The development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources (Akanle, 2007). Hence formal education remains the vehicle for social-economic development and social mobilization in any society. The difference between developed and developing nations is not on the basis of colour, race or any other criteria, but on the basis of education and knowledge. Even in a society itself, people are differentiated on the basis of the quality of education, received by them (Mumthas, 2006). Education therefore has an immense impact on the development human society. It is through education that knowledge and information is received and spread throughout the world. In other words “without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world” (Khan, 2003). Parents play an immense and significant role in the academic performance of their children. Educated parents would have increased emphasis on educational excellence. Educated parents are equipped by virtue of their education to take cognizance of the fact that parent- student- school- community relationship is important in order to promote educational attainment and academic achievement of their children and so they make the partnership a priority (Okantey, 2008).
Parent has vital roles to play in the life of a child. The involvement of a parent on a child determines the future of such child. Parenting involvement is a catch-all term for many different activities including at ‘home,’ good parenting, helping with homework, talking to teachers, attending school functions, through to taking part in school governance. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in schools but throughout life. To say the fact, the most accurate prediction of a student’s performance in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student’s parent is able to create a home environment that encourage learning and to express high expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers.
Academic achievement is directly related to students’ growth and development of knowledge in an educational situation where teaching and learning process takes place. Academic achievement is defined as the performance of the students in the subject they study in the school (Pandey, 2008). Academic performance determines the student’s status in the class. It gives children an opportunity to develop their talents, improve their grades and prepare for the future academic challenges. Parental involvement in promoting children’s school success has been identified as a vital factor affecting students’ academic performance in school. In particular, various aspects of parental involvement although, parents of different occupation classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes. (Rothestein, 2004).
Family is the primary cell of society where the child’s upbringing must begin since his birth, still in cradle. According to V. Hugo, the person’s principles established since childhood are like letters engraved in the bark of a young tree, which grow, enlarge with it making its integral part. Therefore, right beginning makes the most important part of upbringing/education. Nobody ever said that children were easy to rise. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a pause button (I’ve looked!). What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects (Christheisen, 2009). This is because parent in the home are children first teacher. As a child move from infant to toddler and then to a pre-schooler, he learns how to speak, listen, write and read which latter develop the child to achieve academically.
The influence of parents on children school performance is well documented in numerous studies. Gadsden (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning, positively affects the child’s school performance including higher academic achievement. Harderves (1998) review that family whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characters:
• Establish a daily family routine by providing time and a quiet place to study with the children and assigning responsibility for house hold chores.
• Monitor out-of-school activities, for example setting limits on television watching, reduce time of playing, monitor the groups of friends the pupils walk with.
• Encourage children’s development and progress in school; that is maintaining a worm and supportive home, showing interest in children’s progress at school, helping him or her with homework, discussing the value of a good education and future career with children.
Upon this background, this study sets out to investigate the parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools.
Statement of the problem
The role of a parent to a child at any given time cannot be over emphasized. The home is very germane and crucial to a child’s well-being and development in later life. Izzo et al (1999) studied 1205 US children from kindergarten through to grade 3 in a 3 year longitudinal research programme. Teachers rated four forms of involvement; frequency of parent-teacher contact; quality of parent teacher interaction; participation in educational activities in the home; and participation in school activities. These factors, as well as family background variables were examined to find any relationship they might have with school achievement as indexed by school grades. Consistent with other studies, Izzo et al showed that all forms of parental involvement declined with child’s age and that involvement in the home ‘predicted the widest range of performance variance. In another longitudinal study, Dubois, (1994) showed that family support and the quality of parent child relationships significantly predicted school adjustment in a sample of 159 young US adolescents (aged 10 –12) followed in a two year longitudinal study. At-home parental involvement clearly and consistently has significant effects on pupil achievement and adjustment which far outweigh other forms of involvement. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life. The challenges of single parenthood, family crises and the ever increasing involvement of women in various areas of community and national development makes one to ask questions as to whether parents are still able to be committed to their wards; or whether they are putting enough efforts towards effective learning and performance of their children.
The foregoing discussion had established that socio – economic status and host of other factors relating to home environment of students, such as educational background of parents, health status of students, parental occupation and family size could have effects on children academic achievement.Given the importance of education to development, why then it is not taken seriously as indicated by low pass rates. What then mainly determines academic performance in the specific case of secondary school students in Lagos State? Well, in factual context, many ideas come to mind if we think why some students perform better than others: is it because they study more at home? Do they have a higher capacity to learn? Does the personal background, way of life and environment of the student favour his/her performance?
In addressing this problem, the following research questions will be raised:
1). to what extent is the effect of parental socio – economic status on students’ academic performance?
2). what is the effect of parental involvement on student academic performance?
3). is there any impact of family background on students’ academic performance?
4).whatis effect of parent authoritativeness on student academic performance?
The purpose of this study is to investigate the parental status and academic performance in secondary school. Specifically, it seeks to find out;
1). the effect of parental socio – economic status on students’ academic performance.
2). the effect of parental involvement on student academic performance.
3). the impact of family background on students’ academic performance.
4).the effect of parent authoritativeness on student academic performance.
The following research hypotheses will be tested:
1). There is no significant relationship between parental socio – economic status and students’ academic performance.
2). There is no significant correlation between parental involvement and student academic performance.
3). There is no significant relationship between family background and students’ academic performance.
4). There is no significant influence between parent authoritativeness and student academic performance
Significance of this Study
It is envisaged that the findings of this study may expose some factors that might be responsible for poor performance of students in school. The identified areas where government at different levels could come in will be brought into focus in other to bridge the gap of educational attainment of children of low and high income earners in the society. The importance of achieving the objectives of education programme among the general populace cannot be over emphasized. A researcher, Laosa, (2005) had posted as follows: “The educational achievement gap has deep root; it is evident very early in child’s lives; even before they enter schools. Socio–economic differences – such as health and nutrition status, home environments that provide access to academically related experiences, mobility rates, and financial assets can certainly influence academic achievements” (Laosa, 2005). The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home is relevant in this discuss. It is not out of place to imagine that parental socio–economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school. Whatsoever affect the development environment of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. The outcome of this study will no doubt serve as a means of enlightening on the relevance of parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools.
Scope and Limitations of the Study
This study focuses on the issue of parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools. Sourcing of good materials for literature review, limited finance, time frame and other logistics will pose hindrance to the study.A problem with surveys of this kind is that the survey or instrument is limited to the responses and the time each respondent put into their answers. Some respondents might have answered all the questions thoughtfully and some might have answered quickly providing little (most especially the student) information about the processes used in their school.