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INFLUENCE OF MOTHERS EMPLOYMENT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA, NIGERIA
The study focused on the influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of pupils of primary school age in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Three objectives were drawn: determine the influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of pupils in primary schools;determine how mothers’ employment influence academic performance of pupils in primary schools in rural and urban areas; and, determine the extent to which the socio-economic status of employed mothers influence the academic performance of their children.Three research questions were raised and three hypotheses were also tested at the 0.05 level of significance.The survey research method was employed in which six hundred and seventy three (673) respondents were purposively selected women working in Hospitals, Banks, Primary schools, and secondary schools, in the six Area Councils of Abuja. The questionnaire designed by the researcher and subjected to the processes of validity and reliability served as instrument for data collection. The collected data wereanalysed using mean, frequency and percentages on demographic status. The test of hypotheses was done using the t-test statistical technique and the Pearson Product Moment correlation technique, using the computerized SPSS Package. The findings revealed that, Majority ( over 60.0%) of the respondents are personally in charge of their children’s home work; the academic performance of their children was above average; respondents occasionally supervise their children’s school work/home work;Majority (89.0) of the respondents were located in urban areas; More pupilsof mothers from urban areas (79.0%) than pupils of mothers from rural areas (40.0%) had school results that indicated their position in class was between the top 4th to 10th position; On the whole, 74.0% of the respondents’ pupils had 4th to 10th position in their class examination. Finally, the findings revealed that, the income per month of majority (65.0%) of the respondents was N 30,000 to N 60,000; Most of them purchased all recommended textbooks, exercise books and writing materials for their pupils all the time; 74.0% of the respondents give balanced diet lunch pack to their pupils to take to school all the time; 83.0% of the respondents indicated that their children’s school fees were paid on schedule all the time; and, 98.0% of the respondents indicated that whenever their pupils are ill, they receive prompt medical attention all the time. All the three null hypotheses tested were rejectedat 0.05 level of significance. The study therefore recommended that the FCT Minister and the Social Welfare Department of the FCT to organize a campaign that will educate mothers to take up gainful employment.
1.1 Background to the Study
The typical African cultural setting is centered on the man as head of the family and the sole provider of sustenance. The woman (or mother) on the other hand is expected to mind the home front and fend for the children. She is not expected to take up paid employment that will take her away from the domestic chores of a houswife. She is, however, expected to provide informal education and subsequently prepare the child for formal education. The general believe (in the view of the Researcher) is that mothers who work will find it difficult to fulfill their role of providing early childhood education that will ultimately affect their child’s academic performance when enrolled in school.
Academic performance is determined by several factors. The literature is replete with how the socio-economic status of the mother determines the type of house pupils live in, the social amenities they have, mobility, even the types of food the pupils eat, and consequently their academic performance in school (Olusanya, Eyisi, Ogunyide, and Egbichulam ,1990).
Kriesberg (1990) reported that the middle class family is more supportive and rewarding of academic achievement than the lower class family. Indeed, according to Capper (1996), the entire family can be influenced by a child’s performance in an examination because that performance can constrain or expand future employment possibilities for the child. Musgrave (1998) also recognized parental status on academic performance. He explained that personal characteristics such as achievement, motivation, and self-concept are strong determinants of academic performance.
Mothers’ employment has influence on the academic performance of their children especially when it is considered that mothers play significant roles in the education of their children, starting from conception,informal to formal education. Akogun (1998) stated that there is mounting evidence which indicates that, when malnutrition starts early in life, it becomes more severe in the impairment of the brain and may result in life-long reduction of intellectual abilities. Also, a mother who has consistently lived on poor nutrition is not likely to produce pupils with good intellectual abilities and may lead to poor academic achievement.
In most homes, mothers take care of their children, preparing them for school, cooking their food, and taking care of their dresses and books.
Women encourage children to aim high in educational pursuits and through their life example and counselling (Omotosho 1998).
Mohammed (1999) asserted that global consensus is that education is a process that helps to develop the whole human being, physically, mentally, morally, politically, socially, and, technologically to enable one to function in any environment in which one may find oneself. Education, according to her, performs a major role in equipping the individual with the skills and knowledge which would help to transform any economy. Thus, the researcher is of the view that education is the greatest investment that any nation can make for the quick development of its economic, political, sociological and human resources.
The role of the mother is to ensure that children are well fed with nutritionally balanced diet and were necessary to ensure that the pupils go to school with a well packaged lunch-box. Where the employed mother is not always available to do this, the tendency is for the pupils to go to school with junk foods or money with which they buy junk food. This ultimately influences the mental development of the child and determines the level of academic performance.
Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education, affirmed that education is the cornerstone for development, and has adopted education as an
“instrument per excellence” for effective national development (FGN, 2004). Thus, education opens access for employment, notwithstanding gender or circumstances of birth. Oyetunde (2004) noted that examination and education are inseparable, for the efficiency and quality of an educational system is usually determined through performance of its products in an examination or a set of examinations. Examination, according to him, therefore influence what is taught and learned in schools, especially when the results of the examinations are used to make important decisions (such as awarding certificates to graduating students, promoting students to higher classes, or selecting students for higher levels of education).
There was a time in Africa and most part of the world when women were relegated to the background; it was often said that ‘the place of the woman is the kitchen’. Consequently, parents did not see any reason in training the girl-child or even sending her to school, after all she would end up in her husband’s house and ultimately, ‘the kitchen’.
The down turn in the economy of Nigeria has made the situation at the home front pathetic, and the man alone (in most homes) can no longer be the sole bread winner. As a matter of fact the bread the man brings home, in many instances, is no longer enough to feed the entire family; so that
mothers have to engage themselves in paid jobs to supplement the family budget. However, instances also abound where the man lost his job or is retired, and the woman is the sole income earner in the family. In such a situation, the level of income of the mother determines the wellbeing of the entire family. Her income determines where the family would live, the type of food they would eat, the type of school the pupils will attend, and so on. It therefore follows that the higher the mothers’ income the better the facilities that would be made available to the family.
Mothers’ employment refers to mothers taking up paid jobs for a living. Hornby (2006) defined employment as work, especially when it is done to earn a living. Thus, mothers’ employment may also be defined as mothers working to earn money.Mothers’ employment could be full time, on shift basis, part-time, or even temporary. It is full time when the mother takes up a permanent and pensionable appointment and has to start work at 8:00am to close at 4:00pm and may even stay over time up till 6:00pm. The mother could work on shift-basis, this is common with nurses. She could work on day or night shift and could even be on off-duty. Part-time employment is when the mother is not fully engaged as a permanent staff but engaged as an ad-hoc staff that may not have to work the full length from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Temporary employment means that the mother is only engaged to
work for a short period of time; for example as a cook during a conference or a special occasion. Academic performance, on the other hand, refers to how successful or unsuccessful pupils are in their learning activities.
All the variables defined above can be inter-related to indicate a connection between mothers’ employment and the academic performance of pupils. Igube and Ejaro(2003) argued that working mothers contribute in no small way towards juvenile delinquency and poor academic performance of their pupils. They noted that, the working mother phenomenon could also contribute to marital conflict and may lead to increase in the divorce rate among dual career families.
The employment of mothers (whether on shift basis, part time employment or full employment), to a large extentdetermines how successful or unsuccessful their children would be in their academic performance.This is attested to by Mustapha (2008) who observed that child training is a neglected area in most families and women are no more devoted to the up keep of their pupils. According to him, when mothers work, they spend the whole day at their places of work, especially if they occupy top positions at work, and have little or no time for their pupils and family. This neglect of family responsibilities may result in pupils who are ill-cultured and whose moral and academic performance leaves a lot to be desired.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Most men are of the view that women’s place is in the kitchen. Women are to cook the family’s food, give birth to pupils and nurture them. The researcher observed that this trend is fast changing, because men are no longer ready to shoulder the responsibilities of the family alone, rather they want it to be a joint venture. Even though men are ready to be the sole bread winner, the economic situation of the country (Nigeria) is not making it practicable. For most families, the bread the man brings home can no longer meet the family needs; hence mothers have to be engaged in paid employment outside the home to make ends meet.
Most mothers are ‘working mothers’ and earn income to supplement that of the father. Instances also abound where the woman is a single mother or single parent, and has to shoulder the responsibility of training the childrenthrough all the stages of schooling. Her social status as determined by her income level will determine how well fed the pupils would be. It is significant to note that, the extent to which the pupils feed well also influence their performance in school.
The researcher also observed that, where the father is financially handicapped due to retrenchment or lack of good health or inadequate
preparation for life, the mother automatically becomes the sole bread winner of the family. The researcher had a personal encounter with a mother who said “I am a widow” though the husband is alive. The husband is an example of a family man who is not adequately ready or prepared for life, thus the woman had to assume the role of bread winner for the family. Instances also abound where the woman is a single parent either by death of spouse or other reasons designed by life; in such a situation, the level of income of the mother determines the well-being of the entire family. Her income therefore determines the type of housing of the family, the type of food the family would eat, the type of school the children will attend and the likes. The implication of this is that, the higher the income of the mother, the better the facilities that would be on ground for the family. It is significant to note that, the extent to which the pupils feed well is paramount to good health, and adequate provision of all the school requirements go a long way to influence the pupils’ performance in school. It is unfortunate that most women shy away from their responsibilities and put them on external bodies, by leaving the care of their children to house maids, nannies, and even neighbours, when they are away to work. No wonder, Omotosho (1998) said that women are no more devoted as they used to be. Going out for money leads to the neglect of the home, hence
that devotion to children is no longer there. Instead women look for money to substitute for their love and counselling of their children. The question is, what are the general implication of these employed mothers to academic performance of their children? Can their paid jobs or social status have any positive influences on their children’s academic performance generally? In view of these, the researcher sets out to examine the influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of pupils in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of pupils in primary school.
The specific objectives are to:
- determine the influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of pupils in primary schools in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja;
- determinehowmothers’ employment influence academic performance of pupils in primary schoolsin rural and urban areas of the Federal Capital Territory;
- determinethe extent to which the socio-economic status of employed mothers influence the academic performanceof their children.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide this study:
What is the effect of mothers’ employment on thesupervision of home work of pupils in primary schools in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja?
- What is the effect of mothers’ employments on academic performance of Pupils in primary schools in rural and urban areas of the Federal Capital Territory?
- How has the socio-economic factors of employed mothers influence the academic performance of their children?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are formulated for testing:
HO 1: There is no significant effect of mothers’ employment on the Supervision of homework of pupils in primary schools in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
HO 2: There is no significant difference on how mothers’ employment influence academic performance of pupils in rural and urban areas.
HO 3: There is no significant difference between the socio-economic status of employed mothers and the academic performance of their children.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research would provide information which could be used by Home Economics curriculum planners in reviewing Child Development and Home Management curriculum on influence of mothers’ employment on the academic performance of the children.
Mothers will benefit a great deal from the findings of this atudy as it will reveal the academic influence of employed mothers on their children, which may be instrumental in creating awareness on the need for mothers to take up paid employment to suppliment their husbands salaries.
The study would serve as valuable information for lecture materials and topical issues for seminars and conferences. This study would, also provide empirical evidence on the influence of mothers’ employment and academic performance of their children in primary schools in the Federal
Capital Territory of Abuja. It is hoped that the findings would be significant in that, it will contribute to the documentation of employed mothers thereby serving as a reservoir of knowledge, hence will bring improvement for employed mothers on how their jobs will not be detrimental to their children’s education, but improve their academic performance in school and bring back the glory of motherhood.
It will also provide current information on the influence of mothers’ employment and academic performance ofpupils in primary schools in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja which will help these women adjust their schedules, improve on the academic pursuits of their pupils by providing all avenues required towards helping their pupils perform well in school. In addition, this study will increase the knowledge of Nigerian employed mothers, individuals, pupils, teachers, and anybody that may find this study useful through the school programmes, seminars, and conferences. Consequently, it will reduce delinquency among pupils and bring about a better society when mothers are more committed to their homes, thus leading to better performance of their pupils in school.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study focused on the influence ofmothers’ employment and academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. The area selected is adequate because all categories of employed mothers are on ground in the Federal Capital Territory. Also, the reason for choice of employed mothers is because the mothers would be in the best position to answer questions pertaining to the academic performance of their pupils, other than men (father) who may not be available to do so. This study will be delimited to all working mothers living in the six area councils in Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
1.8 Assumption of the Study
The study assumed the following:
That mothers’ employment has impact on academic performance of pupils.
There isinfluenceof socio-economic status of employed mothers on the academic performance of their pupils.