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THE INFLUENCE OF HOME ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF JSS 1 STUDENTS
Home environment has been unravelled by research to be one of the factors that influence the academic achievement of students. This study explored home environment and its influence on the academic achievement of students. This study was guided by research objectives, questions and hypotheses that included the influence of parenthood on the academic performance of students, the influence of socio-economic status on the academic performance of students and the influence of family size on the academic performance of students. Literature review covering relevant texts and documents on the research topic was done. The researcher adopted the descriptive survey research design. The study was carried out among secondary school students from four secondary schools in Lagos Island Local Government Area of Lagos state. A sample of 100 students were taken from the four secondary schools. The researcher administered questionnaires to the selected respondents for data collection. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were used which included frequency tables and chi square for the hypotheses. The results of the study showed that: Parenthood (whether single-parents or both parents) has an influence on the academic performance of secondary school students; Socio-economic status has an influence of academic performance; Family size has an influence on socio-economic status.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the basic tool used by the society for transmission of its values. It is of prime importance not only to 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, 2010).Awoniyo (2011) 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 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 fall in the academic standards of our present educational system. These include; attitudes of teachers to work, lack of seriousness on the part of the students, dwindling economy and to some extent the increasingly 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 needed for effective learning. The worry then is, why is education standards falling continuously in the system?
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 (2010) asserts that the cultural background of the family is determined to a large extent by its socio-economic background. As the child grows up and moves out to the 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 moulds the personality of the child. Nigeria, for instance, which is a society with diverse ethnic groups and 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 setting or mode of settlement of the family and extended family system may equally influence the educational upbringing of a child and consequently, their academic performance.
Denga (1986) cited in Eyake (2007) 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 encouragement. 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.
A child’s educational development can be influenced by family. Individual members of the family serve as a model to the child as he/ she copies from each of them Eyake (2007). According to Adeyemi (2007), if the house fails to provide the child with the necessary equipment to fit him/ her into his proper place in the society and guided properly for his/ her future career, then the child is endangered. An analysis of the percentage of secondary school dropouts today shows that such students are usually from broken homes, polygamous families or with other socially related problems.
The larger the size of the family, the more economic and other social responsibilities the parents bring upon bear. 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 of funding the education of the children. Other factors may affect the educational performance of students; for instance, parents’ separation on grounds of different working stations, divorce or even natural death can bring adverse effects 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 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 (2010) 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.
This research work is therefore intended to explore the degree to which the above-mentioned factors influence the educational performance of students with a view to making useful suggestions that would help in checking them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Societies all over the world strive to give qualitative education for their citizenry. Many factors contribute to this, among which is the home environment 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 level of education of parents affects children’s academic progress and impacts on the school managers work.
Experience has shown that among the secondary school students, there exist some differences which influence students’ academic performance, such as some students’ inability to pay their school fees promptly, some students have problem with the provision of basic school needs but others do not. Furthermore, some students are motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books, others were not, while some students come to school properly fed, others are not. One then wonders what influence the home plays in these issues. Based on these, this research aims to find out if there exists a relationship between home environment and academic achievement of JSS1 students in Lagos Island Local Government Area of Lagos state.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
There is no gain for any country whose educational planners and policy makers stand and watch the falling standard and steady decline of her education. They must identify the causes for such decline with a view to proffering solutions to them.
This research work is set to accomplish the following objectives;
i. To investigate the effect of single parenthood and double parenthood on the academic performance of students.
ii. To find out if social-economic status of parents influence the students’ academic performance.
iii. To find out the influence of family size on educational achievement of students.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this research work the following research questions have been formulated;
a) Will there be any difference in the academic performance of students with single parents and those with both parents?
b) Will there be an influence of parents’ socio-economic status on the academic performance of students?
c) Will there be an influence of family size on the academic performance of students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study;
(a) There will be no significant influence of parenthood on the academic performance of students.
(b) There will be no significant influence of parents’ socio-economic status on the academic performance of students
(c) There is no significant relationship between family size and the academic performance of students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
A work of this nature when completed may help the parents to be aware of the effect the family has on children and how such affects the child positively or negatively in relation to their academic performance. From the available recommendations, they will be able to adopt measures of bringing up their children in such a way that they will perform well academically.
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 their parents inability to provide them with all the necessary requirements in school, and also sympathize with them in family problems and situations.
More so, educational and curriculum planners could be guided in planning the curriculum without rigidity to suit diverse cultural environments. In addition, the teachers would be aware that a cordial teacher parent relationship may in a way improve the influence of family background on the academic performance of a child in school. The research of this nature is likely to help the state, nation and the world in general benefit from as adherence to the recommendations and implementation will help produce youths who would be better leaders of tomorrow. Finally, the research when completed may add to available literature and may encourage further research on the topic.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work shall consider Junior Secondary School students in public schools in Lagos Island Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
As words may mean differently in different contexts, the following definitions are given as the words used as intended to be understood for the purpose of this study.
FAMILY: Is a unit comprising of husband, wife and children.
FAMILY SIZE: The number of people in the family.
FAMILY SYSTEM: This includes monogamy and may be nuclear or extended family.
HOME ENVIRONMENT: This refers to parental experience and aspirations for children, objects and material conditions in the home for comfort and also specific behavioral processes conducive to learning.
EDUCATIONAL UPBRINGING: This refers to education of children and how they perform in academics when subjected to test or examination.
EDUCATIONAL STATUS: This term is used for social processes in which one achieve social competence and individual growth, carried on in a selected, controlled sitting which can be institutionalized as a school or college.
OCCUPATIONAL STATUS: Person’s trade, vocation or principal means of earning living.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS: This refers to position of recognition which one finds him in the society. Such a position may not be hereditary but acquired through personal efforts like education, wealth, occupation and social class.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: This refers to the students’ achievement, scores within the class and his position relative to all those subjected to the same test.
EFFECTS: the result or outcome of anything be it positive or negative.
HOME SITUATION: This refers to prevailing atmosphere in the home whether violent, resentful or in disarray.
PARENTAL ATTITUDE: Parents disposition to respond in a characteristic way to some stimulus in their social environment. Some responses determine the way and manner their children are brought up by them.
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