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Dr C.N. Ozurumba
Department of Educational Foundations, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island

 A.E Briggs
Department of Secretarial Administation,  Rivers State University of Science
and Technology, Port Harcourt

and Drs V.O. Ebuara and E.E. Emanghe
Department of Educational Administration and Planning, University of Calabar, Calabar


Education has been recognized as the greatest investment that any nation can make for the quick development of its human and material resources (NPE, 2004). The realization of this, perhaps, acted as an impetus in the effort of parents towards education of their ward. This paper critically examined the influence of parental level of education on the performance of their children in educational statistics at a higher level of education. The population consist of all higher education students studying education statistics and resident at the FederalCapitalTerritory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The sample involved in this study was 250 students randomly selected. A 47 item-questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. Oral interview and practical observation were made as complementary tools. One null hypothesis was formulated and tested using independent t-test analysis. The result showed that, though parents level of education affects children’s academic performance, other variables such as school environment, facilities are also important. On this conclusion it was recommended that: (i) Parents should provide needs for their children on time at home and school. (ii) Government and school managers should assist in the education of children by providing necessary facilities and employ qualified teachers.
Keywords: performance; parents; students; educational

Introduction  In recent times there has been  an attitude behaviour formation, modification and crises over the deplorable level of academic performance of students in both internal and external examinations in pure sciences and statistics subjects across the Federal Capital Territory in all higher educational institutions. Parents, professionals, academicians and concerned social critics alike claimed that students are not learning as much and fast as expected city dwellers. Some complained that it is embarrassing to notice a child leaving primary and secondary schools to higher institutions like the universities and colleges of education and cannot communicate effectively skills learnt, to a reasonable degree of proficiency and effectiveness.
It has been investigated and assumed that the level of parent education affects the academic performance of the child in school.
In other words, parents that are intelligent academicians well educated and professionals provide their children with a favourable environment to motivate or encourage them to develop similar interest and perform well in their parent’s subjects areas. Valencia and Renald (1991) also observed that the level of parent education is related to English test of children. From their study, they concluded that parents who are relatively higher in levels of education tend to transmit to their children more culture of the academic they acquired than parents who are illiterates or semi-illiterate. The investigation further revealed that parents positive values attach to education is a function of their educational achievement.
In a study of educational achievement of institutions of learning of education and uneducated homes in western Nigeria, Ogunlade (1995)  opined that children of illiterate  homes perform worse than their counterparts from the education homes. students from this home also study and concentrate in the
 class a lot more than the former. Wilton (1975) confirmed the significant relationship between educational background and academic performance, Bamisaiye and  Williams (1971) supported the observations on two of the family background, the elite and traditional household, that the family set up affect the child degree of verbal behaviours, their instruction attitudes, and communication which in turn affects the child academic performance in several courses. Entwisted and Nisbet (1977), on the child study attributed academic performance at school to the parents attitudes and their level of educational attainment children from the parents who have high interest in science subjects tend to imbibe some attitude towards parental professional occupational subjects which affects their academic performance.
Smart (1992) has concluded that in most homes today it is apparent that parents educational level correlate positively with their academic performance of their children, for better educated parents are more likely to give their children practice in their school subjects at home, go to school to find out their progress report and assignment records and function as achievement models.
Good and Brophy (1997) also stressed that educated parents usually show interest in their children’s academic performance, choose subjects, meet and collaborate with administrators of higher institutions to ensure their children’s rate of seriousness in their studies. Durojaiye (1997) has established that when variables such as income, occupation and neighbourhood, which do correlate with child academic skill development, and held constant psychological variables are important. This involves parents responsibilities to present to their children pictures, narrate stories and provide them with playing facilities  as well as sending them to better schools. The investigation indicated that the students whose parents gave incentives if they are successful had high achievement scores. Some researchers like Waston (1985), Hawkes (1995), have confirmed that students academic performance in most cases do not necessarily depend on
 parental enlightenment or professional competence/ occupation nor educational attainment.
Generally however, parents are aware of the determining nature and effect of educational qualification in the present society, so most of them work out modalities on how to manipulate educational system of their children so as to achieve their set goals and objectives.

Statement of the Problem
poor academic performance amongst Federal Capital Territory students of higher education in all the subjects offered has constituted a serious problem and has become a cause for concern to most parents in different ways. The internal and external examination results of educational statistics in the period between 2000 and 2005 made parents anxious to know the performance of their children even when results were not released. It frustrates  both the students and their teachers. Students become frustrated because they cannot cope with their final examinations to meet their proposed career. Government and school heads have been unable to provide adequate solution to the students poor academic performance. parents have been partly blamed for failing to lay the right foundation in their children, through informal education. This problem has contributed to a loss of reputation by affected higher institutions of learning in the area.

Purpose of the  Study
The purpose of this study was to critically ascertain the influence of  parental level of education on academic performance of students in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The paper hope to find out whether there was any relationship between parents academic background and children academic performance.

Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was formulated to guide the study,
Ho1, There is no significant influence of parents level of education on the academic performance of students in educational statistics.

The area covered by this study was the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria. The research design adopted in this study was descriptive survey design. The design enable the researchers to gather existing data at appropriated time for the study. The population of this study comprised one thousand (1000) students of higher educational institutions in Abuja metropolis. The sample involved in the study was 250 which was randomly selected.

Data Collection Procedure
The Data for the study was collected through the use of questionnaire, interview and direct observation of the subjects. A 47 item questionnaire was administered under the researchers close supervision and assistance where necessary. A total of two hundred and fifty (250) students filled the questionnaire independently with honesty.
Interview and personal observations were also used as method of collecting data to supplement the information gathered through the questionnaire.
The researchers were able to observed academic performance of the students through their responses in the oral interview.

Analysis of Data and  Interpretation of Results
The null hypothesis states that there is no significant influence of parents level of education on academic performance of students. In order to test this hypothesis, independent t-test analysis was used to determine the influence of parents level of education and students academic performance. This statistical tool was used in comparing mean score of academic performance of students with high and low levels of parental education, the t-values, when observed was 2.67. This value was tested for significant by comparing it with the critical value at 0.05 level with 248 degree of freedom. The obtained value was greater than that of the critical values. Hence the result was significant, this result indicates that educational level of parents has significant influence on students academic achievement.

Table 1
Independent t-test analysis of  the influence of level of education of the parents on students academic performance in education statistics






Academic performance of students whose parental level of education is high










Academic performance of students whose parental level of education is low










* Significant at 0.05 level, df = 248

Critical Values = 1.96

Calculate for the hypothesis
X 1                      X2
SD12      +         SD22       
N1                     N2
=      63.8    -   59.2
      (13.5)2  +  (11.9)2
         87            163
=                 4.6
2.95 + 0.869

=   4.6

=     4.6

=              2.67
t   =          2.67

Discussion of Findings

The study investigated the influence of parents educational level on students performance in education statistics in all higher educational institutions at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Metropolis.  The results of the investigation are hereby discussed in the light of the relevant theories and findings from other researches reviewed in this study.  An attempt has been made to briefly summarize the findings drawn from the results, it was observed that the educational level of the parents have a positive influence on academic performance of the children.  This observation is in consonance with Hawkes (1975) research study results where he confirmed that better educated parents are often interested in the educational progress of their children and their academic achievement.
To achieve these objectives, facilities are provided at home, parents pay extra fees to  teachers to teach them at home where the parents have no time.  On the other hand, parents who are educated themselves endeavour to offer unreserved assistance to their children in solving their education problems who do not go beyond primary school in certain cases might not be able to render adequate help to their children educationally but some parents frowns at their children when they are serious with their academic at higher level of education but prefer to stay at home.
Other researchers have confirmed that students academic performance in most cases do not necessarily depend on parental enlightenment or professional occupation nor educational attainment.  Watson (1986) in his study of parents’ educational achievement concluded that it does not affect students’ academic performance.
The result of the findings of many researchers confirmed that parental background influence academic performance of the students significantly.  Thus, this is due to provision of good model facilities, a conducive environment, as well as guiding and favourable attitude to learning motivation and incentives by the parents.

It was concluded that the more educated parents are, to an extent, the more likely are their children to perform well in their education.  This assertion has been supported by the study of Good and Brophy (1997) who stressed that educated parents usually show interest in their children’s academic performance and choice of career while in school.

            The following recommendations are made from the findings of the study.
(1)        Parents should ensure that the basis of home discipline and learning facilities are provided for their children, since most of their performance in the higher institutions are not mere reflection of their home alone but also heredity.
(2)        Parents should provide their children with essential basic needs on time.
(3)        Government on her part should make provision for training teachers, organize induction courses, seminars, conferences and workshops on new  teaching methods.
(4)        Higher educational institution managers should employ qualified and competent lecturers who are knowledgeable in both the subject matter and method of instruction.

Bamisauye, A and William A, (1971)  A Behavioural study of children into different Socio-economic sectors of the city of Ibadan, West African Journal of Education, (2) 93-98.

Durojauji, J. (1999)  Manual of Child Guidance Michigan, USA:  Edwards Brother Incorporation (3)18-20.

Good, J. and Nsibet, C. (1977)  Educational Research Action, London: Holder and Strengton (2) 43.

Good, T.L. and Brophy, J.E. (1997)  Educational Psychology, A Realistic Approach (2nd ed), New York:  Holt Rinehart and Waston.

Hawkes, N (1995)  Some correlates of success in second language learning in some Ghanaian Schools. African Journal of  Education (1)  125-140.

National Policy on Education, 2004 edition.

Ogunlade, J.O. (1995) Family environment and Attornment of some children in Western Nigeria. West Africa Journal of Education (3) 429-432.

Smart, M (1992)  Child Development, 5th ed. New York:  Macmillan press
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Waston, J (1985) Cross validation of certain Background variables as prediction of Academic achievementJournal of Education Research (1) 26 - 29.

Wilton, Y. N. (1975),  A mother helper scheme in the instant school. Journal of National Foundation for Educational research (1).62-66