EFFECT OF SINGLE PARENTHOOD ON PUPILS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
The research work investigated the effects of single parenthood on pupils academic achievement in primary school in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State. The research work employed the use of questionnaires in gathering data for analysis and it contained the following items: name of the respondents, school, age, sex, class, religion. Data is presented in tables and frequencies while percentage was used to analyze.
From the analysis, children from single parents do lack affection, involved in delinquent behavior and always hostile and aggressive, and do not perform well academically. And more so, single mother and father affect the children’s educational outcome. With the result obtained and fact finding highlight families and the causes of with whom children live, for both single mother and single father families divorce has more impacts on children’s educational achievement.
In conclusion it was recommended that children from single parenthood should be encouraged on the three basic dimension of self esteem namely sense of belonging, sense of worth and sense of competence. They need positive change for the overall adjustment.
Also, parents should tolerate, accommodate, appreciate and understand each other in marriage so as to curb the effects on children’s future. Both parents should try to stay together for the sake of good upbringing of their children, whenever there is problem in the home, the couple should seek God’s direction and a good counsellor for help or otherwise, settle the problems between themselves amicably.
1.1 Background of the Study
All over the world, and in Nigeria to be specific, education is accorded a place of pride because it is the means through which the culture of different societies is passed down through succeeding generations. Over the years the investigation of the factors that influence academic performance of pupils have attracted the interest and concern of teachers, counsellors, psychologist, researchers and schools administrators in Nigeria (Wiseman 1973; Sogbetun 1981).
This is because of the public outcries concerning the low standard of education in the country. Imgoe (2002). One of the factors affecting low standard of education in the country is single parenthood which is affecting nation wide. Single parenthood can be seen as a situation whereby one of the parent is no longer in the union that produced the child.
According to Oyedele (1995) it can also be seen as a situation whereby only one of the parent raises the child or children. Single-parenthood can be defined as when one out of two people who is responsible for the nurturing and child rearing is not available, and the work meant for two people, is now been carried out by only one person.
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, single-parenting has been defined as a mother or father who looks after children on their own, without the other partner.
Along with substantial prevalence of single parenthood, researchers in the United State and Western Europe have extensively examined consequences of growing up with a single parent and its negative association with children’s education.
Although single parenthood is negatively associated with children’s educational outcomes in most western countries, recent comparative studies showed that the strength of the negative relationship varies significantly across countries (Hampden Thompson and Pong, 2005).
Compared to the large number of studies on single parenthood in western industrial countries and even in some developing countries, little research has addressed the issue in societies that have recently experienced automatic changes in family structure, especially the rapid increase in divorce rate in West Africa.
Nigeria has experienced a rapid increase in divorce, which makes it important to examine the effect of single parenthood and its impacts on pupils academic achievement and well-being. Murray (1985) sees divorce as a separation of the parent or if one of the parent is away from home for a long time through work, illness or imprisonment.
Adenowo (1995) also says that divorce for definite purpose can be described as the act of formal dissolving of a marriage and the two parent reverts to the status of becoming single once again. This analysis becomes necessary because life in a single parent family can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Such families are faced with challenges of diminishing financial resources.
This study examines how children of single parent families fare in their educational outcomes. The relationship between single parenthood and children’s education may vary across societies depending on broad family and other social structures surrounding single parenthood.
Examining relationships between family structure and children’s education in Nigeria; one of the “strong family” countries in which the rate of single-parent families has recently risen, may contribute to the understanding of the implication of rapid family change for children’s well-being.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Single parenthood as a school factor is a major determinant of the effectiveness of children’s education and this may influence pupils academic achievement in the school. Therefore, problems and issues that might hamper the effective practice of education need to be studied with a view to eradicate them.
One of such problems is single parenthood which has been a subject of multidimensional argument with regard to its effects on pupils academic achievement. Therefore, this study seeks to provide empirical evidence on the influence of single parenthood on the academic achievement of school pupils in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study are the following:
i. To identify and discuss the types of single-parent families.
ii. To highlight the effect of single-parenthood on pupils academic achievement.
iii. To highlight the academic performances of different pupils from different single-parent families.
iv. To highlight the challenges pupils from single parent families face in their academic achievement.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is expected that the result obtained from this study apart from identifying the effect of single-parenthood on pupils academic achievement will also be of great value to curriculum planner’s and teachers. Since this study tends to look at the effect of single parenthood on pupils academic achievement and the solutions to bring about positive changes in pupils academic performance.
This study is also expected to draw the attention of educators, parent and government to need for single parenthood reduction through a decrease in divorce rate and increase in household income. Also, this study tends to give great relief to the parent who are either widows or widowers on the way to train their children in a right form for better future.
1.5 Research Questions
i. To what extent does divorced single-father families affect the pupils academic achievement?
ii. Does widower single-father families affect the pupils academic achievement?
iii. To what extent does divorced single-mother families affect the pupils academic achievement?
iv. Does widowed single-mother families affect the pupils academic achievement?
v. What is the difference in the academic achievement between children from two-parent families and those from single-parent families?
1.6 Limitation of the Study
This research work was carried out within Odeda Local Government Area. The subjects of the study were limited to public school primary 5 and 6 pupils only. Since the study intends to focus on different single parent families from different schools, the problems the researcher faced were;
i. Financial problem
ii. Inadequate time
1.7 Definitions of Terms
Single parenthood: Is a situation whereby one of the parents is no longer in the union that produced the child.
School: Is a place where teaching and learning take place.
Pupil: Is a person that is studying at primary school level both lower and upper class (primary 1 – primary 6).
Academic: It is connected with education at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary levels).
Achievement: It is a thing that somebody has done successfully, especially using their own effort or skill.
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