FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENT INVOLVEMENT AND STUDENT ATTITUDES TO WASSCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS AT UYO
This study investigates the functional relationship between parent involvement and student attitudes towards the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in secondary schools in Uyo, Nigeria. Parental involvement is a crucial factor in students’ academic success, and understanding its impact on students’ attitudes towards the WASSCE is essential for educational stakeholders. The study aims to assess the level of parental involvement, examine student attitudes towards the WASSCE, investigate the relationship between parental involvement and student attitudes, and identify the dimensions of parental involvement that have the strongest influence on student attitudes. A descriptive survey research design was employed to carry out the study. One hundred and ninety-two (192) students from 16 types of schools in Uyo LGA were stratified and randomly selected for this study. The type 2 schools were selected to maintain homogenous values. According to the results of this study, parental involvement accounts for 26.1% of the total variance in secondary school achievement (R2 = 0.261; p<0.05). The percentage is significant at a 0.05 level of confidence. This shows that parental involvement is an important predictor of achievement. There exists a significant difference in the parental involvement of urban and semi-urban type 2 school students (t = -8.12; p<0.05). Urban school students enjoy more parental involvement than their semi-urban school counterparts. The result shows that there is a correlation between the parental involvement of male and female students in type 2 schools (t = -7.34; p< 0.05), and also that there is a significant difference in the parental involvement of male and female students with urban and semi-urban school students (t = -0.432 and -0.512, respectively; p<0.05). The result also reveals that there is a significant difference in academic achievement between urban and semi-urban school students (t = -9.142 and -8.318, respectively; p<0.05). Teachers and counsellors need to enlighten parents on the need to personally get involved in the academic activities of their children.
FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENT INVOLVEMENT AND STUDENT ATTITUDES TO WASSCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UYO
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is a process by which the mind of human beings develops through learning at home, on the streets, and in religious institutions like churches and mosques, schools, colleges, or universities. It is also a process whereby a person develops attitudes and abilities that are considered to have value and relevance in society. It is the best legacy a nation can give to its citizens, especially the youth. Every nation hoping to have a bright future needs to emphasise education because it is the only way to achieve much development. Yusuf and Al-Banawi (2013) noted that education must be considered a key investment in modern economies because, as previously seen within the framework of a knowledge-based economy, there is a strong and positive correlation between economic activity and education in explaining economic growth. Asiru (2014) stated that education is a catalyst for the development of individuals, society, and the nation as a whole. Dagbo (2014) also opined that education is an important tool for social growth, development, and the interaction of all elements in society for its economic, social, and political well-being. Olayanju (2014) posited that education plays a critical role in human capacity building and skill acquisition.
Education is the best legacy a nation can give to its citizens. This is because the development of any nation depends on the educational attainment of its citizens and the quality of its education. Education does not only provide knowledge and skills but also inculcates values in students. It prepares individuals to be responsible citizens. According to Mahmud (2010), cultural heritage and values are transmitted from one generation to another through education. The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hands of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologists that education can be an instrument of cultural change that is being taught from home. It is then generally believed that parents have a direct impact on the academic performance of the students.
The level of parental involvement has important implications for children’s academic performance. Social cognitive theory suggests that youth absorb messages about appropriate behaviour and socially accepted goals by observing and talking with important people in their lives (Bandura, 1977). Based on this assumption, parents have the potential to model positive attitudes and behaviours towards school, and research in developed countries such as the United States has shown that parental involvement contributes to youth academic success (Fan & Chen, 2001; Houtenville & Conway, 2008; Jeynes, 2003, 2007). Children are more likely to apply themselves and perform better in school when their parents show an interest in their school work, are willing to assist them with homework, and are willing to hold their children accountable for the completion of school assignments. Youth who are not working hard at school may begin to perceive school as valuable when parents actively demonstrate that they value school through involvement. The literature on the overall impact of parental involvement on youth academic performance in developing countries is minimal. Whether the relationship exists and which type of parental involvement has effects are important to determine in Nigeria, where parents often do not have the education to engage their children in schoolwork or the resources to hire tutors. Does involvement in parent-teacher association meetings, volunteering at school, or talking to their children about the importance of school matter? This study will begin to answer these questions and contribute to the literature on the relationship between parental involvement and academic performance in Nigeria.
Parental involvement in students’ academic performance has attracted many educators and researchers in the field of education around the world. For example, Epstein, Bakker, Davis, Henderson, Lewis, and Keith compose a short list of many scholars who have spent their time on parental involvement. For instance, Epstein (2002) argued that no school improvement has been created without parental involvement, which strengthens parents, teachers, administrators, and students’ partnerships, which end in benefiting students, improving schools, assisting teachers, and strengthening families. Historically, parental involvement emerged as a compensation programme in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States of America (USA) and Europe, among other programmes aiming at encouraging minority low-income parents to prepare their two children for more successful schools and prevent education delays for children who were at risk (Bakker, Denessen, & Brus-Laeven 2007). It was just an appeal to support lower-achieving children through parents’ intervention. Consequently, it is ideal for educationalists to ensure all challenges that are thought to hinder parental involvement are worked through, particularly in secondary schools where students’ academic performance is declining from time to time. Moreover, the Salamanca Conference on Special Education held in Spain in 1994 discussed that parents should be encouraged to participate in educational activities at home and in schools to supervise and support their children’s learning. Similarly, the government should promote parental involvement through policy statements that allow the formulation of parent-school associations with the intention of enhancing their children’s education. The argument draws strong support for how parents are vital to their children’s schooling by demanding a policy (blueprint) that will act upon constraints that limit parents ability to monitor their children’s education in secondary schools. This would strengthen efforts towards achieving quality education for all (EFA) (UNESCO, 2003).
All measures of parental involvement used in studies in developing countries are based on scales that have been established in the context of developed countries, but parental involvement may be different in developed countries than in developing countries. These differences—including types and levels of involvement—must be taken into account when measuring parental involvement in developing countries. Therefore, this paper focuses on the construct validity of parental involvement in a sample of Nigerian students and their parents. Research on parental involvement and academic outcomes in the US suggests that parental involvement is best understood as taking multiple forms. At a minimum, parental involvement appears to differ based on the context (i.e., at home vs. in school) (Giallo, Treyvaud, Matthews, & Kienhuis, 2010; Jeynes, 2003). Research also demonstrates that parental involvement at home and in school is linked positively to a variety of academic outcomes (Jeynes, 2003, 2007). However, research on parental involvement in school is more mixed than research on involvement at home, particularly among different racial and ethnic groups (Fan, 2001; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996). In addition to influencing educational outcomes directly, parental involvement might also mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and academic performance (Altschul, 2012; Lareau, 2011). While these relationships have been demonstrated in the US and other developed countries, the pathways may be different in developing countries. Therefore, we will use the validated measurement of a parental involvement scale to examine the relationships in Ghana. This study contributes to the literature by testing an adaptation of a parental involvement scale that considers the differences in parental involvement in developed countries versus developing countries. It also investigates the relationship between at-home and in-school parental involvement and academic performance.
Parental involvement is defined in various ways in the literature. Epstein’s (1990, 1995) typology of parental involvement includes six categories: basic parenting, facilitating learning at home, communicating with the school, volunteering at the school, participating in school decision-making, and collaborating with the community. Other studies use a typology of parental involvement that is based on either intuitive appeal or factor analysis of existing data (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow, & Fendrich, 1999; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
All measures of parental involvement used in studies in developing countries are based on scales that have been established in the context of developed countries, but parental involvement may be different in developed countries than in developing countries. These differences—including types and levels of involvement—must be taken into account when measuring parental involvement in developing countries. Therefore, this paper focuses on the construct validity of parental involvement in a sample of Nigerian students and their parents.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- What is the relationship between parental involvement and students’ academic achievement?
- Is there a difference in the parental involvement of students in urban and semi-urban schools?
- Is there a difference in the parental involvement of male and female students?
- Is there a difference in the academic achievement of male and female students?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the functional relationship between parent involvement and student attitudes towards WASSCE in secondary schools in Uyo LGA. The specified objectives are:
- Determine the relationship between parental involvement and students’ academic achievement.
- Determine the difference in the parental involvement of students in Urban and Semi-urban schools
- Determine the difference in the parental involvement of male and female students
Determine the difference in the academic achievement of male and female students.
- Research Hypotheses
The following hypothesis is formulated to be tested:
HO1: There is no significant relationship between parental involvement and the academic achievement of students.
HO2: There is no significant difference in the parental involvement of students in urban and semi-urban schools.
HO3: there is no significant difference in the parental involvement of male and female students
HO4: There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of male and female students.
1.6 Significance of the study
It is expected that the outcome of this study will expose teachers, parents, and the government at different levels, including schools. The outcome of this research will expose educational planners, policymakers, and the community as a whole to make sure that there is good parental involvement in their child’s academics
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research is intended to cover all the secondary school students of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but due to some constraints, the researcher limits his findings to schools in the Uyo local government area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.8 Delimitation of Study
The main constraints that affected this research were limited time to complete the work and insufficient funds to finance this project.
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