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1.1 Background of the study
Education is of great importance to every nation. It therefore attracts considerable attention to the family, community and to all tiers of government; education is discussed, planned and processed (Omolewa, 2001). It is believed that education recreates both the individuals and the nation, influences values and attitudes for a worthwhile living. The National Policy on Education (2009) is not wrong with its assertion that education is “an instrument par excellence” and the world at large had keyed into this, by recognizing education as the panacea to development and survival of man itself. It is not surprising therefore that the processes of education are offered by the three levels– primary, secondary and tertiary education. As a result, education is classified on the concurrent list. That is, administration, funding, policy formulation and maintenance of schools or matters relating to education can both be deliberated upon by the Federal and State governments. Over the years, there had been public outcry concerning the fate of educational system in Nigeria and the breeding of graduates with little technical know–how which has resulted in serious setbacks to the industrial and economic development of the nation and its place among comity of nations in the 21st century. Investigations into the factor that influence academic performance of students in and out-of-school could be trace to individual family or home. The family or home is an integral part of the society which is a sub-system of the social structure. It is an axiom that good homes breed a productive nation .This is the brain-child of why, every society aspires for development. Everyone has had someone who nurtured them in their childhood and who they called “family”. No man existed by himself. Everyone comes from a family. Only few things are more universal than the family. The family is the only channel through which there can be continuity of life of human societies. The Bible testifies to this in Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…” (American Standard Version). Whether single or married, all parents leave long-lasting impressions on their children’s life and the single parents are not excluded from the role. However, death, divorce, or whatever may be the cause of this singularity will likely leave deep impressions or impact on the emerging personality of the child. What actually matters is the way the single parent respond to the herculean tasks of single-parenting. Ahuja (2000) believes that in whichever manner the single parent has dealt with the parenting challenges, there are deep effects on the child’s character, individuality, and academic performance as compared to the children whose parents live together. Being a child to a single parent is a very complex situation. Children look up to their parents for the gratification of their first three psychological needs, according to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that is, the Physiological needs (food, water, air, shelter), Safety needs (security), and Love and affection needs. If the parents are confident and emotionally stable, their children will feel secure and confident. The sense of belonging to a single parent has a disturbing effect on the child’s personality. Although, the norms and mentality of many African societies have changed, many children with single parents are often called bastards, that is if they have unmarried parents. As it is a social taboo, it always haunts the child whose mother was never married to his/her father, or when the father refused to recognize or accept these children as his. They are singled out by others at school and playgrounds and made fun of. As a result of which they become reluctant to attend school and socialize.These are parts of the difficulties that children with single parents have to pass through (Stinson, 2000). The child is the focal point, and without the child, the concept “parent” is invalid. Researchers in social sciences have identified various ways in which children display different behaviour patterns depending on the type of household they come 10 from. Many believe that materialism and compulsive consumption behaviour in children have been found to be higher in single-parent households than in dual-parent households. (Amato, P. R., 1987) A child from homes where both the father and mother are present will be well taken care of and socialize in the best way possible. This is due to the fact that the process of socialization depends on both parents playing complementary roles in bringing up the child. The home is the first and fundamental agent of socialization. Such a child that is brought up well is likely to achieve self-actualization later in life, while the children from single-parent homes are likely to suffer deprivation and denial of some rights and opportunities (Battle, 1998). Salami (1998) is of the view that, “Children from broken homes are usually associated with anti-social behaviour and poor academic records”. Time has really changed. Many of the old customs and traditions which were taught and practiced for several years are now obsolete. The modern culture has changed and outgrown the values and beliefs that were thought to be the core beliefs and values of our society. Even though, moralists and conservatives are experiencing disgust over the currently evolving belief and cultural systems. The truth is, what has been unacceptable in the olden days, is now becoming fast and rapidly rising trends. For decades and even centuries, one of the major concerning issues to the conservatives, is the issue of single-parenting. Single-parenting is already becoming a fast and rapidly growing trend in the society. (Tenibiaje, M. O., 2011).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Time has really changed. Many of the old customs and traditions which were taught and practiced for several years are now obsolete. The modern culture has changed and outgrown the values and beliefs that were thought to be the core beliefs and values of our society. Even though, moralists and conservatives are experiencing disgust over the currently evolving belief and cultural systems. The truth is, what has been unacceptable in the olden days, is now becoming fast and rapidly rising trends. For decades and even centuries, one of the major concerning issues to the conservatives, is the issue of single-parenting. Single-parenting is already becoming a fast and rapidly growing trend in the society. (Tenibiaje, M. O., 2011)The child is morally upright and emotionally stable when both parents cooperate in taking good care of him. The family is the first agent of socialization the child come in contact with, and the family has a great influence on the child’s physical, mental, moral, emotional, spiritual, and academic development. The family lays the strong foundation of education before the child goes to school and the personality that the child takes to school is determined by the home. “Charity begins at home,” says the wise ones. Parents have roles to play in the child’s educational development. It is in view of this that the researcher intend to investigate the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of secondary school students in Obio Okpo LGA of River state.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of secondary school students; but for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
i) To investigate the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of secondary school student.
ii) To ascertain the impact of single parenting on the psychological well-being of secondary school student.
iii) To ascertain if there is any significant relationship between parenting and academic performance.
iv) To ascertain the role of parents on the academic performance of students in secondary schools
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For the successful completion of the study, the following research questions were formulated by the researcher;
i) What is the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of secondary school students?
ii) Does single parenting has any impact on the psychological well-being of secondary school student?
iii) What is the relationship between single parenting and the academic performance of students?
iv) Does parents play any role on the academic performance of secondary school students?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: single parenting does not have any significant influence on the academic performance of secondary school students
H1:single parenting does have a significant influence on the academic performance of secondary school students.
H0:there is no significant relationship between single parenting and academic performance of secondary school students
H2:there is a significant relationship between single parenting and academic performance of secondary school students.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that the outcome of this study will help to enlighten single parents of the risks of single parenting, how it affects their children’s academic performance, and how they can strive to improve their children’s academic performance. It will also help bachelors and spinsters to prepare very well for marriage before going into it, so that they will not put the lives of their unborn children in danger. It will also help students from single-parent homes to realize the consequences of their present home condition and put in their best efforts in order to sail through the demeaning tasks of self-study with ease. This study is also intended to call the attention of marriage counselors to the damaging effects of broken homes on children’s academic performance, so that they will help to safeguard marriages that are about to crash.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of secondary school students in Obio Okpoi LGA of Rivers state. However in the course of the study there are some factors which militated against the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker or biological parent is a person whose gamete resulted in a child, a male through the sperm, and a female through the ovum. Parents are first-degree relatives and have 50% genetic meet. A female can also become a parent through surrogacy. Some parents may be adoptive parents, who nurture and raise an offspring, but are not actually biologically related to the child. Orphans without adoptive parents can be raised by their grandparents or other family members.
Single parenting can be defined as when one out of two people who are responsible for the nurturing and rearing of a child is not available, and the work meant for two people is now been carried out by only one person. According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a single parent is defined as a mother or father who looks after children of their own, without the other partner. Single parenting can be viewed as a situation whereby the duties that require two parents to carry out on their children is being carried out by a single parent, either the wife or the husband.
Encarta dictionaries (2009) define impact as “the powerful or dramatic effect that something or somebody has on something or somebody.
According to Encarta dictionaries (2009), academic relates to education, educational studies, an educational institution, or the educational system. Encarta dictionaries (2009) also define performance as the manner in which something or somebody functions, operates, or behaves. Academic performance can then be defined as how well one performs in his/her studies and classes in an educational institution or system.
Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (6th edition) defines student as a person who is studying at a university or college. It also defines student as a person who is studying at a school, especially a secondary school.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter. Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.