The Effect of Parent Socio Economic Status on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils ABSTRACT
This report attempted to describe and explain the relationship between parents’ socioeconomic status and pupils’ educational attainment using a case study approach. The objectives of the study were: to estimate the relationship between parents’ educational level, income level and occupations; with pupils’ educational performance in their mock examinations leading to PLE in St Jude Malaba primary school in the year 2010. Data for the study was collected through the use of questionnaires for pupils, interview with teachers and head teachers, documentary analysis of the school records and observation. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of study were used. The researcher used Tables, charts and Pearson’s correlation to describe and analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed on the basis of themes. The results showed that there was a positive correlation between the parents’ level of education, income and occupation with pupil’s educational performance. Fathers’ education was significant at 0.804 while mothers’ educational level was significant at 0.641. Parent’s level of income was significant at 0.875 and Parents’ occupation was significant at 0.757. These findings are consistent with the concept of social reproduction by Pierre Bourdieu (1986), Annet Lareau (2003) and Randall Collins. The researcher concluded that parent’ low socioeconomic status impacted negatively on pupils’ performance, through denying the children access to resources which are readily available to children from higher socio economic status. He recommended that parents should continue to improve on their education levels through adult education programs. Secondly, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds should try to persevere through financial hardships and remain in school because schooling eventually has a redeeming effect on their poor plight. Lastly children who obtain low grades should be helped to develop academic curiosity in fields which are more relevant to them.
Background of the study.
1.1.0 Conceptual background
Primary education is the most basic formal education and is valued very highly for preparing learners for secondary education, world of work, Scientific and technical application of knowledge and Life skills. However attaining primary education is not natural. It is influenced by many imbalances including parents’ social and economic experiences (socio-economic status) and disparities in education standards throughout Uganda. Socioeconomic 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 behavior. (www.answers.com/topic/socioeconomic-status) The educational attainment of the pupils in St Jude Malaba primary school is similar to many up country schools in Uganda with a high enrolment that out number available resources and more pupils passing in lower Grades of III and IV. In Uganda there were 121,390 (71.8%) pupils in Grade III and more other 67,301 (85.6%) in Grade IV in 2009 (www.newvision.co.ug/D/1/10/7). A candidate is deemed to have completed primary school if one obtains a divisional grade of I to IV pass in primary leaving examinations. Such pupils are eligible to register for any post primary education. Attaining Low grades (grade III and IV) should be the educational equivalent of illiteracy and a mark of different prospect to growing up where, parents have low occupations and low income, and whose own experience of school may have been a negative one. That is a bad start in life. Disagreements followed release of PLE results in 2008. Due to public outcry and repeated requests for a correction from the parents, the ministry and district education officers in Uganda were still confused over reasons for...
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