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Background of the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youths. This is because education is very important in the development of any nation or community. Education is the process of transmitting what is worthwhile to members of the society. According to Okafor (1981). Education embraces all those experiences of the individual through which knowledge is acquired and intellect enlightened. For Nwabachili and Egbue (1993) education is what goes on from one generation to another generation. In this context, education is the process of socializing the child to grow up as a fulfilled member of the society through informal, formal and non-formal process. Informal education is the process of acquiring knowledge about the environment and beyond through living with one another. According to Nwabachili and Egbue (1993) formal education is a consciously planned form of socialization in a formal setting such as school. They stressed that non-formal education involve all those systematic programmes and processes of education and training that is done outside formal education setting. All these forms of education cannot be achieved without the impact of the family.

Family is the first social environment the child finds itself. According to Clifford (1981) family remains the primary environment of the child. The author emphasized that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual achievement of the child. Akubue and Okolo (2008), defined family as a small kinship structural group with the key function of natural socialization of the new born. Similarly, in Okunniyi (2004), family is defined as a primary social group of parents, offspring and possibly other members of the household.

Family education and social background refers to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which impact the child physically, intellectually and emotionally Muola (2010). Pupils coming from different family education and social backgrounds are affected different by such family conditions, that is why some pupils have good family education and social background while some have poor background. Citing fleege, Eke (1999) noted that with some families, the background way vary from time to time for the same individuals.

Formal education therefore remains the vehicle for human development which must start from the family. There are different categories of families. The major categories of families according to Anderson and Taylor (2000) includes: Traditional families–where the father is the major breadwinner and mother at home rearing pupils; divorced families–families that have been reconstituted following the breaking of marriage; single parent families–likely headed by women; step families–with new siblings and new parents stemming from re-marriage.

A family could also be categorized as extended or nuclear. Extended families are those in which large group of related kin in addition to parents and pupils live together in the same household. This is the type of families prevalent in African countries. Nuclear families are families where married couple resides together with their pupils. This type of family is common in Western countries (Andersen and Taylor 2000).

Families are of various sizes. Family size has to do with the total number of people in a single family which may include the father, mother, pupils and even the extended members – all living in one hamlet. According to Alio (1995) family size has implication for education. The author emphasized that the size of the family determines to a great extent the relative amount of physical attention and time which each child gets from his parents. Large families are more common among the lower class of the society. Pupils

Statement of the Problem

Most pupils in Nigerian primary schools are in greater risk of poor academic achievement in both internal and external examinations (WAEC and NECO). For instance, the available records of WAEC result analysis from 2005- 2011 show a continuous decline in pupils overall performance in school certificate examinations.

Government, parents, teachers and pupils blame one another for pupils’ poor performance in schools. Parents blame teachers for lack of dedication to duties. The teachers blame government for poor salaries hence they are poorly motivated, parents also accuse government for not equipping the schools with learning materials, government blame parents for not doing good home work and the pupils are blamed for lack of discipline and dedication to their studies.

In light of the above issues, the outstanding and relevant question is: what is the impact of family education and social background on academic achievement of primary school pupils?

Purpose of the Study

Generally, the purpose of the study was to find out the impact of parents educational background on the academic performance of their pupils. Specifically, the purpose of the study is to find out:

  1. The impact of parental level of education on academic achievement of primary school pupils.
  2. The impact of parental occupation on pupils’ academic achievement.
  3.  The impact of parental income on pupils’ academic achievement.

Significance of the study

Theoretically, the findings of this study are considered significant because it can help in providing empirical information in identifying and explaining the various family education and social background variables and the impact of the variables on pupils’ academic achievement. This will help in better understanding of the phenomenon. Moreover, it is expected that the findings will help to explain the functionality of the theoretical postulations Maslow’s motivational theory. According to Maslow, motivation is very important in learning, and a learner under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaivour aimed to achieving the set goal. The pupils is motivated to learn when their physiological need like shelter, food, water, rest and safety needs like love and belonging. The satisfaction of these needs leads to the quest to satisfy higher needs which boarder on self esteem and self actualization. The understanding of this theory especially as it relates to pupils teachers and parents would be of particular significance to researchers in the field of education and family studies.

Practically, the finding of this study will be useful to the following: the teachers, pupils, parents, school guidance counselors, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), educational administrators and the society at large.

The finding of the study will be of immense help to the teachers. The teachers will realize the necessity of individualizing their teaching by structuring their teaching methods and instructional resources to take care of the divergent parental backgrounds of the pupils. This method may yield more positive result than the traditional system which assumes that all pupils have similar family education and social background. The findings of the study will also help teachers to exercise patience with slow-learners as they vary methods of instruction to accommodate divergent family education and social background.

The findings will be of immense importance to pupils. The pupils will realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially those from low status families. Such knowledge will go a long way to reduce frustration in the pupils and also reduce drop-outs which occur as a result of frustration. Rather, the pupils should be made to adjust and help themselves by studying hard at home and also make proper of the books and materials that are provided for them at the school library.

Through the findings of this study, parents will realize the importance of improving their educational standard so as to impact their pupils’s academic performance. Parents will also understand the need for them to improve their socio-economic status so as to be able to provide the necessary motivation in form of learning materials and other things which will enhance their pupils’s learning and their academic performance. They will equally acknowledge the importance of positive motivations and encouragement and provide some, by making the family environment more conducive for their pupils.

The school guidance counselors will also benefit from the findings of this study. They will be in position to guide and counsel pupils in the area of personal social interactions, academic performance and career choice.

The findings of the study will help Parents Teacher Associations (PTA) of schools in promoting the academic performance of pupil. This is because at PTA meetings, parents know their functions and responsibilities at home, to help solve their pupils’s problems both home and school environment.

The findings of the study will be of immense help to educational administrators. They will use the findings in the formulation of policy that will regulate equal educational opportunities for all pupils irrespective of their family education and social background in the distribution of equipment, facilities and amenities to schools.

Scope of Study

The study examines impact of Parent’s educational background and academic performance of primary school pupils Akwa Ibom State.

Research Questions

The study will provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. What is the impact of parental level of education on pupils’ academic achievement?
  2. What impact does parental occupation have on pupils’ academic achievement?
  3.  What is the impact of parents’ income on pupils’ academic achievement?

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will guide the studying and will be tested at 0.5 level of significance.

  1. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the impact of parental level of education on pupils’ academic achievement
  2.  There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the impact of parental occupation on pupils’ academic achievement.
  1. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of Pupils in Urban and Rural Schools on the impact of parents’ income on pupil’s academic achievement.

Operational Definition of Terms

Parent: “Parent” refers to a person’s father or mother, or someone who acts as a primary caregiver. In the context of education, parents often play a significant role in shaping a child’s attitude towards learning and their overall academic performance.

Educational background: “Educational background” refers to the level of education that an individual has completed. This can range from no formal education to advanced degrees. In the context of parents, their educational background can significantly influence their children’s academic performance, as parents with higher levels of education often have higher expectations and provide more academic support.

Academic performance: “Academic performance” refers to how well a student is accomplishing their tasks and studies within the school setting. It is often measured through grades, test scores, and completion of educational milestones.

Primary school:  “Primary school” is the first stage of formal education. It follows pre-school or kindergarten and precedes secondary school. In many countries, including Nigeria, primary school education is compulsory and it is where children acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Pupils: “Pupils” is another term for students, particularly those in primary and secondary school. The term is often used to refer to learners who are under the supervision of a teacher or professor.

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