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PARENTAL VARIABLES AND STUDENTS’ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the process which prepares an individual for development and to actualize his/her potentials and capacities to live a successful life. As a process, education begins right from birth and continues throughout one’s life. Rahuman and Uddin (2009) stated that education is one of the basic needs and is fundamental for growth and development of both developed and developing countries. Development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education offered. Akanle (2007) stated that the basis for any development must commence with the development of human resources through education. Achieving a high level of educational attainment requires an understanding that education is a primary instrument for social, economic and political pursuits. United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2003) added that through education, all marginalized individuals can lift themselves out of all depressions to fully contribute to issues of national development. One of the subjects offered in educational institution is social studies.
Social Studies is an integrated subject connected with all aspects of human existence to enable man live a fulfilled and comfortable life. It is a study of people in relation to social, economic, environmental, cultural, physical and psychological lives. It has to do with all round development of human beings to enable them become useful citizens in the society. To Kochhar (2012), Social Studies is concerned with aspects of the Social sciences selected for instructional purposes applied to include anything pertinent to the immediate purpose of learning and adapted to the level of comprehension of the student. Parents have enormous responsibility to ensure quality academic achievement of their children.
The students’ academic achievement comprised of a comprehensive continuous assessment of students (Federal Ministry of Education, 2006). It is used to determine the actual performances and traits validly and reliably measured through educational training (Kpolovie, 2002; Ololube, 2008). In Nigeria, students’ success at secondary school level depends on their academic achievement after taking the organized national examinations conducted by West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO). For these reasons, the future success of the educational system is hinged on students’ academic achievement at secondary schools level (Alam and Farid, 2011). This is particularly so because of the current processes of globalization and technological revolution and emphasis placed on the need for increased high literacy level which create greater demands for higher education provided in universities and colleges.
Students in secondary schools are obviously the potential assets of these educational institutions and only those with adequate academic skills and knowledge can score high enough to enter these high institutions. According to Akomolafe (2011), quality education in higher institutions depends upon the potential academic skills and knowledge of secondary school students after their completion. Hence, stakeholders in education consider the students’ academic achievement at this level an important goal to produce the best quality candidates for the higher institutions and national development. In view of these, the social, political, technological, and economic developments of Nigeria is indirectly linked and rely upon with the students’ academic achievement at secondary school level, the foundation of which begins right from home.
Parents are the first teachers of their children. In the light of this, parental education influences student’s academic performance. Ahmad (2013) suggested that children from families where parents have less education tends to perform systematically worse in school than pupils whose parents have more education. To him, educated parents provide intellectual, economical, psychological and emotional support to their children who in turn make them to be more comfortable and adjusted to their learning and development, and this result in high academic performance.The importance of parental level of education to academic performance of students cannot be over emphasized. Students from professional occupational backgrounds exhibit higher academic performance (Gary, 2001). In support of this view, Onochie and Okpalla (2005) opined that educational level of parents which is an indicator of socio-economic status has direct influence on children’s values and academic performance in the school. They mentioned that children from illiterate families may learn little or nothing from the home that can help them develop interest in academics. This is in contrast to what is obtainable from children of literate families where parents provide the atmosphere conducive for the formation of good study habits (Qeca, 2000).
Parental occupation is also an important factor in students’ academic performance. The occupation of one’s parents may determine to a large extent one’s opportunity to attend secondary school or not. Ezeji (2001) noted that parents like their children to take to their occupation, such as parents who are lawyers, doctors, musicians among others. Uwaoma (2006) asserted that most vocational students were children whose parents were farmers or craftmen. In Nigeria most children whose parents cannot afford to pay for high cost of formal education enroll into apprenticeship programmes such as carpentry, brick-laying, and petty trading, among others.
Families are of various sizes. According to Alio (2005) family size has implication for education. The author emphasized that the size of the family determines to a great extent the relative amount of physical attention and time which each child gets from his parents. Family size has to do with the total number of people in a single family which may include the father, mother, children and even the extended members – all living in one home. Large families are more common among the lower class of the society. Children in large families may suffer poverty and lack parental encouragement and stimulus which motivate their academic performance (Eamon, 2005). Similarly, smaller family sizes have been linked with high academic performance and that students with fewer siblings are likely to receive more parental attention and have support that leads to better school performance. The family, small or large size, remains the primary environment of every child. The families begin the process of education and provide physical and psychological needs of the child (Majoribank, 2006).
Parents’ motivation is another factor which influences the academic performance of students. Eamon (2005) opined that supportive and attentive parenting practices positively affect academic achievement of students. In addition, high parental aspirations have been associated with increasing students’ interest in education (Majoribanks, 2006). Okwulanya (2003) opined that motivation from educated parents strengthens the academic aspiration and language development in their children to perform better in their academic work. Students under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaviour aimed at achieving academic set goals. The achievement of these goals determines the motive.
Residence plays a major role in child’s learning and academic performance. Brown (2003) mentioned that achievement gap between urban and rural areas did exist as a result of their peculiar differences. But while some students from rural areas had above average, others are just an average (Brown, 2003). It is important to keep in mind that both urban and rural students might differ from one another on the basis of the peculiarities in their residential settings. Students can generally do well in examination scores as well as or do better than one another depending on the level of influence of their geographical and demographic factors and the educational opportunities given by the environment (Loveless, 2003; Williams, 2003).
This study was undertaken to look critically at the influence of parental variables on students’ academic achievement in Social Studies in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.