Background to the study
Education is the best legacy parents can give to their children. The development of the nation starts from the family, when the family succeeds in teaching and impacting good values in the children, the country becomes a better place to live.
Economic position of parents is one of the major factors that can influence greatly the educational upbringing of a child. In most families, either or none of the parents may be earning income sufficient enough to sustain the family, faced with malnutrition and other emotional and psychological effects, the mental development of the child would be greatly retarded. Orhunger (2009) adds that a low income family with plenty of feeding problems may produce children whose physical and mental development poses real challenges to the schools’ effort at optimum development of the child.
The world is fast evolving because of new technology. Throughout history, the development of new technology has been absolutely vital for both human survival and progress. One of the main tools with which human beings adapt to changing condition is the discovery and utilization of new technologies, since technology is the primary vehicle through which humanity progress, it could serve to reduce much of the problems facing human beings such as world hunger, poverty, lack of access to education and other issues.
According to Olarinmoye (2000), “Physics it is the most utilized basic science subject in most technology and technology-related profession”. This merely indicates that the enormous role that physics plays in the technological growth of any nation must not be undermined.
While the numbers attending high school has increased dramatically, the percentage enrolled in physics course continues to drop. Studies by Bolstad and Hipkins (2005) in New Zealand, Lyons (2005) in Australia, Smither and Robinson (2006) in the UK, Dekkers and De-laeter (2001) in Western Nigeria observe that the number of senior students who choose physics is relatively small and has shown a declining tendency. The Africa-Asia confidential (2009) observed that struggling with poor facilities, little money for equipment and inadequate training, Kenyan physics teachers in science and mathematics departments are used to low numbers of students taking their subjects and poor grades from those who do choose to enroll.
The school is an umbrella governing children from different parental background and social background and as such the children learning and the rate of academic development is closely related to other experience, the child’s performance in school is determined by the environment in which the child find himself, in the socio economic different factors can be found, these includes social, economic, psychological, cultural, genetic environmental and emotional.
Statement of the Problem
Physics as a science subject plays an important role in the technological advancement of a nation in the years past, it has been noticed that students’ academic achievement from social and economic disadvantaged background is poor, disadvantaged physics students are not enjoying an equal level of success within secondary school education as their advantaged peers. Not only are such students less likely to reach degree status, but even those who do are likely to have suffered from a number of barriers which may have hindered their progress and deterred them from continuing any further.
More so, despite the effort of Government in improving the standard of education and provision of adequate facilities for teaching physics, students still perform below expectation in physics, therefore this study intend to examine critically how the influence of socio economic background of students affect their performance in physics
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