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THE INFLUENCE OF FAMILY BACKGROUND ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PHYSICS IN IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is a basic tool used by society for transmission of its societal values. It has become an area of prime importance not only for government or voluntary agencies but also for individuals, families, Governments and communities. Voluntary agencies and individuals are committing a lot of resources in order to achieve success in the educational enterprise (Orhungur, 1990).
Awoniyo (1991) put it that the government believes that the greatest investment of a nation should be in her people. The greatness of any nation depends on the genius, qualities, attitudes and aspirations of her people and it cannot expect to be ignorant and free at the same time.
Many factors and reasons have been given as being responsible for the continuous falling in the academic standard of our present educational system. These includes; attitudes of teachers to work, lack of seriousness on the part of the students, effect of the dwindled economy and to some extent the increasing degenerating moral system. Despite all possible efforts put forward by various governments and voluntary agencies to curb these trends, the country is yet to witness the rise it desires to see in the educational system.
The saddest irony of it all is that we have all the teaching facilities and equipments with modern infrastructures, more qualified and experienced teachers now than we had in the past, more improved effective teaching methods and strategies and all the facilities as well as basic amenities one could need foe effective learning. The worry then was, why is education falling continuously in the system today?
The researchers’ interest and motivation in this topic is the fact that some students are exceptionally good in their work, while some extremely bad. When such variations in scores are traced it is more often discovered that family background is a major contributory factor. It is therefore important that the levels of such contributions and the influence they have on children be examined so that useful suggestions to parents, teachers, educational planners and government could be made.
Orhungur (1990) asserts that the cultural background of the family is determined to a large extent by its socio-economic background. As the child grows up moves out to the interest wider society his/her interaction with it and perception of it are largely determined from her earlier, experiences at home. The family setting and its socializing influence mould the personality of the child. Nigeria, for instance is a society with diverse ethnic groups with various cultural background in areas like family size, occupation and in extreme cases, religion. These factors pose their own restrictions on educational upbringing of children. The social sitting or mode of settlement of the family and extended family system may equally influence the academic performance of a child and by extension, their educational upbringing.
Motivation is most need in order to perform more efficiently in their area of endeavor. When certain factors are eminent in a child’s family background, it is clear that the child will be motivated and driven towards high academic goal.
Denga (1986) in Eyake (1997) advised that praises, incentives, recommendations and other forms of reward system should be employed as motivational factors to stimulate students to higher achievements. It is likely that the much a child achieves during his school days is largely dependent on the kind of family to which he/ she belongs. For instance, a child whose parents take a great deal of interest in what he/ she does at school and give him / her necessary support by providing all the required books and finances needed has a great advantage over a child whose parents do not give him this kind of incentives and encouragements.
More so, students’ attitudes to learning and educational performances are shaped by the kind of stimuli offered to them by their various environments. This can be considered in terms of the type of family, the home, parental social orientation, educational level, occupation to mention but a few. It is therefore, evident that students’ performance is contingent on the stimulus the home offers.
Educational upbringing is not unconnected with the family influence of a child. Individual members of the family serve as a model to the child as he/ she copies from each of them. Eyake (1997) quoted. Adeyeme (1977) if the house fails to provide the child with the necessary equipments to fit him/ her into his proper place in the society and guided properly for his/ her future career, then the child is damaged. An analysis of the percentage of secondary school dropout today entails that such students are usually from broken homes, wiring polygamous family or with other socially related problems.
The agrarian and large families have accounted for the polygamous life of people. The large the size of the family, the more economic and other social responsibilities the parents bring upon themselves. And more often than not, the educational performance of students from such family suffer serious setback. This is because such parents might not be able to afford the cost funding education for the children.
Other factors may affect the education performance of studentslike separation on grounds of different working station, divorce or even natural death can bring adverse effect on the growth and development of a child.
Furthermore, economic position of parents is one of major factors that can influence greatly the educational upbringing of a child. In most families, either or none of parents may be earning income sufficient enough to sustain the family, faced with malnutrition and other emotional and psychological effects, the mental development of the child would be greatly retarded. Orhunger (1990) adds that a low income family with plenty of feeding problems may produce children who physical and mental development poses real challenges to the schools effort at optimum development of the child.
This research work is therefore intended to explore the degree to which these factors influence the educational performance of students with a view to making useful suggestions that would help in checking the system.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Societies all over the world strive to achieve quantitative education for her citizenry. In order to achieve this noble course, so many factors must be put into consideration. Among them is the family background of the child. The family has a great role to play on the overall development of the child and his educational upbringing in particular.
The gap in performance between students and academic excellence constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to both parents, schools mangers, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of students’ in secondary school schools.