THE INFLUENCE OF FAMILY BACKGROUND ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PHYSICS STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is a basic tool used by society for transmission of its societal values. It has become an area of prime importance not only for government or voluntary agencies but also for individuals, families, Governments and communities. Voluntary agencies and individuals are committing a lot of resources in order to achieve success in the educational enterprise (Orhungur, 1990). Awoniyo (1991) put it that the government believes that the greatest investment of a nation should be in her people.
The greatness of any nation depends on the genius, qualities, attitudes and aspirations of her people and it cannot expect to be ignorant and free at the same time. Many factors and reasons have been given as being responsible for the continuous falling in the academic standard of our present educational system. These includes; attitudes of teachers to work, lack of seriousness on the part of the students, effect of the dwindled economy and to some extent the increasing degenerating moral system. Despite all possible efforts put forward by various governments and voluntary agencies to curb these trends, the country is yet to witness the rise it desires to see in the educational system. The saddest irony of it all is that we have all the teaching facilities and equipmens with modern infrastructures, more qualified and experienced teachers now than we had in the past, more improved effective teaching methods and strategies and all the facilities as well as basic amenities one could need foe effective learning.
The worry then was, why is education falling continuously in the system today? The researchers’ interest and motivation in this topic is the fact that some students are exceptionally good in their work, while some extremely bad. When such 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. Orhungur (1990) asserts that the cultural background of the family is determined to a large extent by its socio-economic background. As the child grows up 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.
The family setting and its socializing influence mould the personality of the child. Nigeria, for instance is a society with diverse ethnic groups with various cultural background in areas like family size, occupation and in extreme cases, religion. These factors pose their own restrictions on educational upbringing of children. The social sitting or mode of settlement of the family and extended family system may equally influence the academic performance of a child and by extension, their educational upbringing. Motivation is most need in order to perform more efficiently in their area of endeavor. When certain factors are eminent in a child’s family background, it is clear that the child will be motivated and driven towards high academic goal.
Denga (1986) in Eyake (1997) advised that praises, incentives, recommendations and other forms of reward system should be employed as motivational factors to stimulate students to higher achievements. It is likely that the much a child achieves during his school days is largely dependent on the kind of family to which he/ she belongs.
For instance, a child whose parents take a great deal of interest in what he/ she does at school and give him / her necessary support by providing all the required books and finances needed has a great advantage over a child whose parents do not give him this kind of incentives and encouragements. More so, students’ attitudes to learning and educational performances are shaped by the kind of stimuli offered to them by their various environments. This can be considered in terms of the type of family, the home, parental social orientation, educational level, occupation to mention but a few. It is therefore, evident that students’ performance is contingent on the stimulus the home offers. Educational upbringing is not unconnected with the family influence of a child. Individual members of the family serve as a model to the child as he/ she copies from each of them. Eyake (1997) quoted. Adeyeme (1977) if the house fails to provide the child with the necessary equipments to fit him/ her into his proper place in the society and guided properly for his/ her future career, then the child is damaged. An analysis of the percentage of secondary school dropout today entails that such students are usually from broken homes, wiring polygamous family or with other socially related problems.
The agrarian and large families have accounted for the polygamous life of people. The large the size of the family, the more economic and other social responsibilities the parents bring upon themselves. And more often than not, the educational performance of students from such family suffer serious setback.
This is because such parents might not be able to afford the cost funding education for the children. Other factors may affect the education performance of students like separation on grounds of different working station, divorce or even natural death can bring adverse effect on the growth and development of a child. Furthermore, economic position of parents is one of major factors that can influence greatly the educational upbringing of a child. In most families, either or none of 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 (1990) adds that a low income family with plenty of feeding problems may produce children who physical and mental development poses real challenges to the schools effort at optimum development of the child. This research work is therefore intended to explore the degree to which these factors influence the educational performance of students with a view to making useful suggestions that would help in checking the system.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Societies all over the world strive to achieve quantitative education for her citizenry. In order to achieve this noble course, so many factors must be put into consideration. Among them is the family background of the child. The family has a great role to play on the overall development of the child and his educational upbringing in particular. The gap in performance between students and academic excellence constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to both parents, schools mangers, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of students’ in secondary school schools. Experience has shown that among the secondary school students’ there exist some differences which influence students academic performance, such as some students’ being able to pay their school fees promptly, while others were often sent away for nonpayment of school fees, some students have problem with the provision of school uniform but others do not. Likewise, some students were motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books, others were not, where as some students’ come to school properly feed, others not. One then wonders whether influence of family background had played a in these issues. In the light of this, the main problem of this search is to find out if there exist in Gboko local area a relationship between family background and the students’ academic performance.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
There is no gain for any country whose educational planners and policy makers stands and watch the falling standard and steady decline of education at a given rate. They must identify the causes for such decline with a view of proffering solution to them. This research work is set to accomplish the following objectives;
i. To investigate into the effect of family background on the educational performance of students’.
ii. To find out if social-economic status of parents influence their students’ academic performance in physics.
iii. To find out whether educational attainment of parent affect their students’ academic performance in physics.
iv. To find out the influence of family size on educational upbringing of physics students.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this research work the following research questions have been formulated;
(a) Do parents socio-economic status influence the academic performance of the students?
(b) Is there any effect of family size on the academic performance of physics students?
The following hypotheses will be tested to guide this study;
(a) The socio-economic status of parents has no significant effect on the academic performance of physics students.
(b) There is no significant effect between family size and the academic performance of students in physics.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The work of this nature when completed may help the parents to be aware of the effect the family has on children and how such affect the child positively or negatively in relation to their academic performance. From the available recommendations, they will be able to adopt measures of bringing up there in such a way that they will perform well academically.
Similarly, it is likely to encourage parents to make their children relatively comfortable in schools. This study also could aid children of various families to be aware and bear in mind with their parents in ability to provide them with all the necessary requirements in schools, and also sympathize with them in family problems and situations. More so, educational and curriculum planners could be guided in planning the curriculum without rigidity to suit diverse cultural environments. In addition, the teachers would be aware that a cordial teacher parent relationship may in a way improve the influence of family background on the academic performance of a child in school. The research of this nature is likely to help the state, nation and the world in general benefit from as adherence to the recommendations and implementation will help produce youths who would be better leaders of tomorrow. Finally, the research when completed may add to available literature and may encourage further research on the topic.
1.7 Scope of the Study
It would be much demanding to undertake a complete study of the effects of family background on the academic performance of students in all the secondary schools are scattered all over the local government area and due to logistics constraint on the researcher, only five schools will be sampled, sampled schools are selected based on their metropolitan population characteristics. The study is likely to be confined to senior secondary school (ss1) students of the selected schools. This is because (ss1) is the beginning of senior secondary school class. If family background affects students in (ss1), it is assumed that likely to affect their performances in senior secondary school certificates examinations and even worst in their higher academic performance.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
As words may mean differently in different contexts, the following definitions are given as the words used as intended to be understood for the purpose of this study.
FAMILY: Is a unit comprising of husband, wife and children.
FAMILY SIZE: The number of people in the family.
FAMILY SYSTEM: This includes monogamy and may be nuclear or extended family.
HOME ENVIRONMENT: This refers to parental experience and aspirations for children, objects and material conditions in the home for comfort and also specific behavioral processes conducive to learning.
EDUCATIONAL UPBRINGING: This refers to education of children and how they perform in academics when subjected to test or examination.
EDUCATIONAL STATUS: This term is used for social processes in which one achieve social competence and individual growth, carried on in a selected, controlled sitting which can be institutionalized as a school or college.
OCCUPATIONAL STATUS: Person’s trade, vocation or principal means of earning living.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS: This refers to position of recognition which one finds him in the society. Such a position may not be hereditary but acquired through personal efforts like education, wealth, occupation and social class.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: This refers to the students’ achievement, scores within the class and his position relative to all those subjected the same test.
EFFECTS: the result or outcome of anything be it positive or negative.
HOME SITUATION: This refers to prevailing atmosphere in the home whether violent, resentful or in disarray.
PARENTAL ATTITUDE: Parents disposition to respond in a characteristics way to some stimulus in their social environment. Some responses determine the way and manner their children are brought up by them.