THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Academic achievement is an important factor in determining student success. According to observations and reports, success or high academic achievement has become a Herculean task for students in recent years. In Nigeria, poor academic performance was observed at both the secondary and tertiary levels of education.
The performance of students at all levels in Nigerian educational institutions has been heavily criticized by all and sundry since time immemorial. Soyinka (1999) observed a decline in academic performance among Nigerian students and concluded that the education system in Nigeria requires restructuring. He went on to say that academic standards had dropped dramatically, and the quality of graduates produced by the nation’s schools is questionable and needs to be re-examined.
Students’ poor academic performance has been a source of great concern for educators, particularly guidance and counsellors. Despite the fact that all guidance programs and counseling strategies implemented in schools to improve students’ academic performance were documented on a yearly basis. It is necessary to investigate the causes of such poor performance in Nigerian secondary schools.
Though poor performance has been blamed on a variety of factors, including students’ attitudes toward school, approaches to learning, and academic self-concept. Aside from student, school, and parent factors, there are other indicators that contribute to poor performance.
Certain factors influence children’s success on the part of parents, such as parents’ social class, parents’ education, parental input, and other factors, such as family size and birth order, which may contribute positively or negatively to students’ academic performance.
In this context, family size refers to the total number of children in the child’s family, including the child himself, whereas birth order refers to the child’s position in the birth order. However, whether a child is born into a monogamous or polygamous family usually has an impact on the child’s academic performance. It is important to note that the size of the family is determined by the type of family (monogamous or polygamous).
Polygamous families are unique to Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. Data collected revealed that polygamous families are common among both well educated and poorly educated families in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. It is equally prevalent among professional and managerial fathers at the very top of the occupational hierarchy. Polygamy is most common among unskilled workers at the bottom of the ladder, but it is also common among intellectually oriented families living in homes full of recent books as well as families without a single book in their homes.
According to research, children from larger families perform worse than children from smaller families, and those lower down the birth order perform worse than those higher up the birth order (Lacovou, 2001). According to Adler, as cited in Uba (1989), the first child or the older child usually benefits from a lot of attention and warmth during the early stages of life, which he entertains all by himself.
According to observations and studies, the first born receives more attention and time (Becker, 1980). Parental attention decreases as the number of children increases, and children born later perform worse than their siblings born earlier.
Previous research on relationship achievement and birth order revealed that there were negative relationships. According to Leoma (1982), the first born and the configuration of oldest and only children are significantly more creative or verbal test of creativity than later born.
Nwafor and Ango (1988) discovered that first-born children had significantly higher levels of outstanding academic performance. Tenibiaye (2002) discovered a significant difference in intelligent capacity between the first and later born children.
Spear (1982) investigated the birth order effect on intelligence with later born children and discovered that later born children were less capable than earlier siblings when birth order was controlled, and family size was found to be negatively related to intelligence.
However, Powell and Steelman (1993) and Vanejik and Degraaf (1995) argued that children’s achievement is dependent on parental time and money. The more children there are in a family, the less of both inputs there are. These inputs include not only money, but also time, attention, resource delusion, and so on.
Booth and Kee (2006), on the other hand, confirmed that children from larger families have lower levels of education. Research on the effect of siblings, size, and position has been based on a theory of parental resource allocation presented in Becker (1981), and Spanta and Paulson (1995) confirmed that differences in adolescent academic achievement were found in birth order and family size.
Today, teachers are frequently blamed for students’ poor academic performance, without first investigating other factors that may be contributing to the students’ academic problems. Should the entire problem be blamed on the teachers, who always want the best for their students?
One would like to know what justification people have for blaming teachers for students’ poor academic performance. The truth is that children spend more time at home than in school because the foundation of their socialization is laid at home.
Many factors related to the family, including family size, could have contributed to the students’ high or low performance. The family size contributes to a student’s success or failure in school in one way or another, in that when the family is large, there will be insufficient concentration on the child by their parents based on the child’s academic performance.
This study thus considered the influence of parents’ nonchalant attitude toward child bearing on academic performance; in other words, the study focuses on how family size can influence students’ academic performance.
QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The following research questions were generated based on the study’s background and the problems discussed above;
1) Does the size of a family affect students’ academic performance in secondary school?
2) Does the birth order of a family affect the academic performance of secondary school students?
3) Does the educational status of parents influence their children’s academic performance?
HYPOTHESIS OF RESEARCH
As a result of the above-mentioned research questions, the following research hypothesis was developed and tested at the 0.05 level of significance.
1. There is no statistically significant relationship between family size and secondary school student academic performance.
2. There is no statistically significant relationship between family birth order and academic performance of secondary school students.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The goal of this study is to look into the effects of family size and birth order on students’ academic performance in a few high schools. It is intended to compare the academic performance of students from large and small family backgrounds. The research will shed light on how and why some students outperform others.
THE STUDY’S IMPORTANCE
The study aims to determine the impact of family size on student performance in some selected public secondary schools in Edo State’s Oredo Local Government Area. The study will be extremely useful in educating students from various family size backgrounds on how to handle them in order to improve their performance.
It will also allow school administrators to recognize the importance of providing books, newspapers, and magazines in the school library, knowing full well that the same students may not have the opportunity at home, possibly due to large children in the family and noise everywhere. The study will also assist teachers in adjusting their methods to be more effective in accommodating all students.
THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVE
The study will be used on selected public secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State for convenience, the area being an urban area was chosen so as to involve children from various family backgrounds four schools were used for the study, we discovered that those from a polygamous home, majority of them are ignored and as such their academic performance is low as a result of lack of finance and they are made to struggle for themselves, c
The total number of children in the child’s family, including the child himself.
Birth order: refers to the child’s position in the birth order, i.e. the child’s position in the family.
A library is a structure that houses collections of books, CDs, newspapers, and other media for people to read, study, and borrow.
Small family: a family of no more than six (6) people, consisting of the father, mother, and four (4) children.
Polygamy is the practice of having multiple wives at the same time.