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INFLUENCE OF BROKEN HOME ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS
1.1 Background to the Study
Family is the child‟s first place of social organization. The children as a result acquire initial education and socialization from the parents and other significant persons in the family. Family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child. Where and when there is harmony within the family, it translates to a happy home for the child. In happy homes, healthy and peaceful coexistence prevail amongst family members, which in turn breed healthy and happy children. Very often, chances are that some homes are broken that is the members are not living/staying together either as a result of death, separation, divorce or the like. A broken home in this context, refers to a home that is characterized with single parent, as result of divorce, separation, death of one of the parents.
Hammond as cited by Alhassan, (2008) discovered that pupils of broken homes exhibit much negative measures such as distractibility, acting out, with time received from others, these go a long way to influence their academic performance in the schools. Kenkel as cited by Alhassan, (2008) indicated that a child in the incomplete family is socially and psychologically deprived of a father-figure either to emulate directly or to look for a model of the opposite sex. “In terms of other long-term consequences for children, parental disruption has been shown to be associated with lower socio-economic and academic attainment”. Wiseman, as cited by Abbas (2010), It can be deduced/inferred that broken homes may affect the development of the children in all aspects of their life. Thus, children of broken homes may be emotionally imbalance and psychologically depressed.
A broken home can also be viewed as to be separated from mother or father, and is like to lose part of the body (Landuccias cited by Igbinosa, 2014). Life in a broken home can be stressful for both the child and the parent, and such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resource. Schutts (2006) noted that if children from broken homes are to be compared with those from intact homes, it would be seen that the former have more social, academic and emotional problems. Rochlkepart (2003) is of the opinion that the family and its structure play a great role in children‟s academic performance. Ayodele (2007) stated that the environment where a child finds himself goes a long way in determining his learning ability and ultimately his academic performance in school.
Broken homes may bring about stress, tension, lack of motivation and frustration obviously these manifestations may act negatively on a Pupil academic performance. Johnson as cited in (Igbinosa, 2014) indicated that children of unmarried parents or separated families often fail and are at risk emotionally. However, this may not be completely applicable in all cases of broken homes. Some children irrespective of home background or structure may work hard and become successful in life. Poor academic performance has over the years become rampant, more pronounced and a peculiar feature in the institutions of learning. This has generated a lot of concern among parents, teachers, counselors, educational administrator, as well as in government circle. Broken homes, while being a problem of couples are largely a problem of the nation as a whole. Therefore, the influence of broken homes on pupil academic performance is the major concern of this study and the need to know the influence of broken homes on pupil academic performance in the study area. The researcher wants to ascertain the influence of broken home on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Paikoro local government area, Niger State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The history of broken homes in Paikoro Local Government Area dates back to the traditional days when there were no legally constituted courts to settle the disputes among couples. Thus differences were taken to the council of elders in the extended family system. The woman stressed her grievance and the husband is called upon by the eldest person in the family or village head for amicable settlement. In a situation where the unwanted behavior continued then the woman could report grievances to her parents. The parents of the woman or herself, has the sole responsibility to seek for divorce or separation. During these olden days, broken homes were not pronounced and where there were few of such cases it was considered as taboo; as such the rates of broken homes was minimal in the study area. But in present modern age, particularly in Nigeria, where women are expected to shoulder effectively domestic responsibilities, but due engagement in place of work, which prevent them from discharging their responsibilities, in most case tend to create conflict that may lead to broken homes.
It is worthy to note that majority of the families in Paikoro Local Government Area predominantly operate polygamous family system. This has a lot of implications to the stability of the marriage of many couples in the study area. For instance, a man who is not economically viable to maintain one wife but yet gets married to two or more wives through parental and peer group influence may definitely not be able to cater for the family.
However, there is a global awareness on the importance of home environment and parental care on pupils‟ academic performance. The family being the most important
social unit that provides security, socio-economic and psychological services to its members (children inclusive) is prone to threat due to rising cases of broken homes such as divorce, separation, or death of a parent. Hence, schools are likely to have more pupils whose parents have been divorced, dead or separated now more than ever before. The rate of broken homes as a result of collapse marriage is becoming alarming, thus increasing number of children from broken homes day in, day out. The home is meant to be a place filled with joy, happiness with lots of guaranteed security and comfort but it is rather pitiful that average home today neglects its primary functions thereby causing a lots of psychological challenge in the mind of the school pupils.
The emotional and social stress of broken homes may cause hardship, such as inability to resume classes as at when due, inability to purchase necessary learning materials, nonpayment of dues and levies, lack guidance and counselling, monitoring and supervision, insecurity, lack of freedom from oppression, denial of early education. The presence of a broken home condition may adversely affect pupil`s concentration on their studies and regular attendance in school, it may also lead to exams failures and also impede academic performance as the pupil is unable to take advantage of learning opportunities at school and at home, for these pupils to be in school with various psychological home conditions will no doubt be in disequilibrium state of mind. It is against this background, the researcher examined influence of broken homes on academic performances of the pupils (male and female) in public primary schools in paikoro local government area of Niger State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sets out to achieve the following objectives,
- To ascertain the differential influence of parental death on academic performance of primary school Boys and Girls in Paikoro Local Government Area.
- To find out the differential influence of parental separation and parental divorce on academic performance of primary school pupils in Paikoro Local Government Area.
- To investigate the differential influence of parental care on academic performance of primary school pupils brought up by either the mother or father in Paikoro Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions guided the study.
- What is the differential influence of parental death on academic performance of primary school Boys and Girls in Paikoro Local Government Area?
- What is the differential influence of parental separation and parental divorce on academic performance of primary school pupils in Paikoro Local Government Area?
- What is the differential influence of parental care on academic performance of Primary school pupils brought up by either the mother or father in Paikoro Local Government Area?
For the purpose of this research work, the following hypotheses were tested;
HO1 There is no significant differential influence of parental death on academic
performance of primary school Boys and Girls in Paikoro Local Government
HO2 There is no significant differential influence of parental separation and divorce on
academic performance of primary school pupils in Paikoro Local Government
HO3 There is no significant differential influence of parental care on academic
performance of primary school pupils brought up by either the mother or the
father in Paikoro Local Government Area.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
This study has the following basic assumptions:
- That parental death may have differential influence on academic performance of primary schools Boys and Girls in Paikoro Local Government Area.
- That parental separation and parental divorce may have differential influence on academic performance of primary school pupils in Paikoro Local Government Area.
- That parental care either by the mother or the father may have differential influence on academic performance of primary schools pupils in Paikoro Local Government Area.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The essence of this research work could be seen from its scope. The study had attempted to provide empirical research findings on the influence of broken home on pupil academic performance. The findings of this study may led to a possible reduction in this social ill (broken home) act in the society. The result of the study will complement government effort in reducing rate of broken home among families. Counsellors, Teachers, educational administrators, policy makers, curriculum developers and other stakeholders will find this work indispensable. The study had also contributed to the body of knowledge on the influence of the home environment on academic performance. In addition, it would serve as a measure to the problem of poor academic performance amongst primary school pupils in the country. It will also attract future researchers in a similar field in order to give a better understanding of the problem at hand. The findings of this study will uplift the quality of education in the following ways.
Curriculum planning; Curriculum Planners will find it handy and would benefit them by knowing that the general and rigid curriculum that is one – size – fits- all would no longer meet the needs of every learners. The study has provided valid information to curriculum planners on learners from broken homes and it will be employed in simplify existing curriculum.
Counsellors; the study has provided the school guidance counsellors with vital information that will help them to guide their clients from broken homes, as well as educational administrators and regulators. It will also serve as a reference material for further studies in the field. The findings of this study serve as useful information that will be used for theory formation in marital counseling.
Students; The study provide students with needed information on home background and academic performance, and this will go a long way to facilitate his/her preparation to excel in academic pursuit and life in general (economically, physically/spiritually, socially, as well as morally).
Religious Institutions; the study also provide religious leaders with needed information
1.8 Scope and Delimitation
The scope of this study covered class six pupils from selected public primary schools in Paikoro local government area of Niger state Nigeria, this enables the researcher to make certain generalization concerning the home and the school on one hand and the home and academic performance on the other hand. The study is delimited to Pupils from broken home in class five down to class one in public primary school and private primary school in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State.