Influence Of Parental Attitude On Students’ Academic Performance In Upper Basic Schools In Makurdi Local Government

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Influence Of Parental Attitude On Students’ Academic Performance In Upper Basic Schools In Makurdi Local Government


Abstract


This study was carried out on the influence of parental attitude on students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government. A descriptive survey research design was adopted in this study. The sample of this study included;42 PTA members, 150 students and 4 principals in public secondary schools in Makurdi Local Government. In total, the sample size was 189. Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the main instruments of data collection. The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data collected from the questionnaires, which were coded into the computer with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data was presented in tables and graphs. Qualitative approach was used to analyze the data retrieved from the interview guides. From the analysis the following key findings were made: positive attitude encourages as well as enables the students to know the role of education in their future. Additionally, parental attitude encouraged students to love their studies and perform well in school. Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that parental level of education affected their academic performance to some extent.

The educational level of parents encourages the students to work harder and achieve their goals whereas others indicated that it helped the students to aim higher in their educational circles. Parents who were economically stable were in a position to provide resources and materials and enroll students to the schools of their choice. However, this was not the case among most of the parents who were not economically stable. Family structure did affect the academic performance of students either to some extent or to a greater extent. The following recommendation was given: The Ministry of Education, school administrators and the local authorities need to come up with frequent community-based forums that are specifically structured towards enhancing parental participation in their children’s education. During these forums, the parents may be highlighted on the importance of education not only in the child development but also community growth. There is also need for policy formulation and implementation that encourage parents who have never attained any formal education to get the opportunity. These policies need to be introduced in the rural areas such as Makurdi Local Governmentand parents encouraged to enroll.


Table of Content


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Purpose of the study
  • 1.4 Objectives of the study
  • 1.5 Research questions
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Delimitation of the study
  • 1.9 Assumptions of the study
  • 1.10 Definition of significant terms
  • 1.11 Organization of the study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Influence of parents education level on academic performance of students
  • 2.3 The influence of parental attitude on the academic performance of students
  • 2.4 Effect of parental economic status on the performance of students
  • 2.5 Influence of family type on students academic performance
  • 2.6 Theoretical framework
  • 2.7 Conceptual framework
  • 2.8 Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Target population
  • 3.4 Sample size and sampling procedures
  • 3.5 Description of the research instruments
  • 3.6 Validity of research instruments
  • 3.7 Reliability of research instruments
  • 3.8 Data collection procedures
  • 3.9 Data analysis techniques

Chapter Four

Data Analysis and Interpretation of Findings

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Response Rate
  • 4.3 Demographic Information
  • 4.3 Influence of Parental Education Level on Academic Performance of Students
  • 4.4 Parent’s Attitude to Education and Performance of Students in Schools
  • 4.5 Influence of Parents’ Economic Status on Performance of Students in Schools 4.6 Extent to Which Family Type Affect Academic Performance of the Students

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of the study
  • 5.3 Conclusions
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • 5.5 Recommendations for Further Study
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

The role that parents play in the upbringing of a child is very important. Children look up-to their parents for guidance, protection and motivation to live a great life. One of the best ways to achieve wholesome qualities of education is the partnership of parents and teachers in injecting valuable skills, conduct, and knowledge to the students (Dautscher& Ibe, 2003). All over the world parents play a vital role in the education of their child, whatever child’s age. If parents pay attention to their children, they make more scholastic achievements than those who are ignored.

Parents’ attitude towards education influences their involvement in education matters. Parental involvement in education is the participation of parents in regular meaningful communication that involves student academic learning and other school activities including ensuring that parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning at home and at school (Starkey &Kleir, 2000). According to Rao (1991), there is need to investigate aspects of poor parental involvement that affects academic performance since day students spent significant time with parents as well as teachers. The input of parent’s involvement on the individual student is of great significance because students benefit a great deal if school and home complement each other in their education and socialization.

There are various parental attitude which have been a major challenge especially in the United States. This is especially evident in the Latino race. The educational plight of Latino students in the United States is an increasing concern given the low achievement and attainment status of this population (Kuperminc, Darnell and Alvarez-Jimenez, 2008). Although many risk factors associated with underachievement are difficult to alter, participation of parents in education has been shown to positively impact learning outcomes. Furthermore Latino parents have higher educational aspirations for their children but are less involved at home and school than non-Latino white parents (Kuperminc, Darnell and Alvarez-Jimenez, 2008).

The attitude of parents are conceptualized as to affect the academic performance of their children. One of the attitude such as family backgrounds can contribute to either shaping or destroying their performance. According to an observation made by Pinantoan (2013), students with two parents operating in supportive roles are 52 percent more likely to enjoy school and get good marks than students whose parents are disengaged with what’s going on at school. This is especially the case during the earliest years of schooling, in Kindergarten through the 5th grade, when students with active parents are almost twice as likely to succeed. Once students enter middle school, the effect diminishes slightly possibly because they are maturing during this time but there is still a 22 percent difference.

In Africa, education achievement is one of the most important aspects of the society. This is because in the developing nations academic achievement is one of the keys to development and growth of both the individual and the society. Thus, the attitude portrayed by parents in the education of their children is important in ensuring that the students focus on their studies and are able to have good academic performance. In Ghana for instance, the attitude of parents or guardians towards learning of children is associated positively with students’ performance in school (Chowa, Ansong and Osei-Akoto, 2012).

According to Amukowa and Karue (2013) among the key causes of poor performance in education, attitude such as parental involvement and the family background have a major impact on student’s academic achievement. Most research has dwelled on poor facilities and finances as among the key causes of poor academic performance among many students in Upper Basic Schools in Nigeria. In Nigeria the attitude of parents in the learning process of their children has generally been limited to financial support. Once the fee is paid most parents don’t feel obliged to take any further actions in terms of their children’s education. Rather they live the burden to the teachers who they believe they pay enough to take care of their children. Therefore with the numerous advantages that accrue from the involvement of parents in the education, it is imperative that this study be carried out on the attitude of parents in improving academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools.

It can also be recognized that there are various parental attitude which influence greatly how children get to interact with their friends in the outside world. One of the key attitude as observed by Khasakhala et. al., (2013) include the parenting behavior. The parenting characteristic has been observed as to largely influence the prevalence of depression among youths attending general health facilities and those in secondary schools (Weissman, Wickramaratne, Nomura, Warner, Verdeli, Pilowsky, Grillon and Bruder, 2005). This is an indication that indeed parental attitude need to be effectively looked into and how it affects the academic performance of students.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Parents in Makurdi Local Government are not that different as compared to the parents in any other region in the country. Their impact on children’s growth can not be underrated. Being an arid area and the main economic activity being pastoralist, parents are characterized by unstable activities such as shifting from one region to the other in search of pasture for animals, polygamy and illiteracy. All these may pose a critical challenge on the overall education of students in the region. Moreover, it can be noted that in the area, the performance of students in schools is not that up-to-standards. This is whereby only a few of the students from this area receive the opportunity to further their education in the higher institutions of learning (Nungari, 2005). Moreover, there are a number of more recent studies (Kashu, 2014; Magoma, 2014) which have indicated that the performance of students in the region have not been that impressive. For instance, Kashu indicated that school facilities affected the performance of students whereas that by Magoma noted that there were certain leadership issues which contributed to the negative performance among students in region. However, none has been able to investigate on how exactly the parental attitude affect the performance of students.

On the other hand, there are quite a number of studies (Vukovic & Roberts, 2013;

Sun and Li, 2011; Akomolafe and Olorunfemi-Olabisi, 2011; Bakker, 2007; Smits & Gündüz-Hogör, 2006; Shim, Felner and Shim, 2000) which have been reviewed in the areas of parental attitude affecting students’ performance. However, most of these studies have had their own limitations. This is whereby some have been carried out in other countries outside Nigeria. Moreover, most of them were wider in scope and thus the information provided may be too general. However, no adequate studies have been carried out to investigate the influence of parental attitude on the academic performance of students in Nigeria and with specific reference to Makurdi Local Government, Benue State. Hence, there was need for this study to be carried out to investigate on the influence of parental attitude on students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to find out how parental attitude influence students academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State Nigeria.


1.4 Objectives of the Study

The study was guided by the following research objectives:

  1. To determine how the education level of parents influences the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.
  2. To examine the influence of parents’ attitude to education on the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.
  3. To determine how parents’ economic status affects the performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.
  4. To establish the extent to which family type affect the academic performance of the students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.

1.5 Research questions

The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. How does the education level of parents influence the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State?
  2. How does parent’s attitude to education influence the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State?
  3. What is the effect of parents’ economic status in the performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State?
  4. To what extent does the family type affect academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study would be of significance in the following ways;

The school management teams are the key beneficiaries of this study as they may have an understanding of parental attitude which may affect the overall academic performance of their students.

The students would benefit from this study as parents may be guided to help them improve on their academic achievement. Additionally, the policy makers may be in a position to identify the key critical areas which need review so as to encourage parents in improving the academic performance of their students.

Through the findings of this study, parents would gain an insight on the various attitude they possess which may influence the performance of their children in the region. Moreover, the recommendations given would also help them in best actualizing their various attitude for maximum promotion of their children’s academic performance.

The study would contribute to the growing mass of knowledge on the areas of parental attitude and its influence on the academic performance of students in schools. It would contribute knowledge on how the educational level, economic background, attitude and family structure influence the performance of students in schools.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

One of the limitations that was encountered in this study was lack of cooperation among the respondents. Some of the respondents feared to disclose some critical information concerning the performance of their schools and especially those which were not doing well. As such, to counter this limitation, the researcher explained to the respondents that the research was mainly for academic purpose and that their names or those of their schools would remain anonymous.


1.8 Delimitation of the Study

This study generally focused on the influence of parental attitude on students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools. Moreover, the study generally revolved around the following parental attitude: educational level, attitude, economic status and family structure. The target population for this study consisted of principals, PTA members and students. These respondents were considered as to being in a position in providing adequate and relevant information concerning the area under study. Geographically, this study was delimited to Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State.


1.9 Assumptions of the Study

This study was based on the assumptions that:

The participants were willing to participate in the study. Their cooperation to the study made it much easier for the research to obtain not only adequate but also quality data that helped in realizing the key objective of this study which was to find out the attitude of the parents in improving the academic performance of students in secondary schools.


1.10 Definition of Significant Terms

  1. Attitude is the way a person think and feels about something. It is normally shown in the way a person behaves.
  2. Economic status refers to the financial position or level of wealth among the parents.
  3. Educational level is the level of formal knowledge acquired by the parents
  4. Family type refers to the structure or composition of families.
  5. Influence refers to the power to make other people agree with your opinions or do what you want.
  6. Parental Characteristic refers to the attributes within the parents’ circle that affect the learning of students. These attitude as investigated in this study include family type, educational level, attitude and economic status.
  7. Performance is a way of success and is shown by how well somebody do something
  8. Public schools refers to those institutions maintained or assisted using public funds of the government and local authority
  9. Secondary school refers to the post primary level of education and normally covers a duration of four years that is from Form One to Form Four.

1.11 Organization of the Study

Chapter one of this study contains the background to the problem, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions, significance of the study, limitations of the study, delimitations of the study, definition of significant terms, and organization of the study.

Chapter two covers the literature review of the related areas under study. The chapter is presented based on the following sections: influence of family type on students’ academic performance, effect of parental economic status on the performance of students, the influence of parental attitude to education on the academic performance of students, influence of parents’ education level on academic performance of students, theoretical, conceptual framework and summary of literature review.

Chapter three contains the research methodology. It comprises of research design, target population, sample size and sampling procedures, description of instruments, validity and reliability of research instruments, data collection and data analysis procedures.

Chapter four comprises data analysis, presentation and discussion of the findings. The chapter is presented based on the following subsections: introduction, background information of the respondents, influence of parental level of education on students academic performance, influence of parent’s attitude to education on performance of students in schools, influence of parents’ economic status on performance of students in schools and the extent to which family type affect academic performance of the students.

Chapter five which is the last chapter in this study presents the summary of the study, conclusions and recommendations of this study and suggestions for further study.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusions and recommendations of this study on the influence of parental attitude on students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Nigeria.


5.2 Summary of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of parental attitude on students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Nigeria. The study was further guided by the following research objectives: to determine how the education level of parents influences the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State, to examine the influence of parent’s attitude to education on the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State, to determine how parents’ economic status affects the performance of students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government, Benue State and to establish the extent to which family type affect the academic performance of the students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government,
Benue State.

A survey research design was adopted in this study. The sample of this study included forty two PTA members, one hundred and fifty students and four principals in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government. In total, the sample size was one hundred and eighty nine (N=189). Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the main instruments of data collection. The responses in the questionnaires were assigned numerical values. Quantitative data obtained from questionnaires for students was done by assigning numbers to responses for the items or questions in the questionnaire that will be closed-ended. On the other hand items or questions in the questionnaires and interview schedules that were open-ended were categorized according to the themes that immerged form the research questions and all the responses were analyzed in a narrative form.

The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data collected from the questionnaires, which were be coded into the computer with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). From this the data was represented in tables and graphs. On the other hand qualitative approach was used to analyze the data retrieved from the interview guides. This data was used to reinforce the quantitative data from the questionnaire. From the analysis the following key findings were made:

Slightly more than a third of the students agreed that they performed very well since their parents helped them in doing their homework after school. Majority of the students strongly disagreed with the statement that their parents never attended school, hence did not bother about their academic performance in school. When asked to indicate whether their parents checked their books and home works, majority of the students either strongly agreed or agreed. However, a few of them were negative to the statement by disagreeing and strongly disagreeing respectively.

Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that parental level of education affected their academic performance to some extent whereas 23.8 percent of them indicated to a greater extent. A good percentage of them indicated that the educational level of parents encourage the students to work harder and achieve their goals whereas others indicated that it helped the students to aim higher in their educational circles.

Slightly more than two thirds of the students either strongly agreed or agreed with the statements that their parents rewarded and gave the positive remarks about their academics. Slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed that their parents take an active role involving themselves to their academics requirements.

Slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed with the statement that parents show a positive attitude towards their school’s teaching/learning progress. When asked to indicate whether their parents are a source of academic inspiration and motivation, slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed whereas
26.5 percent of them agreed with the statement.

Slighlty more than two thirds of the studetns were positive by indicating that th parental attitude on educaiton affected their academic performance either to a greater extent or to some extent. Slightly more than a third of the PTA members indicated positive attitude encourages as well as enables the students to know the role of education in their future. Additionally, 30.6 percent of them also indicated that in have influence, parental attitude encouraged students to love their studies and perform well in school.

Slightly more than a third of the students indicated that their parents earned their source of income from employement salary whereas 33.8 percent of them indicated businesses as being the main source of income to their parents/guardians. On whether they were sent home for school fees and other levies, majority of the students were negative by either strongly disagreeing or disagreeing with the statement.

Slightly more than a third of the students strongly disagreed with the statement that they sought external support to meet their education needs since their parents cannot afford. This was however not the case among a few of them who strongly agreed and agreed that their educational needs were met through external support since their parents could not afford. Third of the students indicated that parental economic status did affect their academic performance to some extent whereas 20.5 percent of them indicated to a greater extent. Slightly more than a third of the PTA members indicated that having adequate finances, parents could be able to buy the students the best learning materials and other resources that could facilitate in improving their performance. Additionally, 30.6% of them also indicated that adequacy of financial resources would enable parents to pay their school fees on time hence no interruption of the studies when send home for school fees and thus reducing time wastage.

The principals through the interview session reported that parents who were economically stable were in a position of providing resources and materials and enrolling students to the schools of their choice. However, this was not the case among most of the parents who were not economically stable.

Majority of the students (71.5%) indicated that they came from families that constituted of both parents. However, a few of them indicated that their families were polygamous in nature. Slightly less than half of the students were positive to the statement by strongly agreeing and agreeing that students from single parents are so stress full and this affects their academic performance.

Slightly more than half of the respondents either strongly disagreed or disagreed that students from step or single-parent families in their school tend to have very low expectations in their academic performance. On whether students from polygamous families are not able to concentrate in their studies affectively because they have divided attention, slightly more than a quarter of the students agreed whereas 25.2% of them disagreed.

Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that their family structure did affect their academic performance to some extent whereas 21.2% of them indicated to a greater extent. A good percentage of the PTA members indicated that a family structure where both parents were available influenced positively the academic performance of the students in that the guidance and counseling of both parents mentored them. Additionally, the PTA members also indicated that strong bounded nuclear family ensures that children get all they want.


5.3 Conclusions

From the analysis and summary of this study on the parental attitude affecting the academic performance of students in Upper Basic Schools, there are a number of conclusions that can be made. To begin with, the educational level of parents as observed in this study is a vital characteristic that affects the academic performance of students to a greater extent. Parents who lack education may not see its importance in their children and hence they may not be that supportive as compared to those parents who have some level of education and know in the importance of education in their children’s life.

It can also be concluded that the attitude parents on education is a vital characteristic among parents that may determine the progress of their children in their educational goals. Parents who have negative attitude towards education do not support their children fully and thus this affects their performance. Some of these parents may not follow up on the progress of their children in schools, assist them in doing their homework assignments or even visiting the schools for academic meetings. This negatively kills the moral of the student in their education and thus affecting their performance as well.

The economic status of parents can also be concluded as to affect the academic performance of some of the students in Upper Basic Schools in Makurdi Local Government. This whereby some of the students who come from families which are not economically stable tend to be chased out of school for fees whereas others are not able to purchase some of the reading materials. This affects their performance to a greater extent. Moreover, poor economical backgrounds limit the parents from sending their children to schools that have adequate facilities or of high standards simply because they are not able to meet the educational cost required.

The family structure was another parental characteristic that was raised in this study as to have an effect on the academic performance of students in secondary schools. It is reported that students who come from families with both parents tend to perform much better as compared to those who come from single parenthood families. This is because those from both parents have adequate support both psychologically and financially. Moreover, those children from polygamous families are affected in their academic performance to some extent.


5.4 Recommendations

From the analysis, summary and conclusion of this study on the effects of parental attitude on the academic performance of students, there are a number of recommendations that can be given. These include but may not be limited to: The school administration in Upper Basic Schools needs to come up with strategies which are geared towards identifying the various backgrounds of different students in their schools. This may enable the administration to understand clearly the nature of each student and thus being able to handle them with ease and appropriateness so as not to hamper with their educational progress.

The school administration should also organize for functions and ensure that all the parents get to attend. During these functions, the administration may be able to address on the parents on some of the roles that they can play so as to enhance the academic performance of their children. Moreover, they may also highlight on some of the parental attitude that hamper the educational progress of the children.

Parents on the other hand need to be encouraged in participating in the education of their children. The teachers may assign some tasks to the students that require the direct participation of the parents. These assignments may enable the parents to get involved in the educational process of their children and thus being able to review on what the children are learning while at school.

The Ministry of Education, school administrators and the local authorities need to come up with frequent community based forums that are specifically structured towards enhancing parental participation in their children’s education. During these forums, the parents may be highlighted on the importance of education not only in the child development but also community growth.

There is also need for policy formulation and implementation that encourage parents who have never attained any formal education to get the opportunity. These policies need to be introduced in the rural areas such as Makurdi Local Government and parents encouraged to enroll. It is through these trainings that those parents who have not received any educational training may be able to increase on their knowledge as well as develop a positive attitude towards learning.

There is also need for guidance and counseling processes to be introduced in the Upper Basic Schools. The main role of these counseling sessions may be to encourage and motivate the students to see beyond their limitations and put more focus on the future through persistence and determination in their education.


5.5 Recommendations for Further Study

  1. A study needs to be carried out to investigate towards enhancing parental attitude for improved students’ academic performance in Upper Basic Schools in Nigeria.
  2. A study should be carried out to examine the socio-economic factors affecting the academic performance of students in secondary schools in Benue State.

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