Influence of slected parental characteristics on children academic performance in publc pre-schools in Tigania west sub-county , Meru county,Kenya
Muthomi, Stella Karimi
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Although ECD programs have been institutionalized in most countries around the globe, the parent is expected to perform a vital part in the child’s life at this stage. Even though previous studies had pointed out that parents play an important role in the academic performance of learners in ECD, the studies had not specifically highlighted how parental characteristics such as educational background, occupation, attitude and involvement influence the acquisition of skills such as language, mathematics, psychomotor, environmental, creative and religious education. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of selected parental characteristics on children’s academic performance in public pre-schools in Tigania West Sub-County, Meru County. The study specifically sought to assess the influence of parental education background; occupation; attitude towards education; and involvement on their children’s ECD academic performance. This study was based on Lewin’s Three-Step Change Theory of 1947. This study used a descriptive survey design. Target population in this study was 5966 subjects comprising of 111 ECDE teachers and 5855 parents for the 5855 pupils in 85 ECDE centers. A total of 350 respondents were sampled using simple random sampling technique. Questionnaires were used to collect data. Validity of the instruments was ascertained by seeking expertise advice from the supervisors. Reliability of the instruments was tested using Cronbach Alpha Test technique. The study established a Cronbach Alpha 0.78 for parents’ questionnaire and 0.77 for teachers’ questionnaire which was greater the recommended 0.7 and hence the instruments were deemed reliable. Quantitative data was examined through descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data was analyzed by arranging them into themes. The study established that low parental educational background among hinders them to assist their children in learning. It was also established that parental occupation determines the extent to which they assist their children in learning. The study also indicated that parental positive attitude towards ECD education does not help to explain low academic performance of ECD children. It was further found that parental lack of involvement such as inability to discuss with teachers on aspiration for their children, supervise their children’s academic work at home and inability to make any follow-ups on their children’s education on their own volition negatively influences academic performance of ECD children. MOEST may use these study findings to come up with policies to assist parents in ensuring children get the right home environment that promote academic performance. The parents may benefit from this study by involving themselves effectively in their children’s ECD education. The children may benefit indirectly from the policies implemented by MOEST and the effective involvement of their parents in their ECD education. The findings may also form the basis for future studies by other academicians and scholars. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education should initiate and promote adult education in order to help counter the negative effect of low educational background on performance of children in ECD and that the community should be sensitized on the need for parents to be actively involved in their children’s education.
Africa Nazarene University