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THE EFFECT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND OF ADOLESCENT STUDENTS ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

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.

person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic and social position relative to others, based on income and education, and occupation (Marmot, Michael, 2004) indicates When analyzing a family’s social economic status, the household income, earners’ education and occupation are examined, as well as combined income, versus with an individual, when their own attributes are assessed. Lareau, Annette ( 2003) observes that Socioeconomic status is typically broken into three categories, high, middle, and low to describe the three areas a family or an individual may fall into when placing a family or individual into one of these categories any or all of the three variables income, education, and occupation can be assessed. Additionally, low income and little education have shown to be strong predictors of a range of physical and mental health problems due to environmental conditions may be the entire cause of that person’s social predicament to begin with. Simiyu, J.W (2001) argues that the family income refers to wages salaries, profit, rents and any flow of earnings received. Income can also come in the form of unemployment or workers compensation, social security, pensions, interests or dividends, royalties, trusts, alimony, or other governmental, public, or family financial assistance. Income can be looked at in two terms, relative and absolute. Absolute income, as theorized by economist Keyenes, is the relationship in which as income increases, so will consumption, but not at the same rate.

As increasing attention has been paid to the quality of education in Nigeria, socio-economic background are found to influence to a great extent the performance of students in schools and their adjustment in life. Socio-economic background is a concept that is understood and utilized well beyond the scope of Nigeria education. Socio-economic background has a unique and distinct relationship with the progress and level of education among Nigerians. It is also found to be one of the important variables in educational researches. A measure of socio-economic background of students relies heavily and oftentimes exclusively on the socio-economic background of their parents. Students and their families are generally classified into high, middle and low socio-economic background based on a standardized composite index score of parent s education, occupation, income, family structure and availability of other related facilities. The poor performance of students in examinations, in recent times, has been largely attributed to the changing life pattern and socio-economic background of these families concerned.

The right to choose a subject of study at the Tertiary school level is often influenced by the students’ personal factors, societal perception and values, the school system and the socio – economic indices. If not that the society makes the study of certain subjects as basic for all students, sizable number of students would find Mathematics or English language or both missing from their lists of subjects as irrelevant to be studied. The simple reason is most students believed Mathematics is dreadful and learning of foreign language, like English, is cumbersome regardless of the fact that such language is official language of the society. But the inclusion of these two subjects as part of the basic subjects, are being offered compulsorily. The influence of the society peters out here clearly; hence the society produces National Policy on Education to spell out the society’s values and perception of what Education in the society should be. However there are some subjects that are left to be offered as optional or career subjects. These subjects are to be chosen by the students (either under school counselors or parental or peer group’s influence).

As increasing attention has been paid to the quality of education in Nigeria, socio-economic background are found to influence to a great extent the performance of students in schools and their adjustment in life. Socio-economic background is a concept that is understood and utilized well beyond the scope of Nigeria education. Socio-economic background has a unique and distinct relationship with the progress and level of education among Nigerians. It is also found to be one of the important variables in educational researches. A measure of socio-economic background of students relies heavily and oftentimes exclusively on the socio-economic background of their parents. Students and their families are generally classified into high, middle and low socio-economic background based on a standardized composite index score of parent s education, occupation, income, family structure and availability of other related facilities. The poor performance of students in examinations, in recent times, has been largely attributed to the changing life pattern and socio-economic background of these families concerned.

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.

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.

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Updated: 10th August 2017 — 8:14 pm

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