1.1 Background to the Study
Primary school education is widely accepted as the first level of education system where formal education begins. It is seen as very important because it ensures that children acquire basic literacy skills and that they are taught to think critically. It is available to all citizens in every country of the world. This is the reason for the huge investment and contribution of governments of all countries of the world in its administration and processes. In Nigeria, primary education is recognised as the education given to children starting from the age of 6 years to 11 years plus. It runs for a period of six years, and its objectives include developing basic literacy, numeracy, communication skills, adaptation to changing environment and transmission of the culture of the people to younger generations. It should be noted that to fully realise the goals and objectives of this important level of education, efforts and resources must be pulled together by all concerned stakeholders who include government, relevant and concerned organisations as well as parents especially. It is for this reason that the Federal Republic of Nigeria stated in National Policy on Education (2004) that the contribution of voluntary agencies, communities and private individuals, parents inclusive, is welcomed.
Parental contribution in primary schools has been documented as academically beneficial by educational researchers, supported politically, and valued by many educators and individuals in the general public (Gonzalez-DeHass and Willems, 2003). Hung (2007) and Mwaikimu (2012) both agreed that parental contribution is a way of making the educational system more self-governing, developing more power at the local level and allowing for greater accountability by schools to the society. Moreover, they acknowledged that in general, society needs to increase its level of educational contribution, and that this starts with the support by the parents. Dodge (2002) have noted that parents and family members have much to offer the school in terms of support, insights and skills
It is widely recognized that if pupils are to maximize their potential from schooling they will need the full support of their parents. Attempts to enhance parental contributions in education occupy governments, administrators, educators and parents’ organizations across primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council. 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 democratisation of school governance. The European Commission, for example, holds that the degree of parental participation is a significant indicator of the quality of schooling.
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. 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 raise. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a pause button. 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. Chris Theisen, ( 2009). This is because parent in the home are children first teacher. As a child move from infant to toddler and then to a preschooler, he learns how to speak, listen, write and read which latter develop the child to achieve academically. The contributions of parents on children school achievement is well documented in numerous studies. Harderves (1998) review that parents whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characters:
Establish a daily family routine by providing time and a quite 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.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Teaching of social studies has been faced with multi-dimensional problems, some of these problems include; lack of instructional materials, lack of trained teachers, problem of subject matter, family background , ways of evaluating these problems have remained endemic and persistent in the learning of social studies in UBE Primary School Gwagwalada, Abuja. If this trend is not nip in the bud, it will have grave repercussion on the lives of these pupils, their parents and the society at large.
Comments from educators have shown that the blame from lack of good performance has been as a result of neglect and carefree attitude towards academic work by pupils and parents. Home is the first school for a child where he/she is taught the basic norms and values by the parents before the child leaves for the formal education. Contrary to the opinion that learning and reading begins in school, the first foundation of the child begins at home. A good and conducive home environment with adequate Social Studies learning facilities would help to boost the intellectual and academic capability of the learner. Well educated parents would always have good attitudes towards education and provide learning materials such as television, instructional video tapes, textbooks and current affairs books etc that could facilitate the learning process of Social Studies. The motivation of any intelligent child towards learning is being accelerated by the positive influence or contribution of his/her parent.
So in the light of the forgoing it is necessary to investigate the Parents Contributions to Primary School Learners of Learning Social Studies in UBE Primary School, Gwagwalada. Abuja.