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SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS AS A PREDICTOR OF STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
The study investigates the influence of parents’ socio-economic status on academic performance of students.
Two hundred school going adolescents comprised the sample for the study. A random sampling technique was used in selecting 200 subjects used for this Study from ten secondary schools in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Education District (L.E.D) of Lagos State.
A researcher-conducted questionnaire was used for the study. There was no conscious manipulation of the variable since the interaction among them has been completed. T-test of independent sample was used to verify the difference between parental socio-economic status; income, occupation, educational attainment, and academic achievement of the school children.
From the analysis of the data and the interpretation of’ the results given, the following findings resulted:
iii. There is a significant difference between children of prestigious and low occupation parents relative to their academic performance in schools.
Therefore, some recommendations were made.
Education has been described in numerous ways. One of these is that, it is a process for the development of the totality of individual intellectually, physically, socially, morally, spiritually and psychologically to enable him live an effective and meaningful life and to be able to contribute towards the development of the society in which he finds himself. That great hope existed and still exists for utilizing education as a major lever to life from backward social order to more satisfactory level is evident from the statements and politics of governments throughout the world.
However, education has been seen nationally and internationally as the key to progress and development. This is simply demonstrated by the yawning gap which separates the developed world from the so called `developing’ nations. That gap according to Jakande (1987) will never be closed, and the poorer nations will remain permanently subservient and subordinate unless they embrace education. Thus, education will open the door of prosperity, human development and national greatness.
Consequently, greater emphasis now appears to be placed on educational development because of the realisation that education, especially in science and technology, is the most powerful instrument for social transformation and economic development. It is a universally accepted principle that the attempt to create a new social order based on freedom, equality and justice can succeed only if traditional education is revolutionized in content and context.
One of the most revolutionary and dramatic indication of the place of education and its relevance to national development may be found in a communication addressed to the Soviet Leader, Lenin in 1919 by the Soviet economist, Strummin, on the eve of the launching of the Soviet Union as cited by Ozurtunba (1987). he had warned Lenin that the hydroelectric power grids, he was planning the huge industrial enterprises about to be initiated, the steel drills, the machine – tool factories and even the mechanized farms would all amount to colossal wastes unless an equivalent investment in education was provided. The economist arrived at this conclusion, because he saw that in his country there were students which showed that primary education meant 19 percent increase in the output and wages of a labourer; secondary education meant an increase of as much as 239 percent and higher education or university education as much as 320 percent. Lenin took the advice and made a colossal investment in the education of his people. The result was spectacular and one of its manifestations was the Soviet industrial revolution of 1927.
Therefore, it is the realization of the values and benefits of education that has led to the development of the Nigerian National Policy on Education (1981 revised) where it is entrenched that:
“… not only is education the greatest force that can be used to bring about redress in lacking areas of nation building, it is also the greatest investment that the nation can make for the quick development of its economic, social, technological and human resources.”
This is why Harbinson and Mayers (1964) stated that human resources development is a process of increasing the knowledge, skills, attitudes and the capabilities of all the people in the society. Economically, education is the accumulation of human capital and its investment in the development of the economy.
Secondly, it Influences human interactions and co-existence. Politically, education prepares the people for informed franchising and suffrage. Thus, human resources development which comes through education, opens the door to modern socialization.
There has been a new focus of the Nigerian educational system on functionality and universalization. Emphasis skilled from education for a few elites to the provision of basic education for all by the year 2000, concerning at least the first nine years of schooling.
Thus, both the federal and state governments have been making huge investments in education by allocating as much as 30 percent of their annual budgets to education. This is to ensure that education is provided quantitatively and qualitatively as well as effectively and efficiently. More focus is also on the curriculum and the quality of instruction.
However, these huge investments in education would be justified by the level of performance of the students in their academic pursuits. It therefore becomes necessary to study, analyze and drawn some conclusions concerning the predictors of academic performance of the students. There are many such predictors but this project deals or focuses on the social economic status as a predictor of students’ academic performance in some selected secondary schools in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area in Lagos State.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
An understanding of the various factors affecting the performance of the child in classroom with a view to maximizing such performance has been of great concern to educators and psychologists over the years.
Also, the plight of the “culturally deprived” child in our schools, causes much concern for educators, but despite the concern, there are few practical insights into the causes of the problems much of what we know is based upon studies which show that children from the lower classes do not do as well as their middle and upper class pears.
Margaret (1997) quoting lpaye stated that Socio-Economic Status (SES) of parents has been found to relate in a highly positive and negative way to their children’s performance in the school.
The present educators, diplomats, teachers, psychologists, policy makers decried the rise in falling standard of education especially in this country. The general consensus of the above mentioned people on the reason for the fall in education were as a result of the socio-economic background of the parents. They stressed that some parents, to a large extent, have little concern about the progress and performance of their children in the schools.
Some parents do not care about their responsibility, and this may lead to low moral and truancy and this may have a great effect on students’ academic performance leading to the present economic situation in the country. Many poor parents are forced by circumstances to saddle the young ones with chores like hawking wares, cleaning the house and doing other menial jobs which take much of their time and deprive them of enough time to their studies.
It is the belief of some parents especially the illiterates among them, that students often waste time on watching the television and videos. They (parents) are ignorant of the fact that radio and television programmes help immensely in providing vital information and materials that can make students keep abreast of events around and gain some academic exposures and consequently, help to improve their academic performance in schools.
Another factor is that if the child is deprived of good nutrition; he may suffer ill health and even find it difficult to make satisfactory adjustments at schools.
Family size is another serious factor. According to Anastasi (2001), the family size can affect the academic performance of the child. She opined that a large family at least in certain socio-economic situation would reduce the per capita funds available for education, recreation, proper food, medical attention, etc. This means that any reduction in or non-availability of the item mentioned above will normally affect the performance of the child in school. Ogunlade and Fajuyitan (1994) said that academic aspiration of the school child is positively related to the socio-economic of their parents career work, which is the target of most parents as a means of livelihood, created more harm to the development of their children. This assertion is based on the fact that career employees use most of their time in their work place. The aftermath of this trend is that children are left at the mercy of the housemaids and schoolteachers to nurture. This ugly trend deprives children from learning the norms, customs of the society. Inability of the parents to instill discipline on the wards as a result of the work that occupied their time and this prevents them (parents) from monitoring their academic performance. Hence; involvement in career work is a bane to students’ academic performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There has been an outcry of the fallen standard of education in Nigeria. This is because of the poor academic performance of students in schools. The researcher believes that the reason for this disparity of few students performing well while a good number of them perform poorly, is as a result of socio-economic background of parents.
With the increased emphasis on academic Performance in Nigeria, a lot of schools have been established and this has created pressure in educational system in Nigeria. There is a charming increasing in facilities such as textbooks, journals, magazines, radio sets, television and video sets. Yet the home background of these students, as well as the school background are to say the least are very poor. With this type of situation, the country can hardly produce citizens who can put the nation in the forefront of technological advancement.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Socio-economic status as a predictor of academic performance of the students among other factors cannot be over emphasized.
Therefore, thus study intends to answer the following research questions:
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic background or factors and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Also, it is necessary to find out the different socio-economic factors that are responsible for their academic Performance.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
It is hoped, that the finding of the study would help in identifying the socioeconomic factors affecting students’ academic performance.
It will enable teachers to know the roles, being played by the family or parents in encouraging the students to perform better in academic work. It will also help the teachers to know the necessary help to render to these children who are less cared for by their parents.
It will help the parents to know when, where and how to assist their children/wards in order to improve their academic performance in schools.
It will help the government, which serves as central authority to know its responsibility with reference to the educational Performance of these students. This may be in terms of bursary awards and procuring of adequate facilities.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
There is no significant difference between children of white collar and blue-collar parents relative to their academic Performance in schools.
There is no significant difference between children of literate and illiterate parents relative to their academic Performance in schools.
There is no significant difference between children of prestigious and low occupation parents relative to their academic Performance in schools.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is intended to examine the relationship between socio-economic status and students’ academic performance in some selected secondary schools in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is likely to experience constraints like financial constraints, no easy accessibility to information or data from schools, late collection of data like questionnaire. Other constraints include time factor and attitude of the respondents.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
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