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An Investigation Into The socio-economic status of parents And Students' Academic Performance

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Background to the Study
Socio-economic status is a definite background variable that represents a feature of the social structure in society (Oakes & Rossi, 2003).

It is a fact that families where the parents are privileged educationally, socially and economically, promote a higher level of achievement in their offspring.

The socio-economic status of a child is usually determined by parental educational level, parental occupational status and income level (Jeynes, 2002). It is understood that low socio-economic status negatively and depressingly affects students’ academic achievement.

Due to low socio-economic status, a student does not have access to important resources and generates additional stress and tension at home (Jeynes, 2002, Eamon 2005).

According to Parson, Stephanie and Deborah (2001), socio-economic status is an expression which is used to differentiate between people’s relative status in the community with regard to family income, political power, educational background and occupational status.

When analysing a family’s socio-economic status, the household income, earner’s education and occupation are examined, as well as the combined income of an individual, when their own attributes are assessed (Keltner, 2008).
In the current era of globalisation and technological revolution, education is considered as a crucial step for every human activity (Farooq, Shafia, & Berhanu, 2011) and it is considered as the lifeline for efficient and stable working of human society.

Education does not only provide knowledge and skills, but also inculcates values, training, fostering right attitudes and habits.

Cultural heritage and values are transmitted from one generation to the next through education. 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 their children, the country becomes a better place to live. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resource.

Formal education is the demonstration of such desires to effectively and efficiently build a sound and strong economy.

Education is very vital in the human existence because the society and education are interrelated and inter-dependent.

This can also be seen in the nature and development of a child born in a given society.
The school is an umbrella governing children from different parental background and social backgrounds and as such the children’s learning and rate of academic development is closely related to other experiences.

Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education.

Local authorities take responsibility for implementing policies for state-controlled public education and state schools at a regional level. The education system is divided into kindergarten, primary education, secondary education and tertiary education.

This study is focused on secondary education. Students spend six years in secondary school that is 3 years of JSS (Junior Secondary School), and 3 years of SSS (Senior Secondary School).

The Senior Secondary School ends with Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. Junior secondary school is compulsory and leads to the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), which opens the gate to Senior Secondary School. SSS curriculum is based on 6 core subjects completed by 2 or 3 elective subjects.

The Core subjects are: English; Mathematics, Civic Education, Computer: one major Nigeria language and others are elective; it contains vocational subjects which include: Marketing, Animal husbandry, Food and Nutrition, Technical Drawing, Music and Fine Arts.

Students can also join, after the BECE a technical college.

The technical college curriculum also lasts 3 years and leads to a trade/craftsmanship certificate.
Nigerian education has been experiencing a geometric set back since the past two decades which makes the academic performance of students to be getting poorer.

This pathetic situation has always been an issue to attend to by government and the stakeholders in the educational sector.

Numerous factors have been identified in various research studies to be responsible for the continuous declining of our educational system.

Various factors such as classroom size, poor teacher-student ratio, inadequate instructional materials, attitude of teachers towards work and lack of seriousness on the part of students.With the availability of more qualified teachers, improved technology and facilities for teaching and learning, the educational system in Nigeria is still losing its values.
The motivation for this study is based on the fact that some students are exceptionally good in their work, while some are extremely bad.

When variations in scores are traced it is more often discovered that family background is a major contributory factor.

It is therefore important that the levels of such contributions and the influence they have on children be examined so that useful suggestions to parents, teachers, educational planners and government could be made.
As the child grows up and moves out to the interest wider society his/her interaction with it and perception of it are largely determined from her earlier, experiences at home.

Besides, the other factors such as individual and household characteristics, school related factors and government policies, socio-economic status is the most researched and debated factor that contribute towards the academic performance of students (Farooq et al, 2011).

Furthermore, few empirical evidences are found in Nigeria regarding the association between parental socio-economic status and academic achievement of their students (Odoemena, 2010).

As a result, conducting research on such issues would provide great insight on the association between socio-economic status of parents and academic performance of students.
The researcher is being motivated to study the effects of parental socio-economic status on the students’ academic performance, as most families are poor and cannot adequately afford 3-square meals not to talk of meeting the educational needs of their children.

The researcher attempted to study the serious implications that the family socio-economic status had on the learning and performance of students’ academic performance. Osunloye (2008) observed that there is an awareness of the importance of the home environment or family on children’s academic performance.

Statement of the Problem
Poor academic performance of secondary school students has been associated with a high level of indiscipline from students, lack of commitment from parents, teachers and inefficient administrators in secondary schools (Ugoji, 2008).

The gap in performance between students and academic excellence constitutes a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to parents, school managers, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of students in Nigeria.
In order to improve performance, much has been done to the factors that Ugoji (2008) reported above, as the level of discipline in many of the schools has improved, and the ministries of education and other stakeholders have done much to put in place efficient administration, but in spite of all these, students’ performance has not significantly improved.

Therefore, it is important to establish other factors that affect academic performance in Nigeria outside those that are perceived by Ugoji and some other researchers.
Obanya (2004), Ebenuwa – Okoh (2010), and Atanda and Jaiyeoba (2011) noted that some of the factors responsible for the low performance of students in WASSCE and NECO are low socio-economic status of parents and lack of seriousness of students.

This study therefore to investigated parents’ socio-economic status and students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to investigate socio-economic status of parents and students’ academic performance in Lagelu Government Area, Oyo State.

Other purposes were to:
i. determine the relationship between the educational status of parents and students’ academic performance in Lagelu Local Government Area, Oyo state.
ii. Investigate the relationship between parents’ occupation and students’ academic performance in Lagelu Local Government Area, Oyo State.

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