1.1 Background of the Study
The school alone may not be able to effectively educate the child to achieve the desired result without the home partnering with it. If the home and school partner with each other, attendance rate may improve, drop-out rate may decreased, indiscipline could be checked, infrastructure may improved, the child education may be motivated and higher academic performance sustained. Researchers have shown that children whose parents partner with school, support their effort and encourage their learning appear to have better long-term academic success than children who lack such support regardless income or social status. Fantan (2007), Handerson & Mapp (2005), Hoover-Dempsey (2005) Jordan, Orozeo & Averett (2002), National Council of Jewish Women (2004).
In Nigeria, public primary schools seem to be “Island”, that is; separated from the home they served. Christenson and Sheridan (2006) stated that when the home and school relationship got strained, it results in disruptive behavior like truancy, dropout, lateness, absenteeism, lying and maladjustment which negatively impact on the academic performance of pupils.
The negative impact resulting from the dichotomy may be responsible for the poor performance of pupils in their school works which manifests negatively in their learning outcome at higher levels of their educational pursuit .For instance in Akwa Ibom State, 2008, 2009 and 2010 placement examinations results indicated that out of the 49,226 pupils who took part in the examination in 2008, 14 pupils passed in English scoring between 40 and 48 percent. Results in 2009 showed that out of the 59,137 who wrote the examinations, 21 pupils passed in English scoring between 40 and 45 percent. In 2010, 34,624 pupils who wrote the examinations recorded 1,835 passed scoring between 40 and 48 percents. In Mathematics, overall percentage passes were 38% in 2008, 34% in 2009 and 28% in 2010. In General paper, findings also showed 24% in 2008, 31% in 2009 and 42% in 2010. (Ministry of Education, Exams and Certificate Division, Uyo, 2010). However, the poor results did not prevent the pupils who failed from gaining admissions into various secondary schools in the State.
Failure rate in external examinations is a general problem in the country at large. Performances in West African School Certificate Examinations for instance, have been on the decline as the years pass by. Results showed that out of the 365,981 and 412,236 candidates who wrote the examinations in Lagos State in 2009 and 2010 results obtained showed 26% and 21% credit passes in English Language and Mathematics, Musa, (2008).
The situation is alarming and has attracted the concerns of stakeholders in education who attribute this problem to poor foundation laid in primary schools. Keffi, (2008). Reports showed that subjects foundation especially that of English Language and Mathematics are very poor and that most of the pupils cannot even write their names in the examination paper while some could not even buy successfully when higher denominations are involve.
Students’ lack of proficiency in English language is the foundation of the negative effects on other subjects learned and even social problems nowadays. The quality of English spoken and written by Nigerians students/pupils of this generation is said to be on the decline. As observed by Kobina (2008), the English used by many Nigerians of young generations has little English grammar and meaning which consequences are noticeable in their academic achievement in Arts, Sciences and Social sciences. One of the factors blamed for this problem is usually poor home-school partnership.
It is observed that the home have distanced itself from the school and the necessary importance and benefits that accrue from such partnership are denied the pupils. Nowadays, pupils are found dropping out of schools, involving in one crime or the other and Juvenile delinquency is on the increase as well. Most pupils lag behind academically because of lack of information and feedback from home to school and vice versa. Coopers & Linisday (2006).
Home-school partnership has been suspected to be the major panacea for the myriads of problems which have been observed in pupils academic lives. The success of any education system largely depends on the foundation. The foundation starts from the home in which parents are the first teachers. Therefore, if the home fails in its responsibility, there is bound to be a total decay in the educational system. To deal effectively with this, the home and the school need to partner effectively for the interest of the child and the nation education system. Home school partnership could be enhanced through reading at home, parenting, communicating, volunteering, study habit and open-day.
Lack of home-school partnership may contribute to the purported falling standards in the educational system. Parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards home-school partnership in public primary schools have implications in the performance of the pupils in the primary school and other levels of education. It is therefore worthwhile to unravel the necessity of home-school partnership. Hence, the study dimensions of Home-school partnership and academic performance of pupils in public primary schools in Akwa Ibom State was conceived to address the problem.
1.2 Statement of the problems
In consideration of the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to Education For All (EFA) declaration in Dakar 2000 and in objective ‘ f ‘ promised to improve all aspect of quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcome are achieved by all; especially in literacy; numeracy and essential life skills, the poor academic performance of pupils in school work as evidence in 2008, 2009 and 2010 placement examinations in Akwa Ibom State become a source of worry. Apart from the fact that the targeted year 2015 for the realization of this objective is quite near, a failed grade will be an embarrassment to Akwa Ibom State. More so, the poor performance does not commensurate with the State government efforts at the primary level of education, in terms of improvement in infrastructural facilities, employment of more teachers, regular payment of teachers’ salaries, and setting up of monitoring groups to check teachers regularities in the schools. If government is making these efforts to score a pass mark in 2015, yet instead of improvement in that direction the reverse is the case as evidence in the poor performance of the pupils; then something is wrong and something must be done to avert the impending embarrassment.
This study recognizes the fact that the performance of pupils in school work has other determining factors, which include: classroom environment, teachers’ mastery of the subject, method of teaching, parent educational background, and socio economic status of parent, parent occupation, family size and home-school partnership variables. This study therefore singles out home-school partnership variables to examine how they influence the performance of pupils in school work. This is supported by National Coalition for parent involvement in education (2002) that strong school/ parents partnership is important ingredient in child academic performance.
Therefore the fundamental problem for this study centered on reading at home, parenting, communicating, volunteering, study habit and open day on pupils performance in school work. In other words, the study is to find out whether there is any significant relationship in pupils’ performance in school work based on the home-school partnership variables in Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to determine the influence of the home-school partnership on the academic performance of the pupils in public primary schools Akwa Ibom State. The specific objectives include:
1. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in reading at home and pupils’ academic performance.
2. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in communicating and pupils’ academic performance.
3. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in free tutoring and pupils’ academic performance.
4. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in development of study habits and pupils’ academic performance.
5. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in open-day and pupils’ academic performance.
6. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in PTA and pupils’ academic performance.
7. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in provision of finance and learning facilities and pupils’ academic performance.
8. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in school security and pupils’ academic performance.
9. To examine the relationship between home-school partnership in parental care and pupils’ academic performance.
1.4 Significance of Study
This work will be of benefit to the Ministry of Education and teachers, Parents and Guardians. This study is also expected to be of immense help to the Government, School administrators, Policy makers and Implementers. It will also be of help to improve the academic performance of the pupils through effective partnership of home and school.
The result of this study is expected to provide data for planning, as well as provide additional stock of primary schools data for other researchers, who might find it relevant and useful in their enquiries. The study will fill the gap of knowledge of what has not been done by the past researchers who conducted almost similar study. The researcher will offer to the solution of some practical or theoretical problems.
1.5 Research Questions
1. How does reading at home relate with pupils’ performance in school work?
2. To what extent does communicating relate with pupils’ performance in school work?
3. To what extent does home-school partnership in free tutoring relate with pupils’ academic performance?
4. To what extent does study habit relate with e pupils’ academic performance?
5. To what extent does open day relate with pupils’ academic performance?
6. To what extent does PTA attendance relate with pupils’ academic performance?
7. To what extent does provision of finance and learning facilities relate with pupils’ academic performance?
8. To what extent does school security influence pupils’ academic performance?
9. To what extent does parental care relate with pupils’ academic performance?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
1. There is no significant relationship between reading at home and pupils’ academic performance.
2. There is no significant relationship between communicating and pupils’ academic performance.
3. There is no significant relationship between free tutoring and pupils’ academic performance.
4. There is no significant relationship between study habits and pupils’ academic performance.
5. There is no significant relationship between open day and pupils’ academic performance.
6. There is no significant relationship between PTA attendance and pupils’ pupils’ academic performance.
7. There is no significant relationship between provision of finance / learning facilities and pupils’ academic performance.
8. There is no significant relationship between provision of finance / learning facilities and pupils’ academic performance.
9. There is no significant relationship between parental and pupils’ pupils’ academic performance.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
This study was only delimited to public primary schools in Akwa Ibom State. Home- School partnership variables used in this study were categories into reading at home, communicating, free tutoring, development of study habit, open – day, PTA attendance, provision of finance / learning facilities, provision of finance / learning facilities and parental care.
These were the independent variables, while the dependent variables were delimited to pupils’ academic performances. The study was delimited to 2009 to 2012.
1.8 Operational Definition of terms
Reading: Activities by parents aimed at assisting the school to improve the child academic performance
Communicating: Formal and informal exchange of information between parents and educators about school program, children’s academic progress and school matters.
Free tutoring: teaching children at no cost.
Study habit: Activities by parents geared toward mastery of the subject matter learned by the child.
Open-day: A fixed meeting between parents’, children and teachers to discuss matters that will promote the child learning.
Provision of School Facilities/Financial Support: Donations in cash, materials, and rendering of services to schools by parents to enable the schools maximize learning.
School security: Giving inputs and assistance on creating a safe environment to the children.
Parental care: The Care/guidance the child received from parents or siblings that stabilize and motivate him to learn.
Parents Teachers Association (PTA): The association of parents, teachers and the head teachers whose aim is for the academic success of the school and the pupils
Academic Performance: Overall achievement in school work.