1.1 Background to the Study
Man as a social being is endowed with different abilities to explore his environment and possibly to improve the lots of mankind. That is why there are differences in educational attainment of students. However, these variances are not only found in students’ characteristics like hereditary, age, sex and intelligence quotients which are believed to relate more strongly to his/her achievement levels. A considerable portion of variation in students could be accounted for, in other forms via socio-economic status of parents, family and environment, (family size), beliefs, value and prestige, reward of higher educational parental choice etc. The effects of socio-economic background of parents on the achievement of their children in school have been a great factor in the recent decade in academic system in the country.
Socialization is the study of the society. Various sociological schools of thought have asserted that in deciding whether a child performs well or not at school is of immense importance to identify the difference between the influence of the socio-economic background of parents and their children’s academic achievement and attainment. Coleman (1975) and Medill (1963) have argued that parental financial position and their level of education also reflects strongly on students’ performances. This is so because it is generally accepted that the educated parents mostly value education. However, the background of a child affects his success in schools. Levine and Harighurt (1975) discovered that all societies large or small, primitive or modern show social status group phenomenon of ranks. The leader and people of high esteem occupying position at the top, others occupy intermediate position, yet others are at the foot of the ladder in social scale.
Social environmental factors have been found to affect educational achievement of a child. These factors include:
a. Occupational status of his parents.
b. The parent’s attitude towards their children’s school and expectation that they have for their children.
Boocock (1973) and Durbey (1972 & 1973) explain that parents of socio-economic upper class have more positive attitudes towards their children schooling and also have high expectations and standard for the children as they are given high motivation of success in school. The status of parents determines the type of education that the child is bound to receive; wealthy parents often allow their children to attend private schools, while the less privilege or opportune parents send their children to public school where the school fees are affordable to them. Students’ progress through school is reflected not only in grades list scores and accounts of personal behavior in the classroom but in the characteristics. Parents not only train children towards the social norms of the society but improve their socio-economic background towards achieving a stated goal. It’s therefore, imperative and immense benefit to look at the effect of socio-economic background of parents on the academic achievement of their children in schools.
1.2 Statement of Problem
This project is designed to investigate the effect of socio-economic background on the academic achievement of their children in school at Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State. The research aimed at investigating the extent of the following sub-problems:
1. To what extent does parents’ background usually affect their children’s academic performance?
2. To what extent do children from the home of low income group attend school regularly because of their parents’ inability to provide for school requirements and equipment adequately?
3. To what extent there exist good parents – child relationship, how such affects their children’s academic performance?
1.3 Research Questions
To evaluate the socio-economic background as it affects the academic achievement of children in schools, the following research questions were raised:
1. Is there any significant difference between children from wealthy parents and those from poor parents in terms of academic achievement?
2. Is there any major difference between the academic ends, achievements of children from broken home and children from unbroken homes?
3. Is there difference between the academic performance of children from polygamous families and the children from monogamous families?
4. Is there significant difference between the academic achievement of children from educated home and those from uneducated homes?
5. Is there any significant difference in academic performance between children from large family and those from small family?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
i. There is no significant difference between children from wealthy parents and those from poor parents in terms of academic achievement.
ii. There is no difference in the academic performance of children from polygamous families and the children from monogamous families.
iii. There is no significant difference in academic performance between children from large family and those from small family.
iv. There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of children from educated homes and those from uneducated homes.
v. There is no major difference in the academic achievements of children from broken homes and children from unbroken homes.
1.5 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate and determine to what extent parents’ education, wealth, parents-child relationship, types of family, size of family etc influence academic performance or achievement of pupils in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State and make suitable recommendations to ameliorate them.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is believed that this study will highlight the effects of the socio-economic background of parents on the academic achievements of their children in schools in Igueben Local Government Area. These findings will no doubt influence parents or government to be well informed in order not to be misled about the socio-economic variable that affect students’ educational achievements. The findings will help educate parents on how best to attain the best academic achievement of their children. It also exposes teachers, counselors and educationist to the problem facing students’ academic performance like emotional instability, tension brought from poor homes. Conclusively, this work will give useful recommendations to government and parents on how to improve the academic achievement of their students in schools.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation
This study is focused on how the socio-economic background of parents affects their children’s academic performance in school in the present day, in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State.
The possibility of the respondents being hesitant to give the timely responses, even after being assured of confidentiality. This may result in some inaccurate result; some biased responses from some of the respondents may also affect the accuracy of the findings.
1.8 Definition of Terms
In order to avoid misinterpretation of terms, the following terms used in this study and their definitions are given in accordance in this study as follows:
Socio-economic Status: The socio-economic status of an individual in a family within any given society is determined by the level of education, income, occupational background and other criteria of social class.
Academic Achievement/Performance: This refers to how much an individual has achieved or attain after a course of instructional training in a school settings.
Polygamous Family: This is a custom in which a man is married to more than one wife at a time.
Monogamous Family: This is the practice of a man being married to a wife at a time.
Broken Home: This is a situation whereby the parents of the homes are apart or divorced, that is the parents of a child are not living together (in most cases, the children lack care, security and training).
Unbroken Home: Here the co-operation exists between the father, mother and children, because they are together and not divorced. In this practice the children enjoy care, security, training, etc. So the child is well catered for.
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