Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students – The Effect Of Home Environment

Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students – The Effect Of Home Environment. A Case Study Of Udenu Local Government Area Of Enugu State

Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students – The Effect Of Home Environment

Good education does not happen by chance. It is a product of effective teaching and learning couple with personal study.

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It enhances the growth and development of a nation. Recipient of qualitative education are usually distinguished in their field of endeavour. The growing complexity of our societal demands calls for effective and functional education as the only way out.

Austine E. Ejili (2002) noted that there is an increasing demand for goods education but its standard seems to be declining and this is why our educational system is now living in its former glory. Those who are dedicated and focused might not have the pre-requisite learning behaviour because they never know what to do.

The introduction of neighbourhood day school in about the late 1970s in most part of Udenu Local Government gave rise to mass enrolment of students in the area. The system made it possible for students to go to school from their respective homes. Many of our present day student are no more interested in hard work as a means of achieving academic objectives. Those who are interested, dedicated and focused are faced with a lot of domestic core, by the time they finish them, they are already weak and cannot cope with their academic for that day. Academic work demands hundred percent attention while receiving lesson or during personal study at home. Most of these students studied in an un-conducive environment especially at home. There are a lot of distraction encountered while studying at home, such distraction include playing music during study, noise from the younger ones, chanting with parents or engaging on issues that are not related to the study.

And again some parents/sponsors do not make any inquiry about the academic performance of their children/wards such parents do not ask for the result of their children/wards at the end of any academic session. Students from such homes are usually carefree to be monitored.

RIVILIN (1961) noted that the community often has a marked influence on the student’s motivation for learning and on his ability to profit from his influences at school. Parent’s engagement has a positive impact on student’s academic achievement, behaviour in school, and attitude about school and work. We hear a lot of talk today about how schools have failed. But what is becoming clear is that it is not the school that failed, it’s the partnership that is failed with schools taking on the responsibility that family, communities and religious institution once assumed. The community often has a marked influence on the student’s motivation for learning and on his ability to profit from his influences at home.

Position of educational opportunities for the children in this present economic depression has generated a lot of problems such as: high cost of school fees cost of educational materials to provision of educational facilities. As a result of insufficient fund and economic instability, the continued investment in education industry is now assuming a socio-economic status dimension. The home climate is a strong indicator to the aspiration and academic achievement of our children. This is because, most of the children’s sound education are now confronted with a lot of increasing difficulties as a result of home climate of which the socio-economic background had a strong hold.

Wiseon (1992) suggested that family environments were much more important than school environment influencing adolescent aspiration. Beside, as most of these students come from home control by both the parents and the teacher, not with standing neither the teacher nor the parents could give account of some truant who leave home for school in the morning to come back in the evening without really touching the school premises. In school where there is population explosion, probably with insufficient tutorial staff to monitor activities of the students, the schools the find it difficult to give proper account of the students. This being the case, character reformation among the students becomes difficult to come by. The contact between the parents, teachers and students makes a lot of impact in the academic performance of the students. So those who do not regularly attends lectures because of lack of proper monitoring by both the parents and teachers will perform woefully academically.

Parents are thereby faced with the problems of enriching their home environment so as to establish a positive effect on the student’s academic performance in schools. It is this home climate which socio-economic status, deliquesces facilities, marital status had effect on the educational achievement of the senior secondary school.

Furthermore, marital instability leads to poor academic performance, social problems that culminate into juvenile robbery, drug addicts etc. Thus the effects of marital instability cannot be ignored. For this reason, one has to ensure that a more channel of communication is created in the home so that our children will receive the best from the educational programmes.

Based on the above problems the researcher wants to find out the influence of home environment on the academic performance of secondary school students with particular reference to Udenu Local Government Area.

Statement Of Problems

The background of the study indicates that home climate determines to a large extent the academic performance of senior secondary school students.

There had been great research on the factor responsible for the variation in the academic performance of students. Leicher (1974); Dubey (1979) Cogner (1977) identified the socio-economic status of parents as a strong factor for the variation of the academic performance of students.

The researcher will consider other factors that influence the academic performance of the students at home, such as:

If family size influence students academic performance?

If the educational level of the parents influence the academic performance of the students?

Purpose Of Study

The motive underlying this research is to:

(1) Find out if there is any significant difference. In the academic performance of students from small and large family size.

(2) Compare the academic attainment of senior secondary school students from high and low socio- economic status.

(3) Determine whether parents educational status is responsible for high academic performance of secondary school students.

Significance Of The Study

The research study discussed the influence of home environment on the academic performance of the secondary school students.

It is important because it will enable the student to be aware of the factors that can lead to their poor academic performance. So that, they can present or minimize those factors, by telling their parents the effect of marital instability on their academic performance.

It will also help the teachers to give proper education to students on the effect of home environment on their academic performance. Students are the future builders of our nation, therefore if they are not given proper education on the effect of home environment on their academic performance, they will continue to perform poorly and as a result of the goals of education as powerful tool for a nation will not be achieved.

And again, parents will be aware that they have greater role to play for high academic performance of their children.

Scope And Limitations Of The Study

The research has its focus on Udenu Local government Area of Enugu state. The study is aimed at finding out the influence of home environment on the academic performance of the secondary school students.

The limitation of the study is necessitated by the resources within the disposal of the researcher. These limited resources include finance, time and also lack of accurate information from the students.

Research Questions

 To what extent had the academic performance of secondary school students from small family size different from students from large family size?

 To what extent had the academic performance of students from educated home different from students from uneducated home?

 To what extent had the academic performance of students from high socio-economic status different from students from low socio-economic group?

 How does stable home influence the academic performance of the students?

LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter presents a review of works related to the topic. In order to ensure effective review of the literature, the chapter therefore, was organizing under the following; Conceptualization of: family, learning, academic performance, environment and socio-economic status.

2. Family size and the effects on the academic achievement of secondary school students.

3. Parents educational level, occupation and attitude, and its influence towards student’s academic work.

4. Marital instability and its impact on the student’s academic performance.

5. Parents socio-economic status and the implications on the academic performance of secondary school.

 

Concept Of Family

According to advanced learner’s dictionary family is defined as a group consisting of one or two parents and their children.

Habighust and Levine (1990) observed that parents of all classes realize, the importance of education. Different families create environment that influence children’s intellectual growth and educational motivation in different ways. The family is also the most personal for nothing is more than the interaction and relationship between members of family, since unmarried couples are bound with such ties. What gives the family its character are children. It is only in such situation that a family can untie its climate relationship and perform its functions of rearing, protecting and educating the children.

On the other hand, learning in the view of Uga Onwuka (1981) refers to either a process, which produces progressive series of change, or a result of the sum total of all such change. To the educationist, learning means a more or less permanent change in behaviour, which results from activity training or observation. As a process learning involves the acquiring of new knowledge, ideas, skills, values and experiences that enables the individual to modify or alter his behaviour to realize his goals.

Learning is a matter of thinking, making response to a situation or modifying previous responses in order to brings about an improvement.

Datta (1984) refered to socio-economic status as a group of people who occupy specific position in relation to means of production and whose members enjoy as a consequence social prestige and political power. Obasi (1987) observed that social class denotes a group of members of society who share identical economic circumstance and life-style and expression aware ness of common, interest and identity.

It therefore means that the social position enjoyed by the family as determined by its level of income, education, occupation and residence. Socio-economic here-implied socio-stratification, which include the upper class or high socio-economic level, the middle and lower socio-economic level. The upper class are rich families in the society by societal judgement they include subjects whose parents hold Bachelor degree, masters, Doctorate degrees and HND parents who have business affiliations, own cars or live in a flat, bungalow, duplex or live. In some specific areas in the city.

The middle class includes all average occupation and semi-skilled men and women as administrative Assistants, Armed forces, Blacksmith, semi-businessmen and women, semi-contractors, electrical Assistants, Teachers, junior civil servants etc.

The lower class division was concentrated to include men and women of low occupational level as: labourers, Petty traders, watch repairers, road makers, Hair dressers, Bicycle repairers, petty farmers, etc.

According to advanced learners dictionary marital is pertaining to marriage, between a husband and wife while marriage in other hand, refer to a union between a man and a woman, which provides children with a socially recognized farther, and mother. Marital instability then implies an unsteadiness of marriage, which can either be caused by many factors such as: social, educational and economical problems.

J. A. Margassam (1997) noted that children who experience an environment that follow fall some minimal level of quality might be damaged by such an environment. Because young children’s personalities are shaped by many factors it often expedient to fail to view the full context of the growing child. By environment, we mean the milien in which the child lives that milieu may be the actual facility the home or the school or it may be the child’s sense of that area his social and nonsocial environment.

The composite set of behavioural settings in which individuals within a community act with diverse consequences in this context therefore, the environment is conceptualize in agglomeration of all conditions that affects children.

 

Family Environment

Shertzer and Stone (1981) observed that family influences including child rearing practices and socio economic level appear to affect vocational development. The family could be regarded as an essential agent of education. Before the Western Civilization, the family was responsible for playing the role of teaching knowledge skill and attitude. Today, the family is still playing such role of educating children. Wilson (1992) suggested that family environments were much more in influencing adolescents aspiration. The social upbringing of the child begins with family. It is the family that makes the child to identify himself with the society, culture, religion or social class. The family continues to exercise a strong influence over the child’s live and academic performance in the school. It must be noted that families differ vastly in terms of their significance in the social order. Some have more prestige, money and some have wider experience and knowledge of how to operate within the social or school environment.

Okonzua (1990) noted that there are quite a few parents who feel that once they have accomplished a feat, but contrary to expectations, a lot more work has to be put in, in rearing the child until maturity.

Family Size

Family size is the total number of people consisting of parents and their children

It is worthy to mention that the family size is one of the factors that determines the academic performance of students. Large family size creates in the upbringing of their children and identified problem of feeding- insufficient food, poor clothing, insufficient fund, disciplinary problem and malnutrition. Students need nutritious food and regular medical care. These things help them get a good start in life and lessen the chances that they will later have serious health problem s or trouble learning. Nutrition plays a vital role in the development of students. If a student is hungry in school he/she is less likely to concentrate. This idea dates back to early psychological finding that before one can be complete basic need must be met.

 

Women’s World (1984) asserted that most parents do not care for their home again. They do not even plan on how many children they want to have. Students who disrupt schools with extreme problems come mostly from poor home with large family size.

Havighurst and Livine (1990) observed that although parents of all class realize the importance of education, difference children’s intellectual growth and educational motivation in different ways, two different environments are created. It is clear that home environments plays a very crucial role in a child’s educational development.

Social Economic Status Of Parents

Obasi (1987) Observed that socio-economic class denotes a group of members of society who share identical economic circumstance and life-style and express awareness of common interest and identity. Also, Datta (1984) referred to socio-economic status as a group of people who occupy specific position in relation to means of production and whose members enjoy as a consequence social prestige and political power. Socio-economic here implies social stratification which includes the high socio-economic level, the middle and lower socio-economic level.

Nwa-chili (1981) highlighted that socio-economic characteristics of the family have a bearing on the child’s success or failure in school. They have a bearing also on the child’s entry into school, and the duration of stay and achievement at school. A child from high and middle socio-economic class is more likely to experience and acquire an elaborated long wage code while the child from the lower socio-economic class is faced with a restricted language code. A school is of course predominantly concerned with language elaborate code, therefore making it easy for a child from higher or middle class to adjust.

It is the environment of middle class that decides how a child’s hereditary factors will be utilized. Environment exert an influence on mental development. Children who spend their early age on economically and privileged home seem to perform more intelligently if or when their living condition is improved.

Educational Level Of Parents And Its Influence On Students Academic Performance

Sarigiani (1990) noted that parental educational level or attainment has been found to be significantly related to the educational attainment of their children in both rural and national samples. This study also had two levels of judging educational level. The two levels are some college or below to college graduates and above. As with the case previously, the children of more educated group tended to have higher aspirations and higher education plans.

Both of these students help illustrate that children from parents with higher education levels tends to do better than the less advantaged group. Children in turn are then disadvantaged when their parents have a lower education as well. It may form a cycle of uneducated family members.

Marital Instability

Okonkwo (1992) noted that child’s personality develop in the continuous process of interaction with his family environment. So unstable family may lead to poor academic performance of the students. Family background influence academic performance of a child. For instance, in some homes, the marriage is stable and happy parents live together happily with the children, encourage them and show interest in their school work. Books may be available in the home and quite corner where the children can stay and study, but if home is not stable the children will not be able to concentrate on their studies.

Marital instability affects all round development of the students which include: social, educational, emotional, vocational and mental aspect of the student. It is well known fact that parents contributes a lot to over all development of the students. When there is instability in marriage, which lack parental care which is very essential to their growth hence leads to maladjustment in the students. Students who are in this condition are seen to be confused and standard in life. This often leads to involving themselves breaking the societal norms and values such as: stealing, drug addicts etc.

Summary Of Literature Review

From various studies carried out by different professionals, it was observed that poor home climate has remained the major factor that has crippled the academic performance of students.

Intellectuals had identified various areas in the home that affect students academic performance. To some intellectuals attribute poor performance to parents family size, on socio-economic status. A host of others focuses on the marital status and parents-child relationship.

From the point of view of the researcher, a good home is a pre-requisite for high academic performance, since the first environment of any child is the home. It is the home that prepare the child physically, socially, educationally and economically. The home is the foundation of any adventure without which the child cannot engage in any meaningful and successful venture.

The researcher is therefore concerned of the home influence on the academic performance of secondary school students in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

Discussion Of The Findings

Research question one

To what extent had the academic performance of senior secondary school students from small family size differed from students from large family size?

The findings of this research question table 1 show that, the mean of the grade point average (GPA) of secondary school students from small family size is 55.84 as against 49.14 for the big family size.

It was observed that students that came from small family size are well provided with material needed for acceleration of academic work. Such families being more financially equipped could sponsor their children’s education to any level.

 

Research Question Two:

To what extent had the academic performance of students from high socio-economic status been different from students from low socio-economic status?

Majority of the respondent belong to the low socio-economic group and felt that finance and facilities pose a problem to them in the achievement of their academic goals while a lesser number maintained contrary. To support this fact, table 2 shows that the mean cumulative GPA of secondary school students from low socio-economic group is 51.93 and 50.14 for students from high socio-economic group.

Although the mean score was slightly different, the mean score indicated that both secondary school students from high and low socio-economic group fall within the same grade of pass.

Research Question three:

To what extent had the academic performance of secondary school students from educated been different from students from uneducated homes?

The findings on table three revealed that the cumulative mean from educated homes is 51.35 while students form uneducated homes is 49.35.

However, in spite of the fact that students from educated homes had a higher cumulative mean score and performed better, the gap between the two groups was narrow.

The above findings in confort with bookck (1978) view who asserted that the attitude of parents towards the academic work is one of the home factors that affects the academic attainment of students.

Research Question four

To what extent had the academic performance of secondary school students from stable home been different from unstable homes?

The findings on research question four table 4, indicated that majority of the students come form stable homes. The cumulative grade point average of secondary school students from stable families is 51.04 while 49.71 represented students from unstable homes.

It is generally accepted that marital instability has a negative effect on the child’s academic attainment and attitude to life. This view was supported by Ezeocha (1991) Ezewu, (1991), Okonkwo (1992), Denga (1986) and Onwuamanam (1992). Each of the named scholars agreed that parents tension disrupt children’s outlook.

Educational Implication

Based on the general findings, there arises some implication for the parents, students and government.

For the students, especially those who were not opportuned to be from with a Silver Spoon in their mouth, it is not an easy task to acquire high academic performance, for this reason such category of students required virtues: dedication, honesty, determination and tolerance to pursue their career, by making use of school facilities during and after school hours, so as to attain high academic performance.

For the parents, more efforts are needed both from high and low socio-economic group in ensuring that adequate facilities are provided in the home.

For the government, there is need to consider those uneducated parents by extending Adult literacy campaign and programme in order to create an awareness and upgrade such parents. And also more facilities should be provided in schools by the government.

Recommendations

Based on the finding of this study the following recommendation were made:

The ministry of education should provide more fund, facilities and equipments in secondary schools.

Enough textbooks, reading and writing materials should be provided to the students by the parents.

Parents should be actively involved in supervising student’s academic work at home.

Teaching materials like charts, maps textbooks, flannel boards should be provided in large quantity to all schools moreover.

Students should belong to study groups in the schools so that they can exchange ideas that will help them to excel in their academics

Suggestion for further Research:

(1) A repetition of this study on other parts of the country will help for better generalization.

(2) Further research should be carried out on the other factors influencing student’s performance in secondary schools.

Summary of the study

Our educational system often than not is criticized by parents. Most of the parents pointed out that the standard of education is fallen, some attributed it to teacher attitude and the school.

However, there had been research as to the reasons for the variation in the academic performance of students. Among these scholars were Watson Leichten (1974), Duley (1979), Logne (1977). These identified the socio-economic status of parents as the most important factor for the differences in the academic performance of students.

In view of the various assertions by different scholars, the research was motivated to carry out this study, to find out how far and to what extent their claims may be and whether there exist any significance difference in the students academic performance between the various groups.

Four research questions were formulated. In answering the research questions, the mean of the annual cumulative grade point average of the various groups students were computed separately. Parents educational level made a slight impact on students academic performance.

APPENDIX A

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS

Please kindly fill this questionnaire in the best of your knowledge.

(1) School

(2) Sex: Male Female

(3) How many wives do your father have?

(4) How many children have your father?

(5) How many time do you eat a day?

(6) Is large family size a problem to students high academic

performance? Yes No

 

SECTION B

Always Occasionally Rarely Never done at all

(7) How often do you attend school within the term?

(8) How often do your parents give home work to you at home?

(9) How often do your parents discuss your future carrier with you?

(10) How often do you withdraw from school for failure to pay school fees?

(11) How often were you occupied with the following activities in your home:

writing of assignment

private study

Errands

SECTION C

Always Occasionally Rarely Never done at all

(12) How often have you won a prize for best performance in school subject?

(13) How often have you been enrolled as the best student in the school?

(14) How often have you represented academic competitions?

i. Essay competition

ii. Quiz competition

iii. Debate

(15) How often do your parents give assignment or home work to you at home?

SECTION D

Always Occasionally Rarely Never done at all

(16) How often do your parents inspect your exercise book?

(17) How often do you withdraw from school as a result of parents quarrel?

(18) How often have you been disturbed from your private study at home by your parents quarrel?

(19) How often have you performed poorly because of parents marriage problem?

(20) How often have you been injured as a result of your parents’ quarrel?

Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students – The Effect Of Home Environment

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