EFFECTS OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRATUM ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE IN BIOLOGY SUBJECT
1.1 Background to the Study
Socioeconomic status is defined as the relative position of a person, family, or neighborhood, or a key socio-demographic marker variable used for the purpose of selecting subjects for studies (Koban, 2016). Socio-economic stratum is also defined as the socio standing or class of an individual or group (The American Psychological Association, APA, 2018). Socio-economics stratum has been commonly used as a latent construct for measuring family background. However, among empirical studies, there is no consensus on how to best operationalize the concept. In many studies, the measurement of socio-economic stratum does not receive much attention, with very limited discussion over why certain indicators were used rather than others (Bornstein and Bradley 2014).
More recently, socio-economic stratum has been defined as an economic and sociological combined measure of a person’s work experience as well as an individual’s or family’s economic and social position in relation to others (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2018). Along similar lines, Vincent and Sutherland (2013) describe socioeconomic stratum as a measure of the economic and social status of an individual or group of individuals based on, education, income, occupation, and other relevant indicators, relative to other members of the population. Thus, it follows from these definitions that socioeconomic stratum is a diverse variable, combining several factors.
One of the important issues, which has been the subject of investigation for many years in measuring socioeconomic stratum, concerns the factors that socioeconomic stratum involves. Although most researchers could not reach an agreement regarding which of the factors is the most important in measuring socioeconomic stratum, some researchers believed that occupational status is the most reliable and valid measure of socioeconomic stratum (Raheem, 2017).
The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hands of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologists that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home. It is not out of place to imagine that parental economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school (Lisa, 2012). Whatsoever affect the development environment of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. Parental status is one of such variables. When a woman’s nutritional status improves, so too does the nutrition of her young children (Lisa, 2012).
Parents of different socio economic classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes (Rothestein, 2004). The home has a great influence on the child’s psychological, emotional, social and economic state. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2000), the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual’s life. This is because the family stratum and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Students having financial problems have to face various hurdles. Their financial problems perhaps may distract them from their studies and they fail to get high grades and consequently have to suffer for finding a job. The low parental socio-economic status causes environmental deficiencies which results in low self esteem and academic achievement of students. It is opined that across all economic groups, parents face major challenges when it comes to providing optimal care and education for their children. For poor families, these challenges can be formidable, as parents are required to place top priority on housing, food, clothing and health care. Educational materials, such as: laptops, games and books may appear to be luxuries and parents may not have the financial resources. Family of lower socioeconomic status often lacks the financial, social and educational support that characterizes families with high socioeconomic status. Lower income families have inadequate or limited access to community resources that promotes and supports children’s development and school readiness.
It is against this background that the research seeks to explore the effects of socio-economic stratum on academic performance in achieving excellence in biology subject.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate Effects of Socio-Economic Stratum on Academic Performance in Achieving Excellence in Biology Subject.
1.4 Research Questions
This research project will focus its searchlight on the following research questions;
- Does parental income directly have any effect on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Biology?
- Do parental educational status be responsible for academic attainment of students?
- Does family type have effect on students learning outcomes?
- Does the type of residential home affect their academic performance?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study on the effects of socio-economic stratum on academic performance in achieving excellence in biology subject:
- Children: the findings of this will help to educate the children who are studying Biology in secondary schools as they will know how socio-economic background affects academic performance of students in Biology.
- Government: The findings of this study will help the government to know the effects of socio economic background on the academic performance of Biology students hence they will know where to render assistance.
- School Authorities: The findings also would be of great help to the school authorities to know how they can render assistance to the affected children from different socio-economic stratum
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research focuses on the effects of socio-economic stratum on the academic performance in achieving excellence in Biology subject. The scope of this study is Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Socio-Economic: In this study, it refers to the financial standard of the parent or guardians of biology students.
Stratum: In this study, it refers to the background of the students. It maybe economic or socio family background.
Academic: This refers to educational program that occurs in a formal setting known as school
Performance: In this study it refers to the positive or negative result of the student in their academic pursuit.
Biology: In this study, it refers to a science subject but offered by all senior school students. It deals with study of plants and animals