Family Background and Student’s Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools

Family Background and Student’s Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools

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 Abstract

The main aim of this study was to investigate the family background and students’ academic achievement in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. This research demised its sources from textbooks, journals as well as personal interview of the respondent. The research study adopted a survey research design. The population of study consisted of 2000 SSII students who offering Government in the secondary school area. 200 SSII Government students were sampled out from the population using simple random sampling technique. Two (2) instruments were used in the study, thus structured questionnaire titled” Family Background Questionnaire (FBQ) and Government Achievement Test (GAT). Data obtained from research instrument were analyzed using independent t-test and simple percentage statistical method.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youths. This is because education is very important in the development of nation. Education is the process of socializing the child to grow up as a fulfilled member of the society through informal, formal and non-formal process. According to Aremu (2000) Education is the process of developing the capacities and potentials of the individuals as to prepare that individual to be successful in a specific society or culture. Education is also the powerful tool for developing intellectual abilities, shaping cultural attributes, acquiring knowledge and skills as well as a favourable tool to move a nation towards developing it scientific and technological culture.

Achieving this goal requires understanding of commitment to the proposition that education is a primary instrument for social and economic advancement of human welfare (Veoma, 2017). From this perspective, education is serving primarily as an individual development function. According to Nwabachili and Egbue (2003) formal education is a formal setting such as school. Formal education therefore remains the vehicle for human development.

Family is the first social environment the child finds himself. According to Clifford (2002) family remains the primary environment of the child. Clifford went father to emphasize that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual achievement of the child. It is the foundation of education through which all early values, skills, norms and ideas are acquire. (Maduewisi, 2002).

Family background refers to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which influence the child physically, intellectually and emotionally. Muola (2010). Children coming from different family background are affected differently by such family condition that is why some children have good family background while some have poor background. Similarly, various aspects of family background could be responsible for how weak or badly a child performs in the school. Among these factors is the assumption that some children who are from wealthy homes, whose parents are highly educated and are gainfully employed performed better in their academic attainment than their counter parts from cow socio –economic status and uneducated parents.

Family Background and Student’s Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools

Burt (2007) asserted that background of a child affects his educational achievements. Burt went further to explained that family background of students determine how the child views himself and the way he views others. The society is a function of these two factors. In other words, the environment of the child at home determines his behavior as well as how he relates with others. However, the essential factors inherent in a home or family are the socio-economic, cultural and psychological factors. Family background is the bedrock of children’s psychological development, social relation’ moral advancement and socio –economic attainments.

This view was shared by Ajila and Olutola (2009) when they noted that the home has a great influence on the child’s psychological, emotional, social and economic state. Ajila and Olutola went further to state that the home affects the individual since the family is the first point of contact and socializing agent in an individual’s life.

According to Farrant (2004), the child’s home environment could either help to improve or impede a child’s academic achievement both positively and negatively.

Farrant stressed that a child whose environment is conducive is likely to develop his ingenuity to the fullest. Routtedge (2006) supported this fact and added that the child’s home environment also affect the child’s academic achievement in school, his concentration and his whole attitude toward education. For a child to make the best in his education, he needs to be provided with a good learning environment at home such as the availability of educational materials like textbooks, educational pictures, radio, television, light and space the study. A home environment is used as consequential for child development outcomes such as cognitive ability, school readiness, academic achievement and emotional adjustment. (Fantuzz, 2000).

 Fantuzzo went further to state that the academic performance of any child cannot be separated from the home environment in which the child grows up.

Similarly, Bloom (2006) observed that the child’s home environmental conditions are important in the formation of cognitive abilities. According to Bloom, cognitive abilities include a child’s intelligence, his creativity, the manner in which he conducts interpersonal relationship, his level of thinking etc.

Environmental influences help in development of acquisition and proficiency in learning especially language skills. Thus, the family background is the basic institution for producing the child’s primary socialization and laying the educational foundation for the child upon which the other agents of socialization are built. Variance in psychosocial, emotional fortification in the family background could be an indication to high or low academic performance of students.

Lowell (2004) opines that conditions such as each of environmental stimulation may result in dullness and dull children are likely to be backwards in most school subjects. Lowell added that the cause of educational backwardness and retardation are socio-economic background, poverty, poor feeding as well as general neglect of the child. Other factors in the family background include the general standard of living, medical and health care, nutrition, cognitive stimulation and motivation. The moral and emotional condition of the home may equally affect the child’s school work (Amadi, 2013).

The academic performance of any student cannot be separated from the home environment in which the child lives, healthy home environment offers emotional security to a child. Children are motivated to work on activities and learn new information and skills when their environments are rich in interesting activities that arouse their curiosity and offer moderate challenges. The same can be said about home environment, unfortunately there is much variability in motivational influences in homes, some homes have many activities that stimulate children’s thinking such as computer, books and parents who may be heavily interested in their children cognitive development spent time with them on learning. Much of the variability in the relation between family income and children’s intellectual development comes from the family provision of a stimulating home environment. (young, Linver and Brooks, 2002).

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. This supports the view of Maduewisi (2001) that the environmental experiences from family, peer group and school location have great influence in determining the child’s intellectual ability. Similarly, Hebb (2007) observed that the innate potentials of children cannot be attained without adequate stimulating family environment because the child cannot do well intellectually. The implication is that a proper stimulating family environment with intellectual potentials and appropriate teaching methods will definitely enhance maximums achievement of the child.

Family Background and Student’s Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Family background is a product of family size, parental level of education, parental occupation and parental income. Various aspects of family background could be responsible for how weak or badly a child performs in the school. Among these factors is the assumption that some children whose parents are rich (gainfully employed) and are highly educate, performed better in their academic attainment than their counterparts from low –socio-economic status and uneducated parents. But some people hold the opposite view by arguing that most of the children from rich families are way –wards in school academically than children from poor and average families.

Moreso, parents, Government and teacher blame one another for students’ poor performance in schools. Parents blame teachers for lack of dedication to duties. The teachers blame government for poor salaries hence they are poorly motivated, parents also accuse government for not equipping the schools will learning materials while the government blame parents for not doing good home work (provision of good and sound home environment). Also, it appears that some of the parents have erroneous notion about the performance of their children, they do not knows and see not to fulfill their role of guidance and encouragement in the child’s performance in schools.

However, despite the different views, it is not known to what extent family background influences students’ academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area. It is against this background that this study sough to investigate the extents to which family background influences students’ academic achievement in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to investigate family background and student’s Academic achievement in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study aimed at the following objectives:

  1. To examine the influence of parental level of education on students’ academic achievement in secondary schools on Government.
  2. To assess the influence of family size on students’ academic achievement in Government.
  3. To investigate the extent to which parental occupation influence students’ academic achievement in Government.
  4. To examine the influence of parental income on students’ academic achievement in Government.

1.4    Research Questions

The following research questions guide the study:

  1. How does parental level of education influence academic achievement of students in Government?
  2. To what extent does family size influence academic achievement of students in Government?
  3. What does parental occupation influence academic achievement of students in Government?
  4. To what extent does parental income influence academic achievement of student in Government?

1.5    Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated for this study:

  1. There is no significant difference between parental level education and students’ academic achievement in Government.
  2. There is no significant difference between family size and students’ academic achievement in government.
  3. There is no significant difference between parental occupation and students’ academic achievement in government.
  4. There is no significant difference between parental income and students’ academic achievement in government.

1.6    Significance of the Study

These findings of this study were considered significant because it helped in providing empirical information in identifying and explaining the various family background variables and the influence of the variables on students’ academic achievement. Also, the findings of the study would be of immense help to the teachers by making the teachers to realize the necessity of individualizing their teaching by structuring their teaching methods and instructional resources to take care of the divergent parental backgrounds of the students. It will also assist teachers to exercise patience with slow – learners as they very methods of instruction to accommodate divergent family background.

Similarly, the findings would be of immense importance to student. The students would realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially those from low status families. Such knowledge will go a long way to reduce frustration in the students and also reduce drop –out which occur as a result of frustration. Rather, the students should be made to adjust and help themselves by studying hard at home and also make proper use of the books and materials that are provides for them at the school library.

Also, through the findings of this study, school guidance counselors would be in position to guide and counsel students in the area of personal social interactions, academic performance and career choice.

More so, the findings of this study would be of immense help to educational administrators, they will use the finding in the formulation of policy that will regulate equal educational opportunities for all children irrespective of their family background in the distribution of equipment, facilities and amenities to school.

1.7    Basic Assumptions of the Study

The following assumptions were made to guide this research study:

  1. It is assumed that a good family background which constitute; family size, parental level of education, income of parents and parental occupation will help to enhance the academic achievement of students.
  2. That the home is the first and significant learning environment of every child.
  3. That family background varies per family.
  4. That family background provides training or educates children through an informal way.
  5. That government is taught in public schools from senior secondary one to senior secondary three (SS1 – SS3).

1.8    Delimitation of the Study

This research work focuses on family background and students’ academic achievement in government in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area; Akwa Ibom State. Only influence of family size, parental level of education. Parental occupation and parental income were considered for this study. Other variables such as parental care and parental motivation were not selected for this study.

1.9    Operational Definition of Terms

Family background: It refers to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which influence the child physically, intellectually and emotionally. It constitutes, family size, parental level of education, parental income and occupation of parents which influence the child development and academic achievement.

Academic achievement: As used in this study, academic achievement refers to knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test and examination scores. The most well – known indicator for measuring academic achievement is grades which reflects the student’s score for their subjects and overall. Tenure for instance, from (0 -49) indicate a failed mark while from (50 – 100) indicate a passed mark.