Background to the Study

Parental involvement can be defined as motivated parental attitudes and behaviours intended to influence children’s educational well-being. It is a multidimensional and bi-directional construct (Christenson, 2004; Fantuzzo, Tighe, & Childs, 2000) that has been shown to have clear links with social and academic outcomes for children (Dearing, McCartney, Weiss, Kreider, & Simpkins, 2004; E1 Nokali, Bachman, & Votruba-Drazal, 2010).

All over the world, education is viewed ass a good investment for national development. Since the rest of the educational system is built upon primary education, the primary school level is the key to success or failure of the whole educational system (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Therefore, children’s education is not expected to be left in the hands of school administrators and teachers alone but also in the hands of everyone, most especially the parents and the child’s immediate family members. In line with this belief, the idea that parents can positively influence their children’s education should be investigated.

Parental involvement in children’s education can be seen as the act of engaging parents in instructional matters, predominantly in the home and also in the school. Rockwell, Andre and Hawley (2008) opined that parental involvement is the practice of any activity that empowers parents and family to participate in the educational process at home, at school and/or in any other programme settings. Generally, parent involvement in children’s education includes several forms of participation in education and with the schools.

Prior to the beginning of the 20th century, formalized schooling was a collaborating between families and schools. In the late 1800s, the family dynamic was clearly defined by the father’s role of being the financial supporter of the family, while the mother’s was to manage and control the home. Within the context of the societal norm of the time, children were collectively reared by a cooperative of mothers who provided a nurturing environment for children in the community. Accordingly it was in 1897 that a group of American mothers from across the nation founded the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to support a healthy growing relationship between parents and teachers. This movement was very active in political affairs, and worked toward passing laws in support of children’s rights (e.g. child labour laws, food and drug acts, and housing legislation).

Currently in the 21st century, there has been another major shift in the structure of families. These days, it is not uncommon to find the breadwinner of a single parent home working numerous jobs to support a basic lifestyle for their children. by comparison, two-parent homes usually find both father and mother working full-time in order to financially support the family. With the shift in financial responsibilities, many families are unable to support their children when it comes to parental involvement in schools, in the traditional sense. Research has indicated disconnections between parents’ engagement, as well as support, in school activities, and because of this shift, schools have been forced to take much of the responsibility in educating students, both academically and socially. Consequently, the school system has switched roles with the parents and is now granted the integral responsibility of being the primary caregiver of a child, instead of being mere supporter.

The role of a parent to a child at any given time cannot be over emphasized. The home is very germane and crucial to a child’s well-being and development in later life. Family is the primary cell of society where the child’s upbringing must since begin his birth, still in cradle. The person’s principles established since childhood are like letters engraved in the bark of a young tree, which grow, enlarge with it making its integral part. Therefore, right beginning makes the most important part of upbringing and education. Nobody ever said that children were easy to raise. They do not come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly do not come with a pause button. What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects (Chris Theisen, 2009).

This is because parents in the home are children first teacher. As a child move from infant to toddler and then to a preschooler, he learns how to speak, listen write and read which latter develop the child to achieve academically. The influence of parents on students’ school achievement is well documented in numerous studies. Gadsden (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning, positively affects the child’s school performance including higher academic achievement. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life. In fact the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student’s family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning and to express high expectations for their children’s future careers and become involve in their children’s education at schools and in the home. Levels of involvement are positively related to social class and to maternal levels of education.

Parental involvement decreases as the child gets older. Single parent status and problems with maternal psycho-social health (especially depression) have a negative impact on involvement. Material poverty also has a powerful negative impact. It is shown that there are large differences between parents in the degree to which they see a role for themselves in their child’s education and in the degree to which they feel confident in being able to help. It is demonstrated that many parents feel put off from involvement by the way some teachers treat them, the children themselves are shown to have a significant influence on the degree to which their parents get involved. Parents felt very involved the more so in primary than in secondary schools. Mothers felt more involved than fathers (Guolaug, 2010).

Parental involvement in schooling is a powerful force, and that ‘parents are a child’s first and most enduring educator, and their influence cannot be overestimated’ (Department for Children, Schools & Families, 2008). Parents have the distinct advantage over anyone else in that they can provide a more stable and continuously positive influence that could enhance and complement what the school fosters on their children. In this regard, parental involvement is undeniably critical.

However, with regard to the content of what children learn, many fall short because in general they do not possess the necessary education and therefore find it difficult to determine and understand what was done at school (Mji & Mbinda, 2005; Mji & Makgato, 2006). This comprehensive view of parental involvement is grounded in the understanding that children’s success school subjects are influenced by multiple contexts (e.g., home, school, and community) in a dynamic and bi-directional manner (Vukovic, Roberts & Wright, 2013). Parental involvement is one factor that has been consistently related to a child’s increased academic performance (Topor, 2010; Kgosidialwa, 2010).

Parents can support their children’s schooling by attending school functions and responding to school obligations such as Parent-Teacher Association/Conferences. They can become more involved in helping their children improve their schoolwork by providing encouragement, arranging for appropriate study time and space, modeling desired behvariour (such as reading for pleasure), monitoring homework and actively tutoring their children at home.

Children spend more time at home than they do at school (Olatoye and Ogunkola, 2008); so parents have the opportunity for a number of interactions with their children in one-on-one situation. When parents teach their own children, they impact new skills in children and build the children’s feelings of competence. This in turn motivates the child to perform better, setting a cycle of success reinforcement in motion (Henderson, 2009). When parents are involved in the education of their children, they usually have the opportunity to know their children’s behavioural and intellectual needs better and such children in turn feel free to discuss their challenges with their parents.

Statement of the Problem

One of the problems facing secondary school education is how to involve parents in academic matters in order to enhance achievement. Parental involvement in the form of fostering interest and support has a major influence on students’ educational outcomes and attitudes. However many parents feel uninformed about current educational practices and how they can be more involved with their child’s learning. A number of initiatives have been implemented internationally to encourage home-school links, but the documentation of these initiatives; particularly to some parents are limited. Parents do not participate in school governance, but other activities like participation in fund raising, assisting teachers with academic or extramural activities are voluntary and parents must be motivated and trained to participate actively.

Parents and schools should be accountable to one another in an effort to increase parental involvement in schools because there appears to be a lack of training for parents on the requirements and needs of students. Parental training should include effective decisions making skills and knowledge on assisting their child with school related activities, as well as augmenting their learning process at home. Documented cases reflect how parents’ self-perceptions of their own academic competence affect their involvement in assisting their children.

Confidence in the parents’ intellectual abilities is the most salient predictors of their school involvement. There are disconnections between the school and home is largely due to the type of relationship established between the school personnel and the parents. Schools have not created an enriching environment for parents to actively participate directly in academic activities. Nor is there a parent resource center where parents can feel welcomed or attend workshops designed specifically to meet their needs.

Effective partnerships have not been established between school personnel and homes. Professional development opportunities that are designed to train teachers and school personnel on effectively involving parents while identifying ways to help facilitate a healthy home/school relationship are areas that research suggests be considered. According to Shinn (2002) parents are usually very involved in their children’s education but this involvement tends to decrease when children proceed to high school. Therefore the study of this nature will seek to shed more light on the Impact of parental involvement in the children education in Ikorodu local government unit of Lagos state.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to investigate parental involvement on child academic performance. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. find out the influence of parental involvement on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  2. examine the influence of parental educational background on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  3. assess the influence of parental income on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.

Research Questions

The following research questions are used to guide the study:

  1. What is the Impact of parental involvement in the children education in Ikorodu local government unit of Lagos state?
  2. What is the influence of parental education on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State?
  3. What is the influence of parental income on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State?

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses are formulated to guide the study:

H01:    Parental involvement has no significant influence on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State.

H02:    Parental education has no significant influence on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State.

H03:    Parental income has no significant influence on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State.

Scope of the Study

This research work focuses on investigation of parental involvement on child academic performance. teachers would be randomly selected from 5 secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State.

A questionnaire on the Impact of parental involvement in the children education in Ikorodu local government unit of Lagos state would be described using percentage to answer question 1, while the rest research questions that have corresponding hypotheses would be tested using inferential statistics i.e. Pearson product moment correlation statistics at 0.05 level of significance.

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is for the benefit of all students, parents and teachers. Students will have better achievement in and out of the classroom with reinforcement and it will keep parents better informed about their child’s learning. While there is some evidence in previous research that supports and promotes parental involvement in homework.

It is hoped that this study would provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. This study will also be significant because the findings could stimulate parents, school managers, teachers, students and the society’s awareness on the importance of parental involvement.

The findings of the study will also assist school administrators and curriculum planners to develop strategies that would reduce negative effects of poor parental involvement on academic achievement of students. The findings of this study would be useful to school proprietors, government school administrators and parents in understanding the influence of parental involvement on academic achievement of students in secondary schools. This study would also be of importance to students themselves as it will be made known to them the effects of parental involvement on the academic performance in secondary schools.

Finally, the findings of the study will act as a reference point to other interested researchers interested in this area of research.

Operational Definition of Terms

The main constraint that affected this research is limited time to complete the work, and insufficient fund to finance this project.

  • Investigation: the act of conducting research on something or someone; it is a formal style of research.
  • Parental Involvement: Parental involvement refers to the amount of participation parent has when it comes to schooling and her child’s life.
  • Parent: Natural parent, legal guardian, or other person/caregiver including grandparent, step-parent, or person legally responsible for the child’s welfare.
  • Socioeconomic Status (SES): An individual’s or group’s position within a hierarchical social structure. SES status depends on a combination of variables, including occupation, education, income, wealth, and place of residence. Sociologists often use socioeconomic status as a means of predicting behaviour.
  • Teaching: Is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings and making specific interventions to help them on particular things.
  • Learning: Is the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught or experiencing something: the activity of someone who learns.
  • Secondary School: Is a high school or a school of corresponding grade, ranking between a primary school and a college or university.
  • Performance: Is the accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standard of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed.
  • Academic Performance: Includes both curricular and co-curricular performance of the students. It indicates the learning outcomes of the students.