Effect Of Socio Economic Background Of Adolescent Students On The Academic Achievement In Senior Secondary School

Project and Seminar Material for Economics

Effect Of Socio Economic Background Of Adolescent Students On The Academic Achievement In Senior Secondary School


This study centers on the effect of socio-economic background of Adolescent students on the academic achievement in senior secondary schools in Udi education zone, of Enugu state. In investing the above, data were obtained through questionnaire administration method. Also, libraries and internet the percentage analysis method was used to analyzed the responses elicited from respondents and meaningful conclusion draw there from. It was discover that factor like the academic achievement of an adolescent is greatly influenced by adolescent socio-economic background, the family size and parent educational attainment. Recommendation were made based on the discovering to ensure positive performance of the adolescents.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Education has been defined as the process of teaching, training and learning to improve knowledge and develop skills, attitude and moral. It prepares a person’s ability for future benefits in life if properly channeled. In other words, education helps a person to develop his talents fully, prepares him to be a responsible citizen and gives him the stimulus and opportunity for cultural enrichment of his life. Upon his background, it becomes pertinent to investigate the effect of socio-economic background of adolescents students in their senior secondary school certificate examination.

The major goal of education therefore is to ensure proper development of the child, such that he can fit-in and function in the society. Since education starts from birth to death, it occupies an important place in the life of every individual and the academic performance of the school child as a function of how well a child is doing ion school. Malluw and Haggi (2000) stated that academic performance is the measure of the level of knowledge skills, attitudes and aptitude of a child in an examination. Since the family is the cradle of every life, a child that is nurtured in environment (family) which socially and academically non-stimulating would make the child intelligent quotient to be low.

Over the years, inspite of the efforts of students in their academic study, the academic performance of students in senior-secondary school certificate examination especially in science and social science subjects is very alarming. Those Onuchukwu (2005) identified has direct relationship with parents socio-economic background. He further stated that students academic achievement depends largely on parents encouragement of private lesson provision of learning aids at home, lovely/mental health, provision of balanced diets and discouragement of exam-malpractice and all these depends on the adolescent socio-economic background.

According to Ezewu (1983) the socio economic states of a family has been acknowledged to affect positive or negatively the schooling of the higher the socio-economic states of a family the more likely it motivates the child to learn at school and consequently to succeed in learning. He also stated that students from family high class positions in Nigeria such as medical professional, engineers, politicians etc. stand the chance of performing better than those of low class positions. Slavin (1994) reported a study that clearly showed the impact of social class on academic developments.

Students from different social class and background achieve quite different during the school years. After a long term holidays, children from poor families lost much of their achievements unlike those from rich family who even gain more due to private teachers employed during and after holidays, provision of leaving and teaching materials. Looking at this study, the researcher’s argument is that the children from poor homes are not exposed to a wide variety of learning experiences in and outside their homes. Onuchukwu (2005) in his study, revealed that no matter how potentially intelligent, that a child need a good and comfortable environment to leave. He maintained that, if the environment is not conducive his intelligent would either be dwarfed or not utilized to its full potentials.

Woolfolla (1998) stated in his findings that socio-economic status of the family is an important factor in determining how much pressure parents are likely to put on their children to achieve academic excellent in school. Agularia and Nwachukwu (2001) agreed that the adolescent socio-economic status is likely to have profound impact on their attitudes and behaviours in school. They observed that children from middle and high class families enter school knowing how to count and name letters. They also revealed that English Languages is introduced at very early stage of development, which they believe enhances learning. This is because in these class of homes there may be such facilities as television set, radio, pictures, reading and writing materials, toys and games all of which helps to prepares these children for upward leaving in school than children from low class families who have no such opportunities.

Further study by Odebunmi (1988) showed a significant relationship between performance of students and their parental level of education. The researcher, argued among other things that parental supervision of the children’s work at home help to account for the relationship.

Ezeh, (2007) in his study reveals that poor illiterate parent especially where there is difficulties. This he believed was as a result that illiterate parents cannot offer what they do not have.

Alhassan (1993) listed parents illiteracy as one of the causes of truancy and how academic performance among adolescent students. Apart from parents level education, the impact of family size of the student determines the extent of the student determines the extent of foundation given. Awoyemi (1986) discovered substantial relationship between the number of siblings in the family and children’s academic performance. Onuchukwu (2005) observed that adolescent who inherited high level of intelligent quotient (I.Q) has greater success in academic achievement, but it s tentative. This he stated is because where an individual with high I.Q fails to observed the principles or conditions for effective learning, another person who may have been assessed to have low quotient, provide with comfortable environment for learning will perform better with time.

  • Central to the determination of standards education are four key factors Ocho (2005).
  • The learner his values, motivation, have background and this preparedness.
  • The teacher his behavior, motivation, knowledge and skills, his commitment.
  • The curriculum: its relevance, appropriateness and comprehensiveness.
  • The learning environment: its conduciveness and available of learning materials (interest).

Recently, Obasi (1999) investigated the influence of student family background on their academic achievements. The findings revealed that the socio-economic status of the family had no significant influence on the academic performances of the student. Due to these contradictory findings, there is need for further research work before a definite and dependable statement is made on the issue, it is in the height of this fact that the researcher considers it pertinent to examine the issue, and make necessary recommendations which will go a long way to highlight socio-economic factors and academic achievements of adolescent.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The responsibility of training the children is the primary role of the parents, this is because they are the first agent of socialization and this is usually an informal type of education which is being augmented by formal education in school. As a result of this, it is the duty of the parent to send their children to school and also ensure that they are progressing academically. The problem of the study refers to the inevitable consequences arising from lack of a phenomenon under study i.e. what socio economic background (low, middle and upper class) can cause to students on their academic achievement in senior secondary school

. For an adolescent belonging to a family of low class income earners, the tendency is that poor foundation might be given in home/mother care, day care, pre-nursery, nursery, primary and secondary schools. The children could not be provided with instructional materials at home and in schools, private lesson could not be organized due to lack of fund. These tends to make the students lack interest in certain areas due to poor foundation and the resultant effect is that is their adolescent stage in senior secondary school examinations, they would not perform well. The reserve is the case with those children belonging to middle and upper class families. The consequent to this, the students will lack the skills required of them at their level and it will affect the individual and technological development of the country.

This is what the research saw and got disturbed and was prompted to carryout the study to find out whether the adolescent socioeconomic background has a relationship with the academic performance of students especially in their senior secondary school certificate examination.

1.3 The Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to find out the affect of adolescent socio-economic background and the academic achievements of seniors secondary students in Udi education zone of Enugu State. Specifically, this research set out to:

  1. Find out how far parents are willing to support their children education financially.
  2. Identify the performance of senior secondary schools students in examination.
  3. Examine the factors that causes academic failure in Udi Education Zone.
  4. Determine whether children from rich families perform better than those in poor families.
  5. Ascertain whether there is any co-relation between size and academic performance of students.
  6. Ascertain the academic problems facing students in senior secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How far are parents willing to support their children education financially?
  2. What is the academic performance of senior secondary school students in examinations?
  3. What are the factors responsible for academic failures in Udi Education Zone?
  4. Do students from rich families perform better than those of poor families

1.5 Significance of the Study

The development of a student into a sound and effective citizen depends on the academic achievement and level of educational attainment. Hence, the researcher is of the opinion that the findings of study will provide useful facts which will go a long way to improve academic performances and achievements of student in senior secondary school in Udi education zone of Enugu State and Nigeria in general.

Thus the following people will benefit immensely from the study, the parents, students, the school administrators, and the government and society at large.

The significant of the study is that it will create relevant awareness for the improvement of education to meet global trend and alert both parents and government of the need to provide adequate psychical and material encouragement for students to answer good educational achievement in senior secondary schools.

One who is not properly educated will find it difficult to fit into the emerging and technological changes and will be traced to low income and socio-economic class. This study will therefore identify and proffer solutions to the impediments of educational excellence, which constitutes an important contributions to the prosperity of the individual in the society.

Both the state and federal government have constructed education as the instrument par excellent for national development hence, a study like this will ensure improvement in academic standard and also continuity in various aspects of national progress.

The study will also create awareness for causes of poverty. Poverty stems from low labour face qualities, little capital for labour to work with, low level of technology, inefficiencies in the use of resources and in some instances excessive rates of population growth. To break out of poverty trap, a country must make progress in attacking some or all the causes. But it is unlikely to make much progress unless it achieves a marked degree of political and economic stability.

Development countries can and do assist lesser development countries as they strive to improve their economic lots. Aids takes two basic forms, loan and grants and, technical assistance. Individual developed countries have independent aid programs. They also engage in joint a jet program through such organization as the World Bank.

The study will also creates awareness for parents school administrations and government to provide conducive environment, infrastructures and materials need by the student for learning to ensure good academic achievements.

1.6 Delimitation (Scope of the Study)

This study is limited only to senior secondary school students in Udi, education zone of Enugu State. The reasons for this limitation are because of lack of fund and time constraint for the research work to be carried out since it is being carried out simultaneously with other academic requirements. As a result of this, the study will be limited to 2005-2009 senior secondary school results only. Through the study is limited only to few secondary school in Udi, education zone of Enugu state, the findings could be generalized to a wider geographical scope in Enugu and Nigeria in general.

1.7 Definition of terms

Academic performance:

This stands for the success made by the students on their academic whether it is positive or negative.

School achievements:

This means the cumulative academic performance of students. This is represented by pass remarks.


Socio-economic factors and academic achievement.

Socio-Economic Class:

Is the social or economic position of an individual or a family which is determined by such factor as level of education, occupation, income, family size and parent supportive attitude to education.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain effect of socio-economic background of adolescent students on the academic achievement in senior secondary schools

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of socio-economic background of adolescent students on the academic achievement in senior secondary schools

5.2 Summary

This study was on effect of socio-economic background of adolescent students on the academic achievement in senior secondary schools. Six objectives were raised which included: Find out how far parents are willing to support their children education financially, identify the performance of senior secondary schools students in examination, examine the factors that cause academic failure in Udi Education Zone, determine whether children from rich families perform better than those in poor families, ascertain whether there is any co-relation between size and academic performance of students, ascertain the academic problems facing students in senior secondary schools. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary schools in Udi local government of Enugu State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up principals,vice principals administration,senior staffand junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.

5.3 Conclusion

It can be reasonably inferred that socio–economic and education background of parents in this research setting is not significant factors in students’ academic performance. However, educational qualification of parents and health status of students are significant factors that affect the academic performance of students.

5.4 Recommendation

In view of the finding of this study, the following recommendations are here presented:

  1. Social and economic policies should be put in place to enable children from parents of low economic status to have equal opportunity of advancing the cause of education of their children.
  2. Health care services for lower class children should be made to narrow the gap of inequality in Nigerians and hence the attendant effects on the coming generation.
  3. Parents who are not educated or has low educational qualification should Endeavour to allow their children to attend remedial summer coaching provided by nongovernmental organization during holidays to supplement the regular school programmed.
  4. The need for the intake of balanced diet should be emphasized. The government can do a lot in this regard by providing mid day fortified meal for the school age children

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