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THE INFLUENCE OF PARENTAL BACKGROUND ON STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS EDUCATION IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
One of the variables affecting success in education is the attitude of the students towards the discipline, school, teacher and other learning items. Education is the best legacy parents can give to their children. The development of the nation starts from the family. When the family succeeds in teaching and impacting good values in their children, the society becomes a better place to live. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resource. Formal education is the demonstration of such desires to effectively and efficiently build a sound and strong economy. However, the over-all philosophy and objective of education in Nigeria states among others that: the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and equal education opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary level (National Policy on Education,2004). Numerous factors have been identified in various research studies to be responsible for the continuous declining of our educational system. Various factors such as classroom size, poor teacher-student relationship, school-community relationship, attitude of teachers towards work, lack of seriousness on the part of students, in-adequate instructional materials and other facilities. Motivation for this study is based on the fact that some students have a positive attitude towards education while some are extremely negative. When such variations in attitude 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 interact with the wider society, his/her interaction with it and perception of it are largely determined from his/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, beliefs, religion. These factors pose their own restrictions on educational upbringing of children. The social setting or mode of settlement of the family and extended family system may equally influence the attitude of a child and by extension, their educational upbringing. Motivation is most needed 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 positive attitude. 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 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. 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 attitude of students from such family is always negative. This is because such parents might not be able to afford the cost of funding education for the children. Other factors may affect the education performance of students like 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 the parent 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 whose physical and mental development poses real challenges to the schools effort at optimum development of the child.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The attitude of students towards studying constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to parents, schools manger, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of students’ in secondary schools. Experience has shown that among the secondary school students’ there exist some differences which influence students academic performance, such as some students’ being able to pay their school fees promptly, while others were often sent away for nonpayment of school fees, some students have problem with the provision of school uniform but others do not. Likewise, some students were motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books; others were not, where as some students’ come to school properly fed, others are not. In the light of this, the main problem of this research is to find out if parental background has an influence on students’ attitude towards education in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main objective of the studywas to examine the influence of parental background on students’ attitude towards educationin Uyo Local Government Area. Specific objectives of the study seek to:
- Investigate the influence of socio-economic status of parents on the students’ attitude towards education.
- Examine ifthe occupation of parents influence their students’ attitude towards education.
- Assess whether educational attainment of parent affect their students’ attitude towards education.
- Ascertain if marital status of parents affects their students’ attitude towards education.
1.4 Research Questions
- How does the socio-economic status of parents influence students’ attitude towards education?
- To what extent does occupation of parents influence their students’ attitude towards education?
- How does educational attainment of parent affect their students’ attitude towards education?
- To what extent does marital status of parents affect their students’ attitude towards education?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypothesis is stated in null form and tested at 0.05 level significance.
- The socio-economic status of parents has no significant influence on students’ attitude towards education.
- Occupation of parents has no significant influence on their students’ attitude towards education.
- Educational attainment of parent has no significant influence on their students’ attitude towards education.
- Marital status of status has no significant influence on the students’ attitude towards education.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study would be meaningful to parents. It would make them to be aware of the effect the family has on children and how such affect the child positively or negatively in relation to their attitude towards education. From the available recommendations, they would be able to adopt measures of bringing up them in such a way that they would have a positive attitude towards education. Similarly, it is likely to encourage parents to make their children relatively comfortable in schools. This study also could aid children of various families to be aware and bear in mind with their parents’ inability to provide them with all the necessary requirements in schools, and also sympathize with them in family problems and situations. Education policy makers, in the Ministry of Education, school administrators and members of boards of governors could use the findings of this study to make guidelines and policies to help students to be more responsible and successful in school by setting guidelines that will educate them on how to choose subjects. This is going to help policy makers in schools and outside schools to have a point of reference. This study will be meaningful to teachers who are professionally and pedagogically qualified in the field of education. In addition, the teachers would be aware that a cordial teacher parent relationship may in a way improve the influence of family background on students’ attitude in school. The research of this nature is likely to help the state, nation and the world in general benefit from their adherence to the recommendations and implementation will help produce youths who would be better leaders of tomorrow.
Finally, the research would add to available literature, provide meaningful information to the students, individuals, companies and government in order to ensure that adequate measure are taken to address the parental background variables that exert negative influence on the attitude of students who are intending to study education and may encourage further research on the topic. Thus, right attitude keen interest and feeling of fulfilled desire influence the occurrence and re-occurrence of learning.