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Influence Of Parents’ Economic Status On Pupils’ Learning In Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State




The main purpose of this study is to ascertain the influence of parents’ economic status on pupils’ learning in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State.  The population of the study comprised of three thousand, three hundred and ninety (3390) pupils and thirty-one (31) teachers in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State which gave the total of three thousand, four hundred and twenty-one (3421).  The sample of the study was one three hundred and eleven (311) pupils (primary 4, 5 and 6) and thirty-one (31) teachers from 10 selected public schools in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State drawn through simple random sampling technique to serve as the representative of the entire population. The instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire that was structured by the researcher and validated by two experts (one from Primary Education Department of Federal College of Education (Technical) Asaba and one from Measurement and Evaluation. Three hundred and forty-two (342) copies of the questionnaires were administered pupils and teachers in the selected public primary schools in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State by the researcher with the help of some teachers and 336 copies of the instrument were retrieved and analyzed. Based on the analysis, the study found among others that parents’ educational background influence pupil’s learning, parents’ occupation influence pupil’s learning and parents’ level of income influence pupil’s learning. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended among others that government should make education free at the basic level to enable children from low income families to have access to quality education, parents should be encouraged to get involved fully in the education of their children not minding their level of education, occupation or income and government should assist parents who are not financially buoyant by giving their children free books and other learning materials.



Background to the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens. This is because the development of any nation depends on the educational attainment of her citizenry and the quality of education of such a nation. Education does not only provide knowledge and skills but also inculcates values to pupils. It prepares individuals to be responsible citizen life. According to Mahmud (2014), cultural heritage and values are transmitted from one generation to another through education. The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change that is being taught from home. It is then generally believed that economic background of the parent has direct impact on the academic performance of the pupils.

Economic status is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation. It is commonly conceptualized as the social status or class of an individual or group (Robert, 2017). Low economic status and its correlates, such as lower education, poverty and poor health, ultimately affect our societies as a whole. Research indicates that children from low economic status households and communities develop academic skills more slowly compare to children from higher economic status group. Aiken and Barbarin (2018) noted that, the school system in low economic status communities are often under resource and have negatively affected pupil’s learning progress. Families from low economic status communities are less likely to have the financial resource or time available to provide children with academic support.

Nwachuku (2016) stated that in the quest of finding survival, the nation has evolved series of economic and educational measures and policies such as structural adjustment programme, austerity measure, universal primary education, Universal Basic Education and devaluation of the naira. These measures have not improved the economic and educational status of families in the country. They have rather increase their suffering and widened the economic gaps between families.  Curry (2014) lamented that parent becomes poor due to their hard measures, they can no longer shelter, and clothing and special need of their children in school such as provision of textbook, school uniforms and good medical bills cannot be met.

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Many rural and sub-urban dwellers can no longer pay the school fees of their children. Children are made to engage in subsistence farming and become housemaids or engage in other menial jobs to support their academic pursuit. The health status of the children, which could also be traceable to parental economic background, can be another factor that can affect the learning activities of the pupil. Adewale (2015) had reported that in a rural community where nutritional status is relatively low and heath problem are prevalent, children academic performance is greatly hindered. This assertion is again hinged on nature of parental economic background.

Family background according to James (2017), influence academic and educational success of pupils. Status reinforces the activities and functioning of the teacher and pupils. The quality of parents and home background of pupil goes a long way to predict the academic performances of pupil. Child from poor home may suffer because there may be no money to pay school fees, purchase book, uniforms, and other schools materials, such child may play truant, thus his performance in school may be adversely affected (Shittu, 2014). Similarly, good parenting supported by strong economic home background could enhance strong academic performance of the child.  Learning environment that is free of barrier or obstacle or distraction such as noise, gas/smoke pollutions and so on can constitute health hazards, which in turn affect or reduce pupil’s concentration or perceptual focus to learning. Market and garages located near schools have always posed a threat to pupil. Noise and pollution from these sources have always endangered pupil life and concentration. Other factors according to Danes (2014), complementing environment and economic factors to produce high academic and performance include good teaching, counselling, good administration, and good seating arrangement. It has also been proved that pupil that come from simulative environment with laboratory equipment or those that are taught with rich instructional aides, picture and allowed to demonstrate using their functional nerves likes eyes, hands and sense of test perform better than those trained under theoretical and canopy of abstraction. Thus, teaching and learning should be done under organize, planned and fortified environmental with instructional aides to stimulate pupil sense of conception, and concentration to facilitate systematic understanding and acquisition of knowledge.

Factors which are present in the family contributed greatly to the performance of the pupils. Among these are parental educational backgrounds, income, exposure, parental relationship with each other, strength of the family/population, religion, occupation etc. determine to a greater extent the readiness of the child to learn.

According to Olayinka and Omoegun (2016), the word “family” has its origin in the Latin word which could be translated to mean “domestic group”. A domestic group is a group of people who habitually share a common dwelling and common food supply. Murdoch (2015) stated that family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic, cooperation and reproduction; it includes adults of both sexes, at least two of who maintains a socially approved sexual relationship and one more children, own or adopted by the sexually cohabiting adult.

The family provides for the physical maintenance of the child, offers him his first and most continuing social contracts, and gives him affection and other emotional satisfaction including quality education that will last for a life time, teaches him most of social requirement of his behaviour and often put him in contract with other specializing institutions.

According to Oloko (2016), the onset of family fountain is either through marriage or parenthood. Oloko further added that the family provides most of the only frustrations in life, some of which may cause unhappiness and even mental imbalance in life since they sometime fail to provide the child with sufficient sense of security and emotional maturity coupled with inadequate socialization. Hence the common saying “charity begins at home”.

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In our modern complex society in which adolescents and adults leave the security of their traditional homes and seek employment opportunities in our big towns, cities, and industrial centres, married couples are often confronted with many problems that may affect the stability of their marriages. The current instability of some marriages tends to be the result of educational, social, economic and cultural changes, which have affected societal values and outlook to life. These changes have occurred and continue to occur so rapidly that they are not yet fully absorbed into our way of life. Thus, the growth of the factory and industry in our towns and cities, the continuing migration of people from the rural to urban centres, the mobility and frequent changes of residence of workers, the entry of some women into industry, employment and business, and the changing economic roles of husbands and wives, tend to constitute a threat to marriage stability.         Youths are often far away from their parents and relations who can guide them through the initial problems of life. Consequently, with individual revolution, family lives have been shattered. The end result is that the children become social liabilities with little or no cause for moral training or basic education. The effect on the children’s academic performance in schools is therefore better imagined. This is because the much-needed parental care, love, affection and guidance are lacking in required proportion.

It is very important that children come closely in contact with their parents during the period of infancy to adulthood. The warmth which can only be provided by the parents gives the child a sense of belonging and affections which enhances their mental, physical, moral and educational growth. If children are denied this much-needed parental affections and warmth during the vital period of their lives, they become negatively affected in all aspects of life.

Education has to do with the development of individual potentials or the development of intellect and character, it is to develop or reform an individual’s sense of responsibility thereby making him a better man. Education is described as the best investment that one can ever make as educated children will be able to have good jobs, meaningful life for them as well as increase the National Productivity. The National Policy on Education (2010) refers to education as an instrument par excellence for effecting National development. It is also a dynamic instrument of change. Ukeje (2015), referred to education as “one of the most powerful instruments ever invented by modern civilization”. Education prepares one for life and it is a process of accumulating knowledge for future use.

Nevertheless, the environment under which a child is nurtured plays major part in his or her development even at the pre-natal stages of life. Besides, inadequate cares, hostile interrelationship in the place of a child’s immediate environment most times create a state of anxiety and emotional distress in the child; which also impact greatly on the rest of the child’s future life. The physical environment under which a child studies, can as well influences his or her learning. In this regard, parents have a lot to do to ensure that the mental, emotional and psychological balance, value orientation, aspiration and personality, as well as the academic status of their children are properly developed in life.

However, the attainment of the above qualities varies from one child to another depending also on the home and conditions he finds himself. Problematic home conditions drastically affect educational success and learning in children. One-parent child, that is, a child being raised up by a single parent; example a male parent rearing a female child, and vice-versa, children raised in the absence of mother, those others lacking maternal or paternal attention most often have levels of difficulties in adjustment on studies and in life. A child psychologically and emotionally deprived, can hardly be sufficiently motivated to achieve high academic success. Linking parents’ economic status with the children’s learning in school, Holcomb (2014) argues that children who receive enough attention and affection from loving and caring parents right from start are most likely to succeed socially and emotionally; whereas Peters (2015) asserts that children with working mothers tend to have a higher reading score as well as better language and cognitive ability.

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Statement of Problem

Parents’ economic status goes a long way in determining how well their children can perform academically. It is one of the key factors that determine the success of any child as far as education is concern.

Children from wealthy family seem to do better academically than those from economically disadvantaged or poor families. This is simply because parents who are economically stable tend to provide almost all the necessary learning materials for their children. They also create a conducive learning environment for their children at home, which motivate them to cultivate the habit of reading and be interested in academic activities.

However, revers is the case when it comes to children whose parents find it difficult to provide the necessary learning materials due to their low economic status. The children tend to be less motivated and less interested in academic activities because they lack the necessary learning materials thereby placing them at a disadvantaged position. This has generated a serious public outcry on how parents’ economic status influence the rate of their children’s participation in learning activities. Hence the need to ascertain the influence of parents’ economic status on pupils’ learning in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to ascertain the influence of parents’ economic status on pupils’ learning in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State. Specifically, the study seeks to ascertain:

  1. The influence of parents’ educational background on their children’s learning in Onitsha South.
  2. The influence of parents’ occupation on their children’s learning in Onitsha South.
  • The influence of parents’ income on pupil’s learning in Onitsha South.

Research Questions

To effectively carry out the study, the following question were raised:

  1. What is the influence of parents’ educational background on their children’s learning in Onitsha South?
  2. What is the influence of parents’ occupation on their children’s learning Onitsha in South?
  3. What is the influence of parents’ income on pupil’s learning in Onitsha South?

Significance of the study

The usefulness of this research work cannot be over emphasized. If the result of the study is properly utilized, it is going to be of benefit to the pupils, teacher, parents and government.

It would help the parents to understand the need to provide adequate learning facilities to their children in the school to encourage participating actively in the teaching/learning process.

It would bring to the knowledge of the teacher on how to attend to pupils individually since their parental background is not the same.

The government shall know why school should be adequately funded and instructional materials be provided for effective teaching and learning so that the children for poor families will also benefit.

Finally, the research work would be an addition to available literature in this field and also serve as a reference material for those who may wish to carry out further research in a related topic.

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to the influence of parents’ economic status on pupils learning in Onitsha Education Zone, Anambra State. With particular emphasis on the influence of parents’ educational background, occupation and income on pupils learning.

Pages:  50

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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