IMPACT OF SINGLE PARENTAL UPBRINGING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

IMPACT OF SINGLE PARENTAL UPBRINGING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS  
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
          Education is of much importance to every nation.  It therefore attracts special attention to
the family, community and to all forms of government; education is discussed,
planned and processed (Omolewa, 2002). It is believed that education recreates
both the individuals and the nation, influences attitudes and values for a
worthwhile living. The National Policy on Education (2010) is not wrong with
its assertion that education is “an instrument par excellence” and the world at
large had keyed into this, by recognizing education as the panacea to survival
and development of man itself.
It is not surprising
that the processes of education were offered by the three levels– primary,
secondary and tertiary education. Therefore, education is classified on the
concurrent list. That is, administration, policy formulation, funding and
maintenance of schools or matters relating to education can both be deliberated
upon by the Federal and State governments. Over the years, there had been
public outcry concerning the fate of educational system in Nigeria and the
breeding of graduates with little technical know–how that has resulted in
serious setbacks to the economic and industrial development of the nation and
its place among comity of nations in the 21st century.
Investigations into the factor that affect academic performance of students in
and out-of-school could be trace to individual home or family. The home or
family is an integral part of the society which is a sub-system of the social
structure. It is true that good homes breed a productive nation. It is the
brain-child of why, every society aspires for development. The
well-being of the society is the aggregate of the well-being of the individual
families which make up the society. Therefore, the home is a quite importance
factor on the learner’s psychological, emotional, social and economic state.
Many homes are made up of father and mother with or without siblings or
extended relations. In the African societies, some homes could be polygamous
while others could take the form of monogamy. One is not so surprised that
African Traditional Religion (ATR) affects all aspect of one’s life and it is
practical in nature. The beliefs and practices of ATRs are concentrated upon
the faith of the indigenous people.
Such are declining now
since the arrival of Islam and Christianity at the beginning of the twentieth
century (Yombi, 2011).
          The educational aim of every child is relatively determined
by the pattern of home or family he/she comes from. It could be wealthy or
poor, educated or otherwise, traditional belief or aspirations. Parents who
failed in their responsibilities to guide and assist their wards through every
stage of development in life may likely have to contend with poor academic
performance sooner or later and the development of unwholesome behaviors, as
foundation to the success or failures in any child is laid upon the home and at
the initial stage in life. Parents have a great role to play in seeing to it that
the students acquire the appropriate social, moral, psychological, and academic
development. Those found in this category are mostly adolescents who needed to
be trained not only by the teachers but with combined efforts of the parents.
In Nigeria, there are
widespread cases of single-parenthood across all regions and tribes that has
become a main source of concern to the socio-economic and socio-cultural
development. Single parenting can be defined as a situation in which one of the
two individuals involved in the conception of the child is being responsible
for the upbringing of the child (Henshin, 2005). This idea
is relatively unknown before now in Nigeria but is fast growing family patterns
both inside and outside the shores of the land (Nwachukwu, 2008). Children that
come from single parent homes are likely to suffer deprivation, and denial of
some opportunities and rights. They are more exposed to anti-social behaviours
and poor academic records.
Divorce and separation
of various kinds or death of one spouse may leave a child with no option than
to have a single parent. The benefits of a two-parents family far outweigh that
of a single parent family, as mothers play the main traditional role of child
care and home-making while the father’s role is that of the economic
responsibilities and discipline of children. But in case of single parent
families, double responsibilities are required of time, attention and money of
the parent. Thus, less attention has been given to the education of the child.
Perpetually the cost of receiving education today is high to be financed only
by a parent who could be financially handicapped. In the case of the few
wealthy single parents in the locality of the research study the task is more
with the nature of their job which affects adequate supervision of a child’s
growth and development.
Teachers commonly
describe children from single parents as more hostile, anxious, fearful,
aggressive, hyperactive and distractible than children from intact families
(Nwachukwu, 2008). The school curriculum if is well-designed as the situation
demands will become helpful in addressing the poor students’ academic
performance on the set-objectives of secondary education as well as analyzing
the factors that affect the performance. However, there are no available
statistics of single parent families in Nigeria, practical experience and
tabloids report shows that it is continuing on a daily basis. On the contrary,
western countries have a geometric progression in the percentage of adults and children
living in single parent households (Nwachukwu, 2008).
The
conditions are not palatable conducive for effective parenting of a child in
most single parental families (Ortese, 2008). This was because when the parents
are overburdened by responsibilities and by their own emotional reactions to
environmental situation they often become irritable, impatient and insensitive
to their children’s plight. It is against this backdrop that this study was
being planned to investigate the possible impact of single parental upbringing
on the academic performance of senior secondary students in Government in Ikere
Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Statement of the
Problem
It is importance to
note that education of high quality is expensive and possibly beyond the reach
of most poor single headed homes. No doubt, the National Policy on Education
(2009) suggests adequate financial provision from all levels of government for
successful implementation of educational programmes. Therefore, it shows that
access to education by the child/children of a single parent depends on their
financial capability. Not too surprise, that children of single parents in the
study locality attend public secondary schools. A fewer number from wealthy
homes however, attend private day schools or private boarding schools as the
case may be.
However, the worst
scenario are witnessed in the camp of the illiterates and unskilled workers who
have absolutely no plan for their wards compared to their counterparts who are
not only financially buoyant but determine to provide the best for their
children’s education. In other cases, those with certain level of education but
at the lower class in a society encourage their wards to achieve a higher
status they could not have achieved. According to Goede (2006), they warned of
the impending threat of students’ failure caused by truancy, bad company, all
forms of unethical behaviours, failure in not doing assignment and its
end-result as academic backwardness. Again, most children
from single well-to-do homes misuse their academic opportunities which if
available for their counterparts, would be adequately used. They have access to
educational materials at homes and attend one of the best schools but still
perform below expectations. The large population of children attending public
schools from single parental homes does not have access to these facilities,
resulting in mass failure in public and internal examinations due to their poor
preparation.
Objectives of the Study
The objective of this
study were to examine the impact of single parenting on the academic
performance of senior secondary school students in Government as a subject in
Ikere Local Government Area in Ekiti state. The study was carried out to
achieve the following.
a.     To
determine the extent to which income status of single parents affects the
academic performance of students from such homes in school.
b.     To
find out the level at which educational attainment of single parents influenced
their children’s/wards academic performance in School.
c.      To
find out the level of students’ academic performance between those of single
parents and two-parents.
d.     To
find out if occupational status of single parenthood has an influence on
children’s academic performance in schools.
Significance of the
Study
As majorly described, a
child plays an important role in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values
and ideal. Unfortunately, the way of homes lately had been distorted for one
reason or another. Thereby,  affecting
the academic performance of a child’s upbringing in and out-of-school. The
findings expected in this study shall therefore assist all stakeholders
(parents, students, curriculum planners, policy makers and the government to
mention but a few on roles expected of them.
However, it would
empower single parents and others alike to have a renewed idea and be equipped
with the necessary information to have an indivisible family. Also, it will
help parents to build a better future for their wards and the society at large.
Secondly, the outcome
of this study would serve as an input for legislation on policies relating to
parenting. It is expected that the study recommendations will assist the
nation’s lawmakers to have a deeper horizon of single parenting and on the need
to act fast because of its consequences on the nation.
Thirdly, the study
outcome would help secondary school teachers and other teachers as well, to
acknowledge the importance of a stable home as a major pillar for academic
success in the life of any student.
Fourthly, as curriculum
planners needed to be guided with factors that could assist the curriculum
planning and implementation to be successful. This study would therefore afford
planners to consider learners’ family stability as a primary determinant of
academic breakthrough.
Also, the outcome of
this study would not exempt students in the scheme of importance it would
benefit them. It would enable students to understand even though over a long
period of time, that crisis is eminent everywhere they find themselves but
should rather allow their conscious to guide their daily conduct and strive to
achieve hard work.
Finally, the school
counselors would be better equipped with the necessary tool to guide and
counsel students from such homes. Such would offer them the zeal and courage to
forge ahead in life especially with their studies aimed at discouraging any
form of distractions.
Research Questions
          This study sought to provide answers
to the following research questions which were formulated to guide the present
investigation.
1.
To determine extent does income status of single parental homes affects students’
academic performance in Government as a subject in Ikere Local Government Area?
2. To what extent does influence
of educational attainment of single parental homes on the academic performance
of secondary school students’ in Government as a subject in Ikere Local
Government Area?
3. Are there any
differences in the academic performance of students from single parents
compared to those of two parents in Ikere Local Government Area?
Definition of Terms
Academic Performance:
This refers to the measure of what a learner has comprehended over a period
of time during the teaching and learning process.
Academic Performance in
Government
: It refers to what a learner can comprehend
in the subject government being taught and how it can be determined as a
measure of work done by the subject teacher.
Impact:
 Means effect or influence of one variable on
another.
Income Status:
It refers to the rating of parents (working class) according to the amount of
monies earned from one’s legitimate occupation.
Occupational Status:
It refers to the ranking of one’s occupation alongside skilled or
unskilled labour as recognized by the society.
Poor Families:
This is a type of family whose income is below average in terms of
socio-economic status. They all live close to poverty line and struggle to
compete economically with others.
Single Parental Family:
This consists the coming together of one of the biological parents and
the child or children living peacefully without the assistance of the other
(man or woman) in the home. This could be as a result of divorce, death,
adoption and others.
Upbringing:
This is the way by which parents look after their children and teach them to
behave. The later manifestations of behavior in such children could be positive
or negative.
Wealthy Families:
This is a family considered wealthy when her economic resources is in excess
and sometimes controls the means of the state. They live in affluence and
could meet the social and educational needs of their children.
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