CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Education, in its broadest sense, is a process designed to inculcate knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enable individuals to cope effectively with their environment. Its primary purpose is to foster and promote the fullest individual self-realization for all people. It is indispensable to normal living, without education the individual would be unqualified for group life. Education is the process of developing the capacities and potentials of the individuals as to prepare that individual to be successful in a specific society or culture. Notably, it is often said to be the powerful tool for developing intellectual abilities, shaping cultural attributes, acquiring knowledge and skills as well as a favourable tool to move a nation towards developing it scientific and technological culture.
A home is a place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a home or household. It is a place of residence or refuge. A home is not a mere transient shelter. Its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it. Home variables comprise of all human and materials factors that affect an individual development in the home where one live. It is an influence an individual came in contact with after the hereditary has been through the gene plasma. The home as a basic social unit of the society is the first social group that a child meets on earth. A number of conditions prevailing in the home have some effects on child’s upbringing and his way of behaving. Hence, the social climate or environment in which an individual finds him or her to a large extent determines his or her behaviour and personality development. Home variables have been of a great important in shaping the performance of children in schools worldwide. This is because academic performance is usually as a result of motivation that children get from the people they interact with in their initial stages of life.
Home variables comprises of the level of education of parents, parental socio-economic status, home size and other factors which are essential aspects in development of student’s personality and academic function. The socio-economic status of parents is capable of affecting the behaviour of the children and determines their aspiration. Parents with high socio-economic status often have more success in preparing their children for school because they typically have access to wide range of providing their young children with high quality child-care, books and encourage children in various learning activities at home. They also have easy access to information regarding their children’s health, as well as social, emotional and cognitive development (Ojo and Yilma 2010), Ojo and Yilma also noted that in all socio-economic groups, parents face major challenges when it comes to providing optimal care and education for their children and these challenges are more pronounced in poor families. This, according to them, is because sometimes, when the basic necessities are lacking, parents must place top priority on housing, food, clothing and health care, regarding education materials and books as luxuries.
Parents’ education is another home background factor which influences the academic achievement of pupils. Pupils under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaviour aimed at achieving academic set goals. The achievement of these goals determines the motive. The situational perspective according to the scholars focuses on learning context. These scholars further identified to factors that greatly influence pupils’ motivation. These are: interpersonal factors such as curiosity, perseverance, and autonomy (intrinsic-factors) and environmental factors such as parents, peers and sibling (extrinsic factors).
In addition, high parental aspirations have been associated with increasing pupils’ interest in education. The effect of parental motivation and involvement in their children’s school has a greater impact on their academic achievement. Parental motivation and involvement in school has also been linked to both positive and negative influences on academic achievement of pupils in schools (McNeal, 2001, Domina, 2005). Parental occupation is also an important home factor that influences academic achievement of pupils in school. It is against this background that the study sought to investigate Home variables and pupils’ academic performance in social studies in pre-primary pupils in Okobo Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the zeal of parents to send their children to school, most time cannot meet up with necessary support to accomplish it; academic performance of pupils varies from one individual to another. For example, some pupils withdraw from school without completing their course work even at the pre-primary level. This situation has attracted a lot of research work into the causes of differences in academic or school performance among pupils. Studies have shown that factors like home factors, the environment, hereditary, the school itself and other factors could be held responsible for this. Hence, there is need for this study to find out how Home variables influence pupils’ academic performance in social studies in pre-primary pupils in OkoboLocal Government Area.