International Journal of Education and Information Technology, Vol. 2, No. 3, June 2016 Publish Date: Jul. 8, 2016 Pages: 14-18

Parents Socio-Economic Status and Students Academic Performance in Nigeria Educational System

M. T. Usman1, *, U. Mukhtar1, S. Auwal2

1Department of Primary Education Studies, Federal College of Education, Kano State, Nigeria

2Ministry of Education, Kano State, Nigeria


Many years ago, in Nigerian education system intelligence was thought to be the sole determinant of academic achievement of students but nowadays, emphasis is on parent socio-economic status which greatly affects student educational achievement, educational process take place either formally or informally. Its benefits to individuals and society include economic and social development. From the economic point of view, education is regarded both as consumption and investment but only few peoples understand. Higher academic performance could be traced to active parental influence and participation in the student aspects. These influences includes togetherness of parents, parent involvement, profession, interest in education, learning materials at home, family size, stability, background, social stratification and socio-economic status of parents which consider to be a major factor in determining the academic achievement of students. If family are involve or participate in the child education in positive ways, so many noticeable changes will be observed which can be overt or covert, these are attitude, behavior, test score, attendance records, rate of graduations and high number of enrollment in higher education. The study samples were randomly selected from four (4) secondary schools in Dala local government area of Kano State which consists of eighty (80) students was selected. Well instructed questionnaire was the major instrument used in collecting data for this research which is validated by the use of pilot study. The students were intimated with goals of the research, confidentiality of their responses and how to respond to the questions or items on the questionnaire. The correlations between two responses and the result revealed a significant of (p < 0.05) which was proved statistically to be significant. Government should embarks on public enlightenment campaigns on the essential need for equal education of both boys and girls, consider the income and expenditure of parents and regulate the prices of school fees, educational materials and more public libraries should be built in many areas of the country.


Educational System, Parents Socio-Economic Status, Students Performance and Educational Achievement

1. Introduction

Generally, Education is a process of cultural transmission from generation to generation or any process by which an individual gain knowledge, insight and develops attitude and skills [3]. The socio-economic status of parents is a major contributing factor, which affects the academic achievement of students. In every society, there exists a sort of social grading of what [6] termed as social stratifications, which means the division of people into different social classes. In reference to this system of social classes in Nigeria. [5] Has emphasized that some groups belong to the upper, middle, and the lower classes. These groups are divided according to their respective educational achievement, wealthy, income, language, and style of life and so on and so forth. The upper class peoples are those who occupy the most prestigious positions, while the middle class peoples are those who achieved their own social status while the lower or working class peoples are those whose income and occupational status are very low in the society [8]. However, it has been discovered that differences in parent’s socio-economic status determine the socialization process of the student and his academic achievement in school [12]. Student in the upper class homes or family are assumed to have received proper and better parental care compared to children from the middle and lower class families, and that this has given them a lot of advantages in school over the latter [9]. Moreover, it has been observed that the parents socio-economic status tends to be strongly associated with the style of interaction between members of the family; that the middle class and upper class families gives more freedom to their children in participating in decision-making as part of independence training [10]. They expect their children to take greater initiatives’ in matters affecting them; that there is greater freedom to experiment by trying to work things out themselves. At the same time, the parents of middle class students are more available for audience and consultation, while students from lower classes are raised in conditions of greater restrictiveness; control is more directly exercised [11]. It is also believed education in high esteem, while those in lower classes are believed to be indifferent towards it peoples of high socio-economic status whose send their children to school earlier than those of lower socio-economic status, this is because those in the upper classes have the means and opportunities to do it [13]. The most important concern of any teacher and all stakeholders in education should be the optimization of learning [14]. It is very important that each child should be able to make the most of his abilities. In the past intelligence was thought to be the sole determinant of academic achievement of students. Emphasis is now on parent socio-economic status as it affects student’s educational achievement and this study sought to determine different socio-economic levels of parents and academic achievement of student [7].

2. AIM

The research work is designed to find out the effect of parental socio-economic status and academic achievement of students in selected secondary schools in Dala Local Government Area of Kano State. Therefore, the researcher intends to investigate;

To find out whether socio-economic status of parents as a major factor in determining the academic achievement of the students.

To find out whether intimacy of parents have any effect on the academic achievement of the students.

To find out whether parental interest in education contributes to the academic achievement of their Childs in school.

To find out whether the quality of the schools the Childs attend influence the academic achievement of the students.

3. Research Questions

This study will provide answers to the following research Questions:

Does socio-economic status of parents determine the academic achievement of the students?

Does intimacy of parents have any effect on the academic achievement of the students?

Does parental interest in education contributes to the academic achievement of their Childs in school.

Does quality of the schools the Childs attended influence the educational achievement of the students?

4. Significance of the Study

This research desired to determine the inspiration of parent’s socio-economic status on student’s academic achievement in selected secondary schools in Dala local government area of Kano state. It also sought to know if there is any correlation or relationship between social class of parents and their children's academic achievement. It is hoped that the findings of this research would be used as educational document for the entire peoples of Dala, Kano and Nigeria in general. The findings will also be of great importance to the federal government and educational administrators to improve the living of its citizens and effective planning for all educational objectives. This research will enable parents at homes to develop the background of their Childs by re-appraise their role in the upbringing of their children in order to help them to increase or improve their academic achievement. It will also enable parents to have an insight into the reasons why their students achieve badly in schools and also to enable the parents to know how to assist both their children and teachers in order to encourage them to stay on and not to relent in their own efforts. Furthermore, this study will also reveal the role of parents in students academic achievement with a view to enlighten them on the fact that students academic achievement do not depend on fund, teachers, social amenities alone but also on the efforts they made.

5. Limitation of the Study

All the information derived in this study was based on the responses of students to the questionnaires and interviews carry out. The study made use of questionnaires that were randomly administered in some selected secondary schools in the area concerned. Responses were drawn from students and also personal interviews with some teachers were made. Beside this, this study is also limited to students from the selected schools in the Dala local government area.

6. Materials and Methods

This research study was a descriptive (survey) type because socio-economic status of parents to students were surveyed for analysis and how it affect students academic achievement in terms of punctuality possession of basic learning materials, food and school fees. There are many secondary schools in Dala Local Government Area of Kano State, representing both junior and senior secondary, but the researcher used only the senior section of these schools. The sample for this study was a selection of four (4) schools which were randomly selected, and a sample of eighty (80) senior Secondary School Students was selected. The techniques used for this study was a simple random techniques. The major instruments used in collecting data for this research was questionnaires and interview where respondents are allowed to choose any suitable option to fill in the available box, Interview was also used to analyze the responses of the students. All the information required as distributed through the questionnaire were self administered in the schools sampled. The students were intimated with goals of the research, confidentiality of their responses and how to respond to the questions or items on the questionnaires. The students (respondents) were seated in one class in each of the schools, the questionnaires were distributed to them, assisted by their teachers in the schools and after the questionnaires were completed, the researcher collected them instantly. After the collection of questionnaires from the students they were edited and thoroughly studies one after the other in a tabular form. The tabulation made it possible to compare and contrast the relationship between the answers given and the information the researcher is looking for, the data analysis is carried out by the used of simple percentage method. The instrument used for collection of data in this research was validated with the use of pilot study consisting of twenty students. After two weeks it was re-administered and the co-relation co-efficient was used to find the correlation of the two responses and the result revealed a significant of (p<0.05) which was proved statistically to be significant.

7. Results Presentation and Data Analysis

The results presentation and data analysis was done under the following headings:

Background information of students.

Parental interest at home and school.

Academic Information of students.


Table 1. Togetherness of parents.

Students who lived with both parents 56 70
Students who lived with single parent 13 16
Students who lived with relatives 9 11
Others 2 3
Total 80 100

Table 2. Togetherness of parent and student achievements.

Students who lived with both parents 20 25   30 38   6 8  
Students who lived with single parents 5 6   6 8   4 5  
Students who lived with relatives 3 4   4 5   2 3  

Table 3. Types of family of the students.

Students from polygamous houses 52   65
Students from monogamous houses 28   35
Total 80   100

Table 4. Parental occupation of students.

Civil servants 22 28 23 28
Businessman and women 33 40 35 43
Traders 15 12 17 21
Poultry farming 10 11 2 3
Others 6 8 3 5
Total 80 100 80 100


Nowadays, most of the parents don’t show regular interest in their children education rather than to send the children to the school, most of the parents sent their children to school because they are disturbing them at home talk less to supervise them and interact with their teachers to discuss some issues about the children performance and school environment and most of these children are child prodigy. Only few parents used to attend PTA meeting in their children schools, this is very important because its place where parents will discuss with their children teachers to heard their children performance, attendance in the school, advices and current challenges, issues concerning their children and school environments.

Table 5. Parental encouragement at home and school.

Parental Encouragement No. of Students %
Those whose parents encourage them to read at home 36 45
Those whose parents did not encourage them 44 55
Total 80 100


Table 6. Regularity and quality of the school students attained.

Regularity of Students No. of Students %
Very regular 38 47
Regular 21 26
Not regular 14 18
Not very regular 5 6.3
Not sure 2 2.7
Total 80 100

Table 7. Achievement of students at the end of terms.

Achievement No. of Students %
Good 18 23
Average 50 62
Poor 12 15
Total 80 100

8. Discussion

Usually, the economic development of any country can only be realized if the efforts are backed by their education system that is ability to respond to the knowledge and skills requirements of the economy [2]. In Nigeria society parents has a total freedom or rights over their child affairs i.e parents has the right to choose how to educate their children, the problem in holding such stance is that how parents come to acquire such a rights. Do parents acquire rights over their children just as they acquire rights over their private property? Most of the parents have refused to supervised, motivated, interact and send their children to school even where they can afford it economically and financially, in such instances, government normally has good reasons which to do with overall welfare of the citizens and the development of the country for insisting that every citizens within some specified age cohort should attend school and for overriding the so called freedom of the parents [4]. Sequel to the data analyzed above the results of the findings shows that all the factors mentioned has a remarkable inspiration on the children academic performance and achievements in relation to their parents socio-economic status, base on the basis of the findings of this research, the following recommendations where drown:

That divorce in marriage is a retarding factor in educational development and should be checked through public enlightenment.

Educational policy makers should map out detailed plan for adult education to take care of adult illiteracy.

Adult education must intensify efforts in improving family life education. Such education should lay emphasis on marriage life education and adverse effects of divorce.

Government should embark on public enlightenment campaigns on the need for equal education of both boys and girls.

Government should consider the income of some people and regulate the prices of educational materials, which are presently beyond the reach of the ordinary man.

More public libraries should be built in different area of the country.

School administrators should be in regular contact with parents, through PTA, sport days, prize giving days, and year send forth etc.

Adult education organizers should provide counseling services for both parents and their children on the best way to help their children academically and financially in order to achieve their educational goals.

Figure 1. Usman diagram of educational Technology 2015, shows the two possible paths of academic performance and achievement which depends solely on parents.

9. Conclusion

Conclusively, knowledge possession through education by people has been strongly associated with social class status in all societies [1]. Consequently, education is an instrument for social mobility, social well being, economic development, good behavior and attitude of any society. Figure 1, above, shows the two possible channels which depend on the parents choice or ability, which lead to either positive or negative feedback to both children, parents and the entire community or society. The implications of social status to knowledge distribution are to create conditions for injustice in the distribution. There is the tendency by which those who enjoy higher social status in society will enjoy more opportunities to education of the right type and quality, while those at the lower status will unjustifiably lacked educational access or where it exists will not be of the right type and quality. So, parents should leverage with their child’s, child’s teachers and school environments in order to have better academic performance and achievements of their child’s which lead to the positive socio-economic development of their society. It is quite obvious that this research work has served as an important tool and eye opener on a lot of problems of academic achievement of students arising from parental interest, home, some of which are broken homes, polygamous, illiteracy e.t.c

If the government should take serious measures on the recommendations given so far by providing child protective services through government agency which protect and laid emphases on children at risk, and then there would be some solutions to the incessant failure of students in academic performance in school due to the effect of parental influence. More than that, the researcher has suggested that parents themselves should be educated first through adult literacy programs which facilitate and bring about efficient student achievement in schools.

Finally, in Nigeria case, the government should makes it compulsory for every child to have free education whether their parents like it or not, even though many parents are not willing to follow the government direction, which lead many children to have poor academic performance and even some to be out of school for many reasons.


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