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The focus of this research is to investigate the environmental influence on academic performance of learners in some selected secondary schools under Agege Education District (LED) in Lagos State.  Five secondary schools are used, out of a population of twenty (20) secondary schools. Two research hypothesis focusing on socio-economic status of the country and the parents, the children’s academic performance and parental education, interest, motivation, encouragement are posed. One hundred and fifty (150) students drawn randomly from the five secondary schools representing more than ten percent (10%) of a set are sampled. The instrument used in the study is questionnaire designed by the researcher and validated by the researcher’s supervisor. The researcher goes to the schools involved and administers the questionnaires to the students after seeking and obtaining permission from the principals of the schools used.  The required data is collected after the researcher had explained and given instruction to the students on what to do on the questionnaires. Frequently distribution, simple percentage and the T-test are the type of statistical processes employed in analyzing the data.  At the end of the study, the investigation revealed that there is high correlation between parental and/or country socio-economic status and academic performance of the learners. It also revealed that parental education, attitude, interest, encouragement and motivation affect academic performance of the students.  As a result, the researcher makes a recommendations to the parents, teachers and the government.



Title page                                                                          i

Certification                                                                       ii

Dedication                                                                         iii

Acknowledgement                                                              iv

Abstract                                                                            v

Table of contents                                                               vi



Introduction                                                                      1

Background of the study                                                     1

Statement of the problem                                                   10

Purpose of the study                                                          12

Research Question                                                             12

  Research Hypothesis                                                          13              Significance of the study                                                    14

  Scope and Delimitation of the study                                    15                                             


Introduction                                                                      16

Conceptual Framework                                                       16

Teaching                                                                           17

Learning                                                                            18

Factors affecting learning                                                    19

Factors affecting teaching                                                   20

The school                                                                         20

Intelligent Quotient                                                            24

Examination situation                                                         24

The family                                                                         25

Family size and Academic Performance                                28

Parents Education                                                              32

Educational Policies                                                            33

Parent’s Class                                                                    38

Conclusion                                                                         40



Population of Study                                                            42

Sample                                                                             42

Research Instrument                                                          43

Method of Data Collection/Procedure                                    44

Method of Data Analysis                                                     46



Introduction                                                                      47

Results                                                                              47

(i)         Frequency Distribution Table                                       47   

(ii)        T-Test                                                                       57




Summary and Discussion of Findings                                   61

Recommendation                                                               67

Conclusion                                                                         70






Education is derived from the Latin word educare which means “to draw out”.  Education, therefore, can simply be defined as “the process of drawing out and developing the potentialities of an individual”.  In order words, education is a systematic process whereby an individual is exposed to and provided with the opportunity of acquiring knowledge, skills, values and attitudes which develop cumulatively with a view to; Prepare him well to enable him satisfactorily integrate effectively in the society; Enhance his Pursuit of a career; and to; Sharpen his quest for continuous learning.

Background to the Study

Nigeria’s educational system has its origin in the Missionary activities   which preceded the assumption of the Country’s Administration by the British Government.  Schools followed the church; and education was the only instrument designed by religion to produce catechists, pastors, church-wardens, teachers, Christians and converts.

Western education in Nigeria is the consequence of colonialism.  It was born out of the need to exploit the resources of the colony.  It was also necessary to support and maintain the political authority.  They were, of course, mainly interested in commerce. But they nevertheless realized that if the Africans were to be good customers they must have some rudiments of education and accept Christianity – the two civilizing agencies considered most important by European Merchants, Civil authorities and Missionaries at that time. 

The missionaries depended on the Europeans for help in keeping the rebellious African chiefs in their places and under control, while the European authorities hoped to conquer by religious persuasion what they failed to achieve by force of arms.  On the other hand, the traders depended heavily on both force of arms and missionary endeavours to achieve peaceful trade relations with the Africans. Christianity, Commerce and Colonialism, or the Bible, Business and Bullets, respectively, combined to exploit the African’s soul, his goods and his land.

The various missionary groups that came into the Country have schools, which they run through the assistance received from the parent-body at ‘home’.  Each of the dominations had the opportunity to teach the doctrines of the church to prospective members and students.  The Muslim schools were meant to teach Islamic religion and the Quran.

The funds to run the schools were provided by the parent body in their home country.  The schools at that time required huge financial support to function properly so that they can achieve the aim and objectives of establishing them.

However, each denomination emphasized its own importance and spared no pains to prove that some domination was better than the others.  Consequently, right from the advent of Christianity in Nigeria, dissension and disunity were rampant among the Christian missions and, to the bewildered Africa, it was hard to believe one white mission would discredit another in a desperate attempt to win converts and send glowing reports back to the home mission.  The element of competition was very much in evidence right from the beginning.  The Methodists and Church Missionary Society fought for ascending in Badagry, Abeokuta, Lagos and Ibadan in the 1840s and 1850s. This rancor were aided and abetted by their home mission.  Except for this unsavory aspect, the Christian Missionaries carried the same message of Christ the Saviour everywhere they went and were therefore united in purpose.

The first government school was established in Lagos in the year 1899, and was originally meant for Muslim children who were not admitted into Mission schools.  Since then, the government have been playing increasingly dominant role in the educational system.  Historically, government’s participation in education dates back to 1882 when the first education ordinance was enacted.  This was replaced in 1887 by another education code, which laid down standards of examination and specified the conditions for grants-in-aid.  The government took education serious because of the need to have educated and enlightened people to fill several political offices for the day-to-day running of government business.

In 1973, a Nigerian National Policy on Education was formulated following a National Seminar on the nation’s educational system.  The policy was revised by the then President Shehu Shagari administration between 1979 and 1983.  It was further revised by the Military in 1984 and enforced from that year.  The policy provided for a 6-3-3-4 system of education in place of the former 6-5-4 system.  Education in its entire ramification is being given prominence in the country, even in the entire countries of the world.  The yearly fiscal budget of the federal and the states attest to this fact.  The need to educate the child was crucial for national development.

For any country to develop and function properly, it must put education in its rightful place so that she will not have illiterate as citizens.  It is the absolute right of every child to go to school, or be educated from the primary level to any level so desired.  Some did start from nursery or kindergarten level.  There were provisions for adult education to teach the adults that were not priviledged to have formal education early in life.  These were the avenues to make every one literate.  Though it was expensive to be educated but there is a popular saying that “he who thinks education is expensive should try ignorance”.

Education seeks to engender the personal character needed by the members of the society that will enable them to become creative participants in the society.  Many people realized that education was contributing factor to their personal and/or corporate progress and development.  For anyone to be in time with what is happening globally and be able to make meaningful contribution whenever necessary, one’s educational attainment would be a vital element that would help to facilitate this.  It would be necessary to say that education would be an important way of an individual’s socialization.

The reason would be that an idiot or illiterate would find it extremely difficult to contribute to burning issues.  The disparity in educational level would surely breed inferiority complex among peers, thereby isolation and/or restriction would set in leading to limitations in interactions.

In 1955, the first major step to revolutionize the educational system was taken when the government of Western Nigeria Promulgated a free education scheme for primary and secondary schools.  Eastern Nigeria also began free education in 1957, but was later abandoned for lack of funds.  However, in 1977, the Federal Military Government launched the Universal Primary Education (U.P.E) which was free throughout the country.  Initially, the cost of the U.P.E scheme was fully borne by the Federal Government but it later withdrew its financing when the 1999 constitution vested primary education on states and local government.

In 1979, another major milestone was reached when the Lagos State, Ogun State, Oyo State, Ondo State and Bendel state governments introduced free education at all levels, due to the victory at a general election of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) (in the states gubernatorial election) which had made the subject an election issue.  This measure led to an explosion in student population in the five states which the UPN won the elections.  In the other states, although education was not free at all levels, there was considerable development and the number of pupils, students and schools increased.

Following the coup d’etat against the civilian government in 1984, the trend of expansion and development was halted and in some cases reversed.  Payment of school fees was re-introduced in all the states except Lagos State.  The supply of textbooks by the Government was also abolished.

To have qualitative education, there is need for the government to make funds available.  The provision of basic amenities and materials required for teaching and learning are of paramount importance for the teacher to give his best and thereby enjoy his chosen profession.  The students also learn fast and enjoy the environment if everything is provided irrespective of their socio-economic background.  The salary and incentives of the teachers need to be paid promptly.  The failure of the authority concerned to do this has forced the teachers to look elsewhere to make ends meet.

From experience, many people dropped out of school because they could not afford the luxury of education.  They find it extremely difficult to purchase the required textbooks for most of the subject being taught, and this automatically affected their academic performance because they lack the necessary learning materials to aid their learning.  These categories of students were at different occasions driven out of school because of their inability to pay the levies imposed by the Government, the Parent Teacher’s Association (P.T.A.), pay for and attend extra-moral classes, provide audio-visual cards and so on.  This in a nutshell hindered some students attendance of school, and the classroom, some would come late to school because they have to hawk wares for their parents before they could be released for school.  They therefore, would resume their hawking business whenever they return from school having little or no time for school work and assignments.

Capitalist societies to which Nigeria belongs had carried three social statues, which to Musgrare (1979) are “the lower or working class, the middle class and the upper class”.   This social stratification, though, has been a subject of controversy to some people and in several quarters.  Karl Marx divided the social strata into two namely; the bourgeois and the proletariat.  This study will be restricted to the lower or working class and the upper class.  It is pathetic to note that teachers on their part are no longer interested in the teaching profession which should be a noble profession.  Their salaries were being delayed coupled with the unconducive environment of the profession.  Hence, the incessant industrial actions embarked upon to press home their demand and or grievances.  It was night marish to see the noble profession going head-on down the drain.

On the whole, education is Nigeria’s greatest and the largest industry, embracing classes of her citizens and taking precedence over other sectors in the budget of the state and the Federal government.  These and more are the reasons why it was necessary for this research to be carried out so as to know the extent to which the counting and, or parental socio-economic status had affected the academic performance of students (learners).

Statement of the Problem

The country was plagued with legion of problems, which had grossly affected education.  A number of these had reared their ugly heads in the performance of the students in their academic pursuit.  For instance, many families find it extremely difficult to feed well due to their low socio-economic status.  Bread-winners of some families were retrenched indiscriminately hence, the high rate of unemployment which had engulfed the country, thereby making it difficult for many to provide for their children or wards’ educational requirements.

 The academic background of parents would play a crucial role in the performance of the students in and out of school.  The socio-political status of parent was also a contributing factor.

Non availability of teaching and learning aids both in school and at home endangered the learner’s academic performance.  A situation whereby there are no chalk and chalkboard for the classroom, lack of textbooks, tables, desks for writing, leaking roof had made both teachers and learners to lose interest in teaching and learning under these deplorable condition.  The type of school attended also would have positive or negative effects on the academic performance of learners.  Children who attended urban schools are better than those who attended schools in the rural areas.  This would be so because the availability of materials and adequately equipped teacher determined the quality of learners that would be produced. 

The private schools are made to thrive despite exorbitant fees they charge the parents.  The private schools are not meant for every Dick, Tom and Harry but for those that have the where withal to afford the state of art equipment and learning aids for their children’s education.  In the contrary was the situation in the public schools where the teachers were not even committed to the teaching profession.  The extinction of external academic programmes like excursion, literacy and debate competition on diverse topics or subjects that should pose challenges to the students’ growth and development was another bane of learner’s academic performance.  With all these problems encountered by the children of the lower class parents, some of these children still perform better academically than their counterparts from the high class.  As such, this study attempts to asses the socio-economic status, parents’ occupation, attitude on the academic performance of secondary school students.


Purpose of the Study

the purpose of this study is to examined between children academic performance  in public secondary schools and parents socio-economic constraints; To ascertain the causes of the present socio-economic constraints.

·        To identify measures that can eliminate or reduce the negative effects these factors have on the academic performance of learners.

·        To access parental occupational effect on the children’s academic performance.

·        To assess family environmental on the academic performance of the child.

·        To assess the extent parental educational level and the role on the academic performance of the child.

Research Question

·        Will parent’s socio-economic status affect the academic performance of secondary school students?

·        Will parent’s occupation, attitude towards education and encouragement affect the child’s academic performance?

·        Does the family environment affect the leaner’s academic performance in public secondary school?

This study will make some recommendations, after investigating the above, regarding the bridging of the educational gap between the children from the high and lower classes.

Research Hypotheses

The following propositions were raised to subject data collected to more complex analysis.

1.   There is no significant relationship between parental socio-economic status and student’s academic performance.

2.   There is no significant relationship between the environment and the child’s academic performance.

3.   There is no significant relationship between parental interest and motivation and academic performance of a child.


Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to a number of people-the government, the parents, the teachers, the community or society as well as the students and educational planners, administrators, policy makers and so on.

·        It will be useful to the teachers and school principals to know the areas where the students will need more attention and the causes of their poor performances.  This will then give them ample opportunity to diverse ways to help the students to excel despite the socio-economic constraints.

·        This study will be useful to the government as it exposes the effects of lack of funds and socio-economic constraints on education, and that its survival requires prompt funding.  And unless these problems are identified and decisively addressed, the nation will suffer for it, as the greater percentage of the populace will be illiterates.

·        The study will be of immense usefulness to the students as it exposes their problems to them so that they can make necessary amends and therefore aspire to perform excellently well in their academic pursuit.  If they know their problems, it will be easier for them to make amendment than a teacher trying to pinpoint the problems for them.

·        The study will be useful to policy makers as it will enable them uplift the socio-economic status of workers so as to improve their living standard.

Scope and Delimitations of the Study

The scope of the study in terms of the focus has to do with (or limited to) the relationship between the child’s environment and the academic performance of the child.

The study was limited to Local Education District 1 of Lagos State.  It was limited to the public secondary schools.  It does not involve the primary and tertiary institutions.  Notwithstanding, the primary schools is still the foundation on which the child’s educational pursuit is built.  It is the stepping stone to admission to the secondary school where he will have to reach for a successful future so as to proceed to the tertiary level.

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