commitment, dedication, perseverance, and above all effective study behaviour which is only stimulated if the environment encourages such . The family environment affects school works, and associated activities. The effects of poor academic performance during the school years often carry over to the adulthood with a higher proportion of school drops out, behavioural problem and even delinquency among the population.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is obvious that education and training of students at all levels is the concern of parents and the government. Despite this, the performance of the students especially in the secondary school level in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom in particular has attracted much criticism from all and sundry from time immemorial, this is due to the fact that students still perform poorly their terminal and certificate examinations.
Many students are not really taking their academic work serious. When they are not performing well in their examinations, the tend to put the blame on others they also claim that some examinations too difficult and poorly moderated while some attributes is to the general indiscipline at large parents on their parts homes both the teachers and the students.
This research therefore is to investigate the effect of the family variables on the academic performance of the junior secondary school in social studies. Family variables such as home environment, size of the family socio-economic status of the parents, and educational background of parents will be adopted as yardsticks in carrying this .
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is to investigate the family variable and students’ academic performance in social studies in junior secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Specifically the study aimed at the following objectives.
(1) To determine the Influence of parental socio - economic status on students” academic performance in social studies.
(ii) To examine the influence of parental educational background on students ‘ academic performance in social studies.
(iii) To assess the influence of family size on students’ academic performance in social studies.
(iv) To ascertain the influence of home environment on students academic performance in social studies.
1.4 Research Questions
This research work sought to answer the following research questions;
1) Does the socio-economic status of parents influence student’s academic performance in social studies?