SINGLE PARENTHOOD AND PUPILS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL
Single-parenting have been found to be one of the growing living pattern in our society. This research study was therefore carried out to investigate single parenthood and pupil’s academic performance in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Two research questions and two research hypotheses were formulated to properly guide the study.
A survey design method was adopted for the study. Random sampling technique was used in selecting ten (10) pre-primary schools and one hundred (100) pre-primary schools pupils for the study. Pupils’ Achievement Test (PAT) was conducted and used in the collection of data for the study and the data collected were analyzed using simple mean for the research questions. For testing the two null hypotheses, a t-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.
The finding of the study revealed that single parenting which is on the increase in a geometrical progression significantly influences pupils’ academic performance in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that Government should make special arrangement like providing job opportunities especially for single-parent mothers because they are always affected.
Also families and individuals should be thoroughly sensitized on the social, emotional and educational effect of single parenting on the child’s educational upbringing and so on. Suggestions for further study were made.
1.1 Background to the study
In Nigeria, the existence of single parenthood was known and where they existed they are ignored as exceptional cases.However, they are fast growing family pattern both inside and outside Nigeria. In Nigeria, the parental roles are culturally determined and distributed. The maternal roles are that of child – rearing, home training and playing of complimentary roles while the paternal roles are that of economic responsibilities and disciplines of children.
The child is morally, mentally upright and emotionally balances when the caring responsibilities are carried out by both parents. A situation where one of the partners is no more, either by death or divorce leads to single parenting. Other factors that lead to single parenting are divorce of a couple with children, parent that never married early pregnancy and so on. However, children with single parents are three times more likely to drop out of school than children from two parent families (Nwachukwu, 2000)
The demographic presentation of single parenting according to Akinnukawe (2006) showed a general increase worldwide in children living in single parent homes. A child from homes where father and mother are present will be taken care of and socialize in best way possible, this is due to the fact that the process of socialization depends on both parents playing complimentary roles in the upbringing of the child, such a child is likely to achieve self actualization later in life. Children from single parent homes who are likely to suffer deprivation and denial of some rights and opportunities.
Over the past twenty years, single parent families have become ever more common than the nuclear family. Life in a singlehood can be quite stressful for the adult and for the children. Member of a single parent family can function like two parent family and may not feel comfortable when it cannot. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for the children, maintain a job and keeping up with the bills.
Amato (2003) suggested that single parent is problematic for children socialization because many with one parent receive less economic and emotional support, less practical assistance, less information, guidance and supervision, less role modeling than children in two parent families. Among children in single parent families, those from mothers absent household earn lower grades than children from single parent families. Generally find it difficult to connect with school activities both academically and morally (Murkey, 2004).
Family is the first socializing agent; the child come in contact with it has a great influence on the child’s physical, mental and moral development. The father is to provide the necessary tools for education while the mother is supposed to supplement the father’s effort in this regard when the father is absent and the mother is not privilege enough to cater for all the basic needs as well as supervised the child educationally and morally will be backward. The teacher at school commonly describes children from single parent as hostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive and distractible than children from two parent families (Tyer-man 2008)
One is therefore motivated to ask the question “What is the effect of single parenthood on the pupils’ academic performance in pre-primary schools” in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Generally speaking, two good heads are better than one. The role a parent play in the upbringing of a child is very important and so many male and female children in school are portraying habits which seem not to be in accordance with the school rules and regulations such as fighting, stealing, bulling, fornication, joining secret societies, keeping bad companies and so on. And these acts have serious negative influence on the academic performance of the pupils.
This prompted the researcher to investigate the influence of single parenthood on the academic performance of pupils in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purposes of this study were as follows:
- To examine whether the provision of school materials to pupils from single parenthood families have any significant influence on the pupils’ academic performance in pre-primary schools.
- To assess whether the pupils’ school attendance from single parenthood families have any significant influence on the pupils’ academic performance in pre-primary schools.
1.4 Research Question
To help the researcher achieve the purpose of the study, the following research questions were formulated
(i) To what extend does the provision of school materials to children from single parenthood families influence the academic performance?
(ii) How does children’ school attendance from single parenthood families influence their academic performance?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses testable at 0.05 level of significant were formulated to guide the study
(i) There is no significant difference in the provision of schools materials to children from single parenthood families and academic performance in schools?
(ii) There is no significant difference in children’s school attendance from single parenthood families and academic performance in schools?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The researcher embarked on investigation of the influence of single parenthood on pupil’s academic performance in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State with intent that the following will be fully achieved.
(i) The study will reveal the effect of single parenthood on pupil’s academic performance in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun.
(ii) The study will serve as a pool of knowledge for teachers and subsequent researchers on this issue.
(iii) The study will give an insight on how pupils from single-parenting homes could be addressed so as to improve their performances in academics in schools.
(iv) The study provides eventual discovery of the positive effects of parenthood on the pupil’s academic performance in pre-primary schools.
(v) The study enables the government to understand and be able to face the danger and problem of single parenthood and find ways of curbing this danger that is eating deep into the fabric of our society.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study was carried out with focus on single parenthood and pupil’s academic performance in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. It covered all pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher found it difficult in getting enough fund to carry out the study. this made the scope of this study to be limited. The time within which the study was carried out was just too short. The study also suffered certain unavoidable limitations which include negative attitude of respondent towards questionnaire responses. Many respondents are of the opinion that researches of this nature are only a waste of time as they do not change their conditions. The researcher has to plead in many cases before some respond to it. with this nature of mind, one is not sure if these respondents attend to these research instruments with the seriousness they deserve or they just fill it for the sake of it.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Consequent upon the specialized usages of certain terms in the study, some required special definitions. A few of them are as follows:
Single parent: This usually refers to a parent who has most of the day to day responsibilities in the raising of the child or children.
Performance: This is the result of all achievement of an individual in his/her place of study.
Family: This is a group consisting of one or two parents and their children.
Divorce: This is the legal ending of a marriage.
Pre-primary: This is sometimes referred to as early childhood, Nurseries, Kindergartens and Day care. Is referred to as a period between two to six years. This stage preparing a child or children toward primary level of Education.