Influence Of Parents’ Participation In School Management On Academic Performance
The main aim of the study is to investigate the influence of parent’s participation in management of public secondary schools on academic performance in Abia State. The objectives of this study were: to investigate the influence of parents’ participation in decision making, school financing, motivating learners and maintenance of physical facilities of schools on students’ academic performance in Abia State. The researcher used questionnaires to collect data from the students and teachers, while an interview schedule were used to collect data from the head teachers and the parents. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze the data. Research questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency and percentages of the response. From the study finding, the benefits of parental participation in school management have not been realized in many of the schools, which has been affecting academic performance. It was evidence in the study findings that parents’ participation in decision making, school financing, motivating learners and maintenance of physical facilities of schools affects students’ academic performance in Abia State. The recommendation of the study was to parents to take up specific roles in school management and indicating the values of their participation in school management let alone making it possible for them to participate in school managerial activities through conducting the managerial functions in which they are involved in ways and in modes of communication that the parents comfortably understand.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education management is based on authority, freedom, orderliness and managerial dynamics and always has an aim. It can be described as a specific type of work in education which comprises those regulative tasks or actions executed by a person or body in a position of authority in a specific field or area of regulation, so as to allow formative education to take place (Simango, 2006). For the purpose of this study, the parent involvement in management of implies all management activities undertaken by the school managers, together with their management teams, with the intention of involving parents in their children’s education so that effective teaching and learning can take place. Management activities include planning, organizing, coordinating, leading and controlling parent involvement practices initiated in schools.
A parent is one of the most important pillars upon which the education of a child should be placed, and without parental support in education the child may experience great difficulty in his or her academic achievement and later on in life. Parent involvement in school management is one factor that has been consistently related to a child’s increased academic performance (Hill and Craft, 2003). While this relation between parent involvement and a child’s academic performance is well established, studies have yet to examine how parent involvement increases a child’s academic performance. The role of parents in school management today is rooted in the Education Policy and their responsibility revolves around financial mobilization, discipline and monitoring the performance of the school. Parents are said to be partners, clients, consumers and educational assistants in as far as management of schools is concerned (Thomson, 2001). However, in Sub -Sahara Africa, due to extreme poverty and financial constraints, there have been challenges in the provision of education. Many countries reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, especially for teaching Mathematics and Sciences, (Bregman and Armstrong, 2003). Due to poverty in the developing world and more so in rural areas, parents may not afford providing school materials or paying tuition fees which fund is used to pay teachers, buy scholastic materials and laboratory equipment, or provide for the welfare of teachers and students in order to contribute towards the achievement of academic success.
Academic performance has been defined by Kaggwa (2003) and the World Bank (2002) as the quality and quantity of knowledge, skills, techniques and positive attitudes, behaviors and philosophy that students achieve. This achievement is evaluated by the mark or grade that students attain in tests or examinations done at the end of the topic, term or year or education cycle World Bank (2002). Therefore, the quality of the grades and the number of students that pass in various grades, determine the level of academic performance. In schools, academic performance is a concern of people who have vested interest in schools. These may include parents, students, the staff, proprietors and the entire society that forms the school as a system or community.
Management has been defined by Sapre (2002), quoted by Bush (2003) as a set of activities directed towards efficient and effective utilization of resources in order to achieve organizational goals. Secondary school management in particular refers to the application of management theory and practice to educational institutions (Okumbe, 2008). Managerial functions include planning, organizing directing, controlling resources, staffing, coordinating reporting and budgeting (Koontz and O’Donnell 2006). In this study parents participation in school management was evaluated in relation to financing or organizing resources, disciplining, budgeting, and implementation of school policies as the major managerial functions in which parents mainly involve themselves and which aspects may directly affect students’ academic performance.
It is widely recognized that if students are to maximize their potential from schooling they will need the full support of their parents. Attempts to enhance parental involvement in education occupy governments, administrators, educators and parents’ organizations across North America, Australasia, continental Europe, Scandinavia and the UK. It is anticipated that parents should play a role not only in the promotion of their own children’s achievements but more broadly in school improvement and the democratization of school governance. The European Commission, for example, holds that the degree of parental participation is a significant indicator of the quality of schooling.
In England, the Government’s strategy for securing parental involvement was first set out in the 2007 White Paper, ‘Excellence in Schools’. The strategy described there included three elements providing parents with information, giving parents a voice and encouraging parental partnerships with schools. In a study carried out by Feyfant and Rey (2006) in Scottish schools, it was concluded that for more than 10 years now, parents’ role in school was the main factor responsible for ‘school market’ in this sense meaning the popularity of the school. From Nigerian’s experience, the popularity of schools is so much linked to how many first grades (academic performance) a school may achieve in given consecutive years. This prompted the researcher to find out the extent to which failure or success in academics may be attributed to parents’ participation in school management. This strategy has since been played out through a wide range of activities including; the enhancement of parent governor roles, involvement in inspection processes, provision of annual reports and prospectuses, the requirement for home-school agreements and the provision of increasing amounts of information about the curriculum and school performance.
In a study carried out in USA by Marschall (2006) among Latino students in Chicago, it was discovered that parental school involvement increases parent skills and information which equip them to assist their children in school related activities when they come back home. To this end, Lareau (2006) adds that when parents are involved in their children’s schooling, they meet other parents who provide them with information on school policies, and practices. Besides that, when parents and teachers interact, teachers learn about the parents’ expectations for their children and their children’s teachers. However, both Marschall and Lareau don’t explain what may happen to students’ academic performance if parents’ are done away with in school related activities. While agreeing with the two authors, the study intended to discuss what might happen to students’ academic performance if parents are not considered as partner in academic related activities in schools.
In Uganda, the Education Act 1969 shows that parents’ responsibilities among others include participation in the promotion of discipline, provision of learning materials, teachers welfare, structural development and caring for children. Although the Government white paper (2002) doesn’t legalize parent participation in school management, it does not contradict it either but simply recommends parents’ role play. This suggests that parental participation in school management is desirable and could lead to improved academic performance among other benefits.
At present, the Nigeria education system is experiencing the challenge of providing access to quality education to all children of school-going age on an equitable basis. Parental involvement is the awareness of and participation in schoolwork, understanding of the interaction between parenting skills and student success in schooling and a commitment to consistent communication with teachers about students’ progress (NMSlARS, 2009). Research undertaken recently has led to a paradigm shift from exclusive professionalism and opened up discussion on the importance of parental involvement and that parents have the right to play an active role in their children’s education. According to Symeou (2003) parents, at nearly all levels, are concerned about their children’s education and success and want advice and help from schools on ways of helping their children. Quiocho and Daoud (2006), and Brannon (2008) note that parental involvement leads to higher academic achievement and improved perceptions of children’s competence. They add that the increasing evidence of the sustained benefits of parental involvement in the higher primary grades and in high school, calls for continued research in this area and the necessity of implementing parental involvement programs at all levels of school education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem.
Poor academic performance of student has been of great concern to educationists, parents and counselors in particular (McCellandd, 2010). Despite all parent’s participation in management of public secondary schools mounted in schools to improve the students’ academic performance, poor performance are still recorded yearly in Abia State and it has become necessary to find out the cause of such poor performance.
Research conducted by scholars on academic performance has consistently shown that parents participatory in motivating learners, offering financial support, making some decisions in the management and assisting in infrastructure is crucial and important in predicting learners educational achievement (Gun and Klebanov2007). However not much studies has been carried out by scholars on Abia State. How has this influence the educational achievement of students. This therefore creates a gap to find out how parents participation influences educational achievement of the students. It is therefore based on this background that this study intends to investigate the influence of parents participation in the school management and the academic performance.
Although many school administrators in the area are already complaining that their efforts to improve the quality of education are being frustrated by lack of infrastructure, scholastic materials poor staff remuneration and they feel that the burden of improving students’ academic performance is being left to them. Therefore, the researcher in this study was motivated to investigate the influence of parental participation in school management on students’ academic performance.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The purpose of this study is to establish the influence of parent’s participation in management of secondary schools on academic performance in Abia State. Specifically, this study seek;
- To investigate the influence of parents’ participation in decision making on students’ academic performance in Abia state.
- To investigate the influence of parents’ participation in school financing on students’ academic performance in Abia state.
- To investigate the influence of parents’ participation in motivating learners on students’ academic performance in Abia state.
- To investigate the influence of parents’ participation in maintenance of school infrastructure of schools on students’ academic performance in Abia state.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the influence of parents’ participation in decision making on students’ academic performance in Abia state?
- What is the influence of parents’ participation in school financing on students’ academic performance in Abia state?
- What is the influence of parents’ participation in motivating learners on students’ academic performance in Abia state?
- What is the influence of parents’ participation in maintenance of school infrastructure of schools on students’ academic performance in Abia state?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- Ho: There is no significant relationship between parent’s participation in schools management and students academic performance.
- Ha: There is a significant relationship between parent’s participation in schools management and students academic performance.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study helps in developing awareness and understanding among the stakeholders on the the influence of parents participation in management of public secondary schools on academic performance. The secondary school administrators may use the findings to be able to diagnose the various areas of parental involvement that are weak and therefore seek to remedy the gaps through the support of Parents Teachers Associations (PTA) and community leaders. Offer to stakeholders (including education planners and managers at all levels, parents and students) information on the current level of involvement of parents in management processes and what enhances or hinders effective school management especially in rural schools. The teachers may use the findings to identify the areas of parental involvement that they need to strengthen. Parents may use the findings to redefine their role in the education of their children especially in improving school effectiveness. Motivate other scholars and researchers to carry out research in other areas in order to establish acceptable ways of parental participation in secondary school management. Guide education policy makers and education planners about the roles of particular stakeholders in the management of secondary schools. The Ministry of Education may use the findings and recommendations in policy formulation on effective parental involvement programmes in schools. The findings are also expected to be useful to the Nigerian Government as they may help to implement policies that would address the challenges faced by the society of a violent young generation.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study is structured to generally assess the influence of parents’ participation in school management on academic performance. The study will be delimited to some selected secondary schools in Abia State.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.
1.9 Definition of Significant Terms
Student’ academic performance in this study means the average of students’ scores on standardized examinations.
‘management’ is the process of managing that is, being in charge; administering; succeeding in doing something despite obstacles; exercising control or dominion, often in a tactful manner; and contriving to carry on despite difficulties. It is the skilful and/or resourceful use of material and time. In this study management is a process of working with individuals and groups and other resources to accomplish institutional goals.
Parent involvement is active and willing participation of parents in a wide range of school-and home-based activities which may be educational or non-educational. It extends from supporting and upholding the school ethos to supervising children’s homework at home. Parent involvement in this study implies mutual cooperation, sharing and support of teaching and learning for learners’ scholastic success.
1.10 Organization of the Study
The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter (chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations
In this chapter, the findings of the study are discussed after which conclusions and recommendations are drawn.
5.2 Summary of findings
The findings of the study revealed that parents are involved in supporting school related activities through proving school fees and scholastic materials; disciplining their children and providing them with moral support. In this way, the study concurs with Epstein and Sanders (2002) and Lariau (2006) in their observations that the parents complement the work of schools through providing their children (in schools) with the materials and support that they need to learn well.
Influence of parents’ participation in decision making on students’ academic performance in Abia State.
Findings of the study indicates that although the parents are involved in supporting their children’s school education in some ways, generally speaking, they are not involved in the management of these schools. This means that, in discussing parental involvement in schools and their performance in Abia State, focus should be shifted from asking as to whether parents have been involved in supporting school activities to asking as to how they have been involved and, ultimately, why they have not been involved in the management of these
Influence of parents’ participation in school financing on students’ academic performance in Abia State.
Findings of the study indicate, it is possible to have good student discipline and yet a school fails to achieve impressive academic performance. This means that even though focus on student discipline is important just as suggested by Okumbe (2008); Cotton and Wikelund (2006) among others, educationists should also focus on the other factors that could underlie the students’ academic performance. Among such factors, this study finds the availability of sufficient financial resources to the schools and parental involvement in the schools’ financial management as is discussed in the foregoing
The influence of parents’ participation in motivating learners on students’ academic performance
The study found out that parents’ participation in the motivation of their children is related to students’ performance. This is because both poor and better schools in terms of performance participated in the study and agreed that they participated in the management of their children’s motivation. To this end therefore, the study observed that parent’s motivation had a major influence on their academic
Influence of parents’ participation in Maintenance of school infrastructure of schools on students’ academic performance in Abia State
The findings of the study were that some of the parents provide the facilitation that their children need albeit in installments, which appears to connote a commitment to supporting the children’s school education but that is constrained by the lack of sufficient capacity to do so. Parents’ Participation in ensuring that Maintenance of school infrastructure in schools and a conducive environment is good for learning activities; School buildings are swept, floors and furniture scrubbed of dust on daily basis; Most parent ensure that electrical sockets and lamp holders as well as the wiring in the learning facilities are in good condition
5.3 Conclusion of the Study
The study made the following conclusions; Parents have a role to play in the decision making of these resources available in schools, since they are expected to contribute towards the preparation of their children for academic excellence. Besides the issue of parents supporting their children in school, however, is the issue of parental participation in the management of the schools that their children attend. It is in this regard that the findings of the study depart from the findings of earlier researchers into parental participation in schools and its implications for school effectiveness. Specifically, critical consideration of the findings of the study indicates that although the parents are involved in supporting their children’s school education in some ways, generally speaking, they are not involved in the management of these schools. At the least, some of the data collected indicated that parents are represented in the school management committees like Parents’ Teachers’ Associations and Boards of Governors but even then, the school managers prominently deemphasized the contribution of the parents that are appointed to these committees, which further brings to question the role of parents in the management of their children’s schools. Moreover, in settings where many parents may not have undergone formal education themselves like Abia State, the parents may need special encouragement to be able to take up explicit roles in school management. In particular, the finding that parents in Abia State are playing some roles in support of their children’s education but are not as active in the management of the schools points to the chance that they are willing but unable to participate when it comes to the management of the schools. This means that rather than castigate parents for non-involvement in the management of their children’s schools, it should be understood as to why the parents are not involved in school management.
The question pertaining to the influence of parents’ participation in the financing of schools on the schools’ academic performance was raised because the availability of financial resources is usually key to school effectiveness yet several issues were not known about parents’ involvement in the financing and academic performance of schools in Abia State. The question pertaining to the influence of parents’ participation in the financing of schools on the schools’ academic performance was raised because the availability of financial resources is usually key to school effectiveness yet several issues were not known about parents’ involvement in the financing and academic performance of schools in Abia State.
The study addressed itself to the involvement of parents in motivation of students’ discipline and its influence on the students’ academic performance because performance is an important aspect for an orderly and ideal learning situation. Specifically, the question of whether parents are involved in motivation of the students’ discipline and whether this has influenced the schools’ performance in any way arose. Parental encouragement is assumed that parents show by helping and guiding the child and coaxing him/her not to feel disheartened at a particular point of difficulty. The study established that parents are involved in the motivation of the students, as is reflected in the finding that the parents are involved in the management of the students’ discipline and good performance both at home and when they are invited at school over discipline related matters.
The school infrastructure which includes: buildings, science laboratories, play grounds, and school compound were found to play an important role in facilitating academic achievement in schools. The school infrastructure which includes: buildings, science laboratories, play grounds, and school compound were found to play an important role in facilitating academic achievement in schools. Other important resources in teaching and learning were found to be textbooks, charts, posters, library and computers. The most commonly used resource was found to be the textbooks some of which, according to a monitoring report, have shallow content, contradictory information, and too much unnecessary content and factual errors.
The study made the following recommendations:
- Government should make a policy directing parents to participate in the management of these schools (on top of supporting the children in the ways that they were found to be supporting them). On the other hand parents should make it possible for them to do so.
- This could be done through encouraging the parents to take up specific roles in school management and indicating the values of their involvement in school management let alone making it possible for them to participate in school managerial activities through conducting the managerial functions in which they are involved in ways and in modes of communication that the parents comfortably understand.
- Since the parents are not in a good position to offer satisfactory financial support to the schools, the Ministry of Education could extend Universal Secondary Education (USE) to more schools so as to ensure that more schools in Abia State are supported by the subsidy that the programme offers.
- It is also recommended that the managers of the schools in Abia State devise non-tuition related means of financing their schools, since the parents do not have sufficient capacity to support their children’s education satisfactorily. This could be done through the undertaking of income generating projects and attraction of donations, which could ensure that the managers of the schools are able to top up the fees collected from the students and be in a better position to achieve good results.
- On top of focusing on ensuring good student discipline, the managers of the secondary schools in Abia State, as well as the parents of their students, also pay attention to the other variables that could influence the academic performance of the students.
5.5 Suggestion for Further Research
The Suggestion for Further Research is that;
- A study should be conducted on ways through which the secondary schools in Abia State can implement income generating projects and how they could attract grants, so as to supplement their incomes from school fees, which are inadequate.
- A study of the same should be conducted in a different area to compare the results
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