The effects of parents’ socio-economic background on students’ academic performance in ordinary level secondary school examinations in Makete District

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Date
2011
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of parents’ socio-economic background on students’ academic performance in ordinary level secondary school examinations in Makete district. Based on the five research tasks, the study was set out to (i) explore the extent to which parents’ occupation contributed to students’ academic performance; (ii) examine the extent to which parents’ income level affected students’ academic performance; (iii) find out the extent to which parents’ educational level influenced students’ academic performance; (iv) investigate the extent to which parents’ marital status affected students’ academic performance; and (v) explore stakeholders’ suggestions on ways to improve parents’ socio-economic status for effectively helping the students’ academic performance. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches with a descriptive survey design to collect data from 10 public and private secondary schools. It involved 290 respondents categorised into parents, students, heads of schools, and academic teachers as well as religious, village and ward leaders, sampled through purposive, simple random and stratified random sampling techniques. Data were collected through interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGDs), observations and documentary reviews. Qualitative data were analysed through content analysis while quantitative data were presented through tables and percentages with the help of SPSS software programme. The study revealed that parents’ socio-economic background significantly contribute to students’ academic performance in Makete district. It was found that low parents’ socio-economic background led to inadequate availability of facilities among students such as learning resources, food, school fees and home requirements. Such unfavourable home environment coupled with prolonged frequent engagement in household activities adversely affected the students’ academic performance. The study concluded that the parents’ socio-economic background impacts the students’ level of participation and performance in academic progress. On the basis of the study findings, it is recommended that the government formulate a social and educational policy that will hold parents responsible for providing appropriate psychological and educational support for their children. Guidance and counselling services are highly needed in Makete district for parents, so as to make them value their children’s education. It is imperative for them to provide facilities necessary to support their children’s learning, which may lead to better academic and social performance. In addition, the local government authorities have to collaborate with local communities to mobilise resources for constructing dormitories. The study also recommended that a similar study involving a larger sample be conducted for generalisable conclusions beyond the scope of this study. Another study could also be carried out to investigate the comparative differences in academic performance between students from poor and rich families.
Description
Available in print
Keywords
Secondary schools, Parents, Academic achievement, Secondary school examinations, Economic conditions, Makete district, Tanzania
Citation
Nimrod, B (2011) The effects of parents’ socio-economic background on students’ academic performance in ordinary level secondary school examinations in Makete District. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx