This study investigated the influence of socio-economic status and school location on secondary school students‘performance in accounting in Kwara and Osun State, Nigeria. Four operative objectives, four research questions were raised to guide the study and four research hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The total population of the study was 533 secondary schools and 13,063 students, and the samples of 53 schools 1186 respondents were drawn using random sampling. Data were collected using self designed questionnaire. Percentages were used to analyze bio data, the mean and standard deviation were used to answer research questions while t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA statistics were used to test the four null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings revealed that parental educational level, occupation, social standing and school location had significant influence on students‘ academic performance in Accounting in Kwara and Osun States. It was concluded that socio-economic status and school location were significant factors that contributed to students‘ academic performance. It was recommended that social and economic policies should be put in place by government to enable children from low economic status to have equal opportunity of advancing their education.
1.1 Background to the Study
Historically, all societies usually establish hierarchies among their members. Socio-stratification is universal. Human beings have invented numerous ways to classify people by wealth, power, prestige, ability, education, occupation; even through where they live. According to Parson, Stephanie and Deborah (2001), socio-economic status is an expression which is used to differentiate between people‘s relative status in the community regarding family income, political power, educational background and occupational status. The socio-economic status of a child is usually determined by parental educational level, parental occupational status and income level (Jeynes, 2002). The term "social class" originally referred to groups of people holding similar roles in the economic processes of
production and exchange, such as landowners or tenants, employers or employees. Such positions correspond to different levels of status, prestige, and access to political power. However, social class eventually took on a more generic meaning and came to refer to all aspects of a person's rank in the social hierarchy (Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2002).
Belonging to a social class is generally accompanied by a perception of class identity. In this sense, social class is not merely a personal attribute, but also a contextual variable that characterizes a group of people. The shared culture of a particular class influences, and is influenced by people's attitudes and lifestyle. Social class may be ascribed at birth, as with royalty or nobility, or with castes in Hindu societies. More commonly, however, a person's position at birth is modified by his or her achievements,
typically through education, occupation, or income. Class cannot be measured directly; instead, indicators of socio-economic status, typically based on educational attainment, income, wealth, or occupation are used. Education is fundamental to the development of any nation. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of people. This is because the development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education.
A socio-economic status is a definite background variable that represents a feature of the social structure in society (Oakes & Rossi, 2003). It is a fact that families where the parents are privileged educationally, socially and economically promote a higher level of achievement in their offspring. It is understood that low socio-economic status may negatively and depressingly affects students‘ academic achievement because due to low socio-economic status, a student does not have access to important resources and generates additional stress and tension at home (Eamon, 2005). Heyneman (2005) stated that students may not show effective performance in school whose parental socio-economic status is low. Saifi and Mehmood (2011) stated that socio-economic status is a combined measure of economic and social position of an individual or family relative to others on the basis of income, education and occupation. . Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq, and Berhanu (2011) concluded that the higher level of socio-economic status is the best indicator which plays a fundamental role in promoting quality of students‘ achievement. In a nutshell, the influence of socio-economic status of parents on their children‘s academic performance cannot be undermined.
Socio-economic status is the combination of economic and sociological measures of an individual‘s work experience and the economic and social position of an individual or family in relation to others on the basis of income, educational level and occupational status. For the analysis of a family socio-economic status, the household income, education of earner and occupation are checked as well as combined income compared with an individual, when their own attributes are assessed. Socio-economic status is generally divided into two categories i.e., high socio-economic and low socio-economic, to explain the two aspects a family which an individual may fall into. Suleman, Aslam, Shakir, Akhtar, Hussain, & Akhtar (2012) found that those children whose socio-economic status was strong are likely to show better academic performance and those with poor socio-economic status may show poor and unsatisfactory academic performance.
School location is the environment where the school is located. The location of school can be classified into rural and urban areas. Urban area is the area where there are many people and there are social amenities and infrastructural facilities to make life comfortable for the people living in that area and rural area is the area with few population and people living there may not have full social amenities and infrastructural facilities as those living in urban area. To enable people to have access to education government and private individual site schools in both rural and urban area as well. From the foregoing, there exists set of subjects choice determination in schools whether the school is in the urban or rural areas. To the people in urban areas, the influence of urbanization could not be ruled out and neither can one underestimate the weaning power of the rural areas too. Parents from the rural areas that have not been privileged to know the benefits of living in urban areas may not be impressed to advise their wards on academic excellence, challenges
and prospects of the job among the lists of the subjects to be studied. Whether the students are from urban or rural areas, it is obvious that the students‘ personality is a product of some factors such as gender, intelligence, aptitude and attitude. Inborn traits are organic factors that first determine the person‘s life foundation that sustain other structures – cultural values, social influence and school system influence (Adeleke, 2012).
Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Academic performance is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate the facts and knowledge verbally or down on paper. The academic performance of students may be negatively correlated with the low parental socio-economic status level as it may prevent the individual in gaining access to sources and resources of learning (Duke, 2000 & Eamon, 2005). Flegm (2005) reported that in educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance, or how well a student meets the standards set out by the institution. Performance of students in accounting has not been impressive as reported by researcher such as Drennan and Rhode (2010), and the reason for this needs to be investigated.
Financial Accounting is a business subject offered by students in Nigeria secondary schools. According to Udoh (2003), Financial Accounting is a specialized area of instruction that deals directly with business skills and techniques, business knowledge and facts, others include business understanding, economic understanding, business attitudes and appreciation necessary to understand and adjust to the economic and social institution called ―business‖. Financial Accounting is a process involving gathering, sorting, recording, classifying, verifying, measuring and summarizing financial transactions and
subsequently interpreting and communicating information to the owners and users of accounting information for decision making.
The central focus of this research study is Kwara and Osun States. Kwara State is one of the northern first generation states created in 1967, while Osun State is among south-west states created in 1991 and the two states share common boundaries, common educational system and common curriculum which make them to have similar characteristics. These variables constitute the background in which this study on ―influence of socio-economic status and school location on secondary students‘ performance in accounting in secondary school in Osun and Kwara States, Nigeria‖ is based.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The issue of students‘ poor performance in the secondary schools has been a frequent issue in Nigerian secondary schools in which Financial Accounting is no exception. Akinsolu (2010) reported that student‘s achievements do not match the government and parental investments using WAEC and NECO results analysis. Akinsolu (2010) maintains that all stakeholders in education are concerned about why the educational system has not been improving as demonstrated poor results at secondary school level. Financial Accounting which is the central focus of the researcher has recorded low
performance and the objectives of introducing Financial Accounting in Nigerian secondary schools according to National Examination Council (NECO 2004), are: to enable senior secondary school students appreciate the basic rules, functions and principles of accounting, to lay proper foundation for further study of accountancy and allied courses at higher level and to enable the students understand basic accounting principles, practice
and their applications to modern business activities, all these objectives have not been realized. From previous performance, it seems the aims and objectives of offering financial accounting in Nigerian secondary schools have been defeated.
For example, West Africa Examination Council (2000) analysis of performance in Financial Accounting in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination in 1998, 1999, and 2000 revealed 52.48%, 58.38% and 51.21% percentage failure in Financial Accounting. Also, Federal Ministry of Education (2010) gave the breakdown of performance in Accounting at credits level in NECO from 2004 to 2007 in 102 Federal Government Colleges in Nigeria as follow: 48%, 51%, 47% and 45% respectively. Also Emaikwu (2012) revealed that WAEC results May/June 2001-2008 in Accounting showed the percentage of failures nationwide as 68.24%, 74.15%, and 80%, 83.09%, 88.01%, 90.20% and 93% respectively. The mass failure in Financial Accounting may be attributed to many factors which are now hidden pending investigation; could it be poor methods of teaching? Could it be incompetence on the part of teachers? Could it be laziness on the part of students? Could poor students‘ academic performance be associated with socio-economic status of parents or fall in general standard of education? These are the questions that required relevant answers.
The West African Examination Council (2007) had observed the following areas of weakness in Financial Accounting from the candidate‘s scripts.
i. the candidates displayed shallow knowledge of the subject in answering the questions.
ii. there was poor presentation of answers and that some candidates answered more than one question on a page. Candidates were not able to answer questions that required application and knowledge of Financial Accounting and
iii. candidates exhibited poor mastering of English Language which was evident in their ability to understand the questions.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this work is to assess the influence of socio-economic status of parents and school location on students‘ academic performance in financial accounts in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
The specific objectives are to:
1. assess the influence of parental level of education on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
2. determine the influence of parental level of occupation on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
3. assess the influence of parental social status on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
4. determine the influence of school location on secondary students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Question
In line with each specific objectives of the study, answers were sought for the following research questions:
1. What is the influence of parental level of education on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria?
2. What is the influence of parental occupation on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria?
3. What is the influence of parental social status on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria?
4. What is the influence of school location on secondary school students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested in the course of this study with central focus on secondary schools.
1. Parental level of education has no significant influence on students‘ academic performance of students in Financial Accounting in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
2. Parental occupation has no significant influence on students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
3. Parental social status has no significant influence on students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
4. School location has no significant influence on students‘ academic performance in Accounting in Kwara and Osun States, Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings of this study will be of immense benefit to teachers, parents, students, and education authorities. The result will be of benefit to teachers because they will understand the influence of socio-economic status and school location on students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting this will help them to know that students are from different social classes and backgrounds and put individual differences into consideration when teaching, discipline and employing different teaching methods.
The result of the study will be of benefit to parents because it will provide information to them on how socio-economic status affects performance of their children. Whatever affects the performance of children in school is of interest to parents, nothing else, because they foot the bill of their children‘s education.
The researcher expects that this study will be useful to secondary school students as it will suggest some remedial measures knowing full well the influence of socio-economic status and this will enhance effective and better academic performance of the secondary school students.
It will also be of benefit to education authority in location of schools in rural and urban areas by providing educational facilities to both areas to facilitate effective learning and spirit of competition in urban and rural areas.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study.
In this study, the following basic assumptions were made. That:
1. The educational status of parents influences academic performance of students in Financial Accounting in secondary schools.
2. The occupational status of parents determines academic performance of students in Financial Accounting in secondary schools.
3. The position of parents in the society influences students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting in secondary schools.
4. The location of school influences students‘ academic performance in Financial Accounting.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study was delimited to SS II students because they have a full year to spend and their cumulative records for the whole year could be obtained compared
to SS III that would not spend the whole year in the school. Also, they were capable of giving thorough explanation to their parents or guardians on the need to fill the questionnaire especially those parents that were not educated and they could attach importance to the questionnaire given to them and return it to school.
The study was also delimited to 3rd term examination result 2013/14 of SS II students to assess the performance of students because the 3rd term result is the average cumulative of first, second and third term and it will measure actual performance of students in Accounting for the whole year. The study was also delimited to social economic status of parents such as educational qualification, occupation and social standing while location of schools was delimited to urban and rural areas for easy assessment. The study was delimited to Financial Accounting because it is only offered in secondary school, while other branches of Accounting such as Cost Accounting, Managerial Accounting are offered in high institutions of learning..