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Home Variables and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students

Home Variables and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students

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The purpose of this study was to study the relationship between home variables and academic performance in Biology among secondary school students in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area. The population of the study consisted of all the Biology students in secondary schools in the study area. A total of two hundred and fifty (250) senior secondary two students were selected for the study through the use of simple random sampling technique.

Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Questionnaires and Biology Achievement Test (BAT) were the instruments used for the study. Data gathered for the study were subjected to independent t-test analysis. The result revealed that students whose parents are educated performed better than their counterparts from illiterate families and it also revealed that male and female whose parents are educated performed better than their counterparts from illiterate families. Based on this finding, it was recommended among others that illiterate parents be enlightened to provide the necessary support to help improve their children’s academic performance in Biology.



Home Variables and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students

1.1    Background to the Study

In the secondary schools, there are variations in academic performance exhibited by the student. Some achieve very high, others achieve average, while some still achieve very low in both their internal and public examinations. Parents and students are worried about the poor performance because these our students who aspire to further their education after leaving school could not necessarily acquire entry qualification into higher institution of learning.

This situation calls for further attention in view of the fast changing patterns of education. The explosive development in the field of science and technology and an increasing international rivalry in the technical field have made it imperative on our part to offer all children an equal opportunity for modern education. The extensive and intensive modern education forms the foundation for the technological and economic self reliance of a developing nation. Thus, the Universal secondary education scheme was implemented in 1975 and it is expected to provide equal educational opportunity to all children.

This federal government Universal secondary school of 1975 is all known to have felled on financial ground. In a country where education is neither free nor compulsory, inequality in educational opportunity is bound to exist. The secondary level of education is crucial in the educational system for it produces manpower for industries and supplies various ministries with junior or intermediate workers.

It is the level at which the foundation of the science is laid also, prepares people for higher education. These justify the great attention being paid to secondary education not only in Nigeria but the world over.

It is known that at this our present level of educational development many people including parents still look on education as only what goes on in the classroom and that a student’s academic performance depends entirely on his ability and effort to learn. Many educational Psychologists and sociologists have also told us that parental occupation factors are strong determinant of a child’s performance in mental work.

lgwe (2009) stated that “As might be expected, the social class learning leads to differential ability to benefit from formal education. As the students come from different homes, example, rich family, poor family, some from urban and others from rural, some from educated homes and others from uneducated homes. This is a good reason to show that while some are properly equipped for school and therefore, acquainted themselves with the school language. The reverse is for children for non-educated parents. They hardly have time for their school work. They have no motivation, no encouragement and they lack schools language. These retard their efficiency in the classroom.

Again, children from a middle or high home economic class are properly fed, eat balance diet, have neat surrounding and their health taken care of. All these reflect in the students’ performance in classroom. This is quite unlike people from low home economic class who may not be properly fed, lived in a slum and their health not cared for. The children may be very sickly due to all these and they cannot perform effectively in the classroom.

Coleman (2000:80) supported this view when he confirmed that a lower class child lack the constant coaching of adults and the stimulation of a home rich in material resources. This cumulative nature of environmental deprivation is indicated by the increasing test score difference between the class groups.

The home begins the process of education, satisfying the physical and psychological needs of the child and transmitting culturally acceptable behaviour through learning and social training. The child learns the basic skills, behaviour and attitudes. This means that by the time he enters school, he has formed some habits, is conscious of his family’s status and position in the society and his personality is also formed. He has acquired some education but the quality and extent of education acquired depend on his parental in which he lives. The education he has acquired at home may influence his attitudes towards school and academic performance.

The home and the school play complementary roles in the education of the child. Other agency is so closely allied with the school as the home. By the time a child enters elementary and secondary school, he is already conscious of his formed. This is why Freuds (2000) in his psychoanalytic theory put so much emphasis on the first five years in the life of a child because whatever happens later in adult life has a root in the early critical periods. The type of education a child receives at school depends on the social class he came from and this may later determine how well he will perform in school.

Home Variables and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students

The children of the middle class tend to make the best use of opportunities offered them. The progress of the children is influenced by the motivation they get from home, getting better schools for them, buying them all the necessary materials, good feeding, provision of home amenities that facilitate learning, e.g. television, library and part time teacher after official school periods, It is a pity that students from illiterate and poor home lack this stimulating atmosphere. So if the foundation laid by the home his not strong, the child may not stand to benefit adequately from his secondary education. But when the home performs its educational functions satisfactorily and effectively, the school can hope to strengthen the foundation of greatness and intellectual performance laid for the child.

Adebayo (2002) have indicated that the intelligence quotient (IQ) of students with middle home economic background are generally higher than those of their counterpart from the lower home economic background. Learner et al (1984) on the other hand agreed that the intelligence of lower class parents ever perform better than their counterparts from the middle class. They maintain that although inferior intelligent has been the most plausible explanation, intelligent quotient test related to social class background indicated that differential intelligence is not the only answer.

A few studies have been carried out in Akwa Ibom State to test this assertion but conflicting results have been got. Some of these studies were carried out in rural areas, some in divisions. To further contribute to the knowledge of Home variables as an influence on academic performance of students, the researcher decided to look into this problem but in an urban area which is also a big commercial centre with a large population of secondary school students in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.

The findings of this study will address this issue of home variables, such as parental education, parental income, parental occupation and students’ academic performance.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Academic performance of students depends not only on the quality of instruction at school, availability of educational facilities in school, students’ intelligent quotient but also on other important factors, one of which is the Home Variables.

There have been attempts to describe the type of home economic that motivate students to learning and which will give rise to attainment of academic performance. This has given rise to the question of whether or not the parental occupation position of parents affects the academic performance of their children.

Is there likely to be a performance gap? Can the educational, economic and occupational status of parents have a strong influence on the academic performance and performance motivation of their children? The above questions constitute a problem especially since the students are taught by the same teacher under same conditions and the students all exposed to the same educational facilities in the schools.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The major purposes of the study are to ascertain the home variables and students’ performance in Biology in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area. Specifically, the study is designed to:

  1. examine the difference in academic performance of students in Biology from well educated and poorly educated families.
  2. examine the difference in academic performance of male and female students from educated families.

1 .4   Significance of the Study

This research is carried out because of the recent concern of parents’ educators, teachers, about their students’ poor performance in examinations. This development has caused untold hardship both to the parents and students in Biology.

The research is to investigate if this poor performance is from the home background of the students, that is if home variables have any influence on academic performance of students.

At the end of the study, it is hoped that more light will be thrown on individual difference as it relates to academic performance. This will help teachers realize that their students come from difference homes, each as different in educational attitude as the other. The knowledge of this will help the teacher study each student differently too. Again this will enable the teacher to structure his teaching methods and instructional resources to meet the divergent parental background of his students.

The study will help students realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone; especially students from low status income. This knowledge will help reduce frustration and frustration as we know leads to dropout.

The parents knowledge of differences in children’s parental occupation background enables them understand their functions in the education of their children and that the school cannot do the job of educating the child without parents help.

The knowledge of parental occupation background will acquaint the guidance counselor with educational problem arising from the home and would help in career placement of students.

It will also help the educational administrators is mapping out different kinds of educational programmes taking into account children from different parental occupation background. Home Economic helps in the distribution of school equipment, and other amenities to schools according to their location.

The knowledge of parental occupation background would help the social worker in taking proper care of the children under them. Again, the school with the help of this study can try to recommend any short fall in motivation from parents by trying to provide such students with the required motivation to improve on their academic work. Finally, the result of the present study will enable the government in policy formulation as it affects the subject matter under discussion.

1.5    Research Hypotheses

The study is guided by the following null hypotheses tested at 0.05 levels of significance:

  1. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students from well educated families and those from poorly educated families.
  2. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of male and female students from educated families.

1.6    Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to home variables and student’s academic performance in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.

The study will concern itself with these aspects of parental occupation status; parental Educational level, Occupation and Income Level of parents.

Home Variables and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary School Students

1.7    Limitation of the Study

Several problems are encountered in undertaking this research work. Some of these are:

  1. The period given for the completion of this study could hardly be enough for a wider and more in-depth research into the problem situation.
  2. Lack of fund to procure necessary materials for the study posed another serious problem.

1.8    Definitions of Terms

Home Variables: This refers to factors, which can influence or promote a child in the family such as parental education status, occupation, income, as well as home communication.

Parent Occupation: – Is the act which occupies or takes one’s habitual employment, profession craft, or trade.

Academic Performance: – This refers to the ability of a student in classroom process where a learner performs creditable well mostly during examination.

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