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1.1       Background of the Study

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. 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, in-adequate instructional materials, attitude of teachers towards work and lack of seriousness in part of pupils. With the availability of more qualified teachers, improved technology and facilities for teaching and learning, educational system in Nigeria is still losing it values.

Motivation for this study is based on the fact that some pupils 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 (2010) 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 (2016) in Eyake (2015) advised that praises, incentives, recommendations and other forms of reward system should be employed as motivational factors to stimulate learners 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, pupils’ 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 pupils’ 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 (2007) quoted. Adeyeme (2014) 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 poor performers in primary schools, both public and private, today entails that those children are usually from either 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 pupils from such families 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 pupils 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 (2010) 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.

 1.2      Statement of the Problem

The gap in performance between pupils and academic excellence constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to parents, schools mangers, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of children in primary schools. Experience has shown that among the public and private primary school’s pupils there exist some differences which influence pupils academic performance, such as some pupils being able to pay their school fees promptly, while others were often sent away for nonpayment of school fees, some pupils have problem with the provision of school uniform but others do not. Likewise, some pupils were motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books, others were not, where as some pupils come to school properly feed, others are not. One then wonders whether influence of family background had played a role in these issues.                                      

In the light of this, the main issue of this research work is to find out if there exist in Kwara State a relationship between socio-economic status of parents and pupils' academic performance.       

1.3       Purposes of the Study

The main objective of the study was to examine the influence of socio-economic status on academic performance of pupils in the above area of study. Specific objectives of the study include:

  • To look into the effect of socio-economic status of parents on the educational performance of primary school pupils
  • Find out the influence of occupation on pupils’ academic performance in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State
  • Find out the influence of educational status of parents on pupils’ academic performance in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State                                            

1.4       Research Questions                                                                   

For the purpose of this research work the following research questions have been formulated;                                               

  1. What is the level of academic performance of pupils in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State?
  2. Is there influence of occupation on pupils’ academic performance in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State?
  3. Is there influence of educational status of parents on pupils’ academic performance in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State?
  4. Is there influence of socio-economic status of parent on pupils’ academic performance in Ilorin East L.G.A., Kwara State?

1.5       Research Hypotheses                             

The following hypotheses will be tested to guide this study;  

H01:     There is no significant influence of occupation on the academic performance of pupils.

H02:     There is no significant influence of academic status of parents on the academic performance of pupils

H03:     There is no significant influence of parents economic standard on academic performance of pupils.


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 local, 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 is also good to undertake a complete study of the influence of socio-economic status of parents on the academic performance of pupils in whole public and private primary schools of Kwara state, but due to logistics constraint on the researcher, ten primary schools were to be randomly selected based on the generic characteristics of population of the study area. The study was likely to be confined to the pupils all classes of the selected schools.