INFLUENCE OF PARENTS’ PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: A CASE OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The main aim of the study is to investigate the influence of parent’s participation in management of public secondary schools on academic performance in LAGOS in NIGERIA The objectives of this study were: to investigate the influence of parents’ participation in decision making, school financing, motivating learners and maintenance of physical facilities of schools on students’ academic performance in LAGOS in NIGERIA The researcher used questionnaires to collect data from the students and teachers, while an interview schedule were used to collect data from the head teachers and the parents. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze the data. Research questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency and percentages of the response. From the study finding, the benefits of parental participation in school management have not been realized in many of the schools, which has been affecting academic performance. It was evidence in the study findings that parents’ participation in decision making, school financing, motivating learners and maintenance of physical facilities of schools affects students’ academic performance in LAGOS in NIGERIA The recommendation of the study was to parents to take up specific roles in school management and indicating the values of their participation in school management let alone making it possible for them to participate in school managerial activities through conducting the managerial functions in which they are involved in ways and in modes of communication that the parents comfortably understand.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

  Background of the Study

Education management is based on authority, freedom, orderliness and managerial dynamics and always has an aim. It can be described as a specific type of work in education which comprises those regulative tasks or actions executed by a person or body in a position of authority in a specific field or area of regulation, so as to allow formative education to take place (Simango, 2006). For the purpose of this study, the parent involvement in management of implies all management activities undertaken by the school managers, together with their management teams, with the intention of involving parents in their children’s education so that effective teaching and learning can take place. Management activities include planning, organizing, coordinating, leading and controlling parent involvement practices initiated in schools.

A parent is one of the most important pillars upon which the education of a child should be placed, and without parental support in education the child may experience great difficulty in his or her academic achievement and later on in life. Parent involvement in school management is one factor that has been consistently related to a child’s increased academic performance (Hill and Craft, 2003). While this relation between parent involvement and a child’s academic performance is well established, studies have yet to examine how parent involvement increases a child’s academic performance. The role of parents in school management today is rooted in the Education Policy and their responsibility revolves around financial mobilization, discipline and monitoring the performance of the school. Parents are said to be partners, clients, consumers and educational assistants in as far as management of schools is concerned (Thomson, 2001). However, in Sub -Sahara Africa, due to extreme poverty and financial constraints, there have been challenges in the provision of education. Many countries reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, especially for teaching Mathematics and Sciences, (Bregman and Armstrong, 2003). Due to poverty in the developing world and more so in rural areas, parents may not afford providing school materials or paying tuition fees which fund is used to pay teachers, buy scholastic materials

and laboratory equipment, or provide for the welfare of teachers and students in order to contribute towards the achievement of academic success.

Academic performance has been defined by Kaggwa (2003) and the World Bank (2002) as the quality and quantity of knowledge, skills, techniques and positive attitudes, behaviors and philosophy that students achieve. This achievement is evaluated by the mark or grade that students attain in tests or examinations done at the end of the topic, term or year or education cycle World Bank (2002). Therefore, the quality of the grades and the number of students that pass in various grades, determine the level of academic performance. In schools, academic performance is a concern of people who have vested interest in schools. These may include parents, students, the staff, proprietors and the entire society that forms the school as a system or community.

Management has been defined by Sapre (2002), quoted by Bush (2003) as a set of activities directed towards efficient and effective utilization of resources in order to achieve organizational goals. Secondary school management in particular refers to the application of management theory and practice to educational institutions (Okumbe, 2008). Managerial functions include planning, organizing directing, controlling resources, staffing, coordinating reporting and budgeting (Koontz and O’Donnell 2006). In this study parents participation in school management was evaluated in relation to financing or organizing resources, disciplining, budgeting, and implementation of school policies as the major managerial functions in which parents mainly involve themselves and which aspects may directly affect students’ academic performance.

It is widely recognized that if students are to maximize their potential from schooling they will need the full support of their parents. Attempts to enhance parental involvement in education occupy governments, administrators, educators and parents’ organizations across North America, Australasia, continental Europe, Scandinavia and the UK. It is anticipated  that parents should play a role not only in the promotion of their own children’s achievements but more broadly in school improvement and the democratization of school governance. The European Commission, for example, holds that the degree of parental participation is a significant indicator of the quality of schooling.

In England, the Government’s strategy for securing parental involvement was first set out in the 2007 White Paper, ‘Excellence in Schools’. The strategy described there included three elements providing parents with information, giving parents a voice and encouraging parental partnerships with schools. In a study carried out by Feyfant and Rey (2006) in Scottish schools, it was concluded that for more than 10 years now, parents’ role in school was the main factor responsible for ‘school market’ in this sense meaning the popularity of the school. From NIGERIAn’s experience, the popularity of schools is so much linked to how many first grades (academic performance) a school may achieve in given consecutive years. This prompted the researcher to find out the extent to which failure or success in academics may be attributed to parents’ participation in school management. This strategy has since been played out through a wide range of activities including; the enhancement of parent governor roles, involvement in inspection processes, provision of annual reports and prospectuses, the requirement for home-school agreements and the provision of increasing amounts of information about the curriculum and school performance.

In a study carried out in USA by Marschall (2006) among Latino students in Chicago, it was discovered that parental school involvement increases parent skills and information which equip them to assist their children in school related activities when they come back home. To this end, Lareau (2006) adds that when parents are involved in their children’s schooling, they meet other parents who provide them with information on school policies, and practices. Besides that, when parents and teachers interact, teachers learn about the parents’  expectations for their children and their children’s teachers. However, both Marschall and Lareau don’t explain what may happen to students’ academic performance if parents’ are done away with in school related activities. While agreeing with the two authors, the study intended to discuss what might happen to students’ academic performance if parents are not considered as partner in academic related activities in schools.

In Uganda, the Education Act 1969 shows that parents’ responsibilities among others include participation in the promotion of discipline, provision of learning materials, teachers welfare, structural development and caring for children. Although the Government white paper (2002) doesn’t legalize parent participation in school management, it does not contradict it either but simply recommends parents’ role play. This suggests that parental participation in school

management is desirable and could lead to improved academic performance among other benefits.

At present, the NIGERIAn education system is experiencing the challenge of providing access to quality education to all children of school-going age on an equitable basis (Republic of NIGERIA, 2011). Parental involvement is the awareness of and participation in schoolwork, understanding of the interaction between parenting skills and student success in schooling and a commitment to consistent communication with teachers about students’ progress (National Middle School Association Research Summary (NMSA), 2006). Research undertaken recently has led to a paradigm shift from exclusive professionalism and opened up discussion on the importance of parental involvement and that parents have the right to play an active role in their children’s education. According to Symeou (2003) parents, at nearly all levels, are concerned about their children’s education and success and want advice and help from schools on ways of helping their children. Quiocho and Daoud (2006), and Brannon (2008) note that parental involvement leads to higher academic achievement and improved perceptions of children’s competence. They add that the increasing evidence of the sustained benefits of parental involvement in the higher primary grades and in high school, calls for continued research in this area and the necessity of implementing parental involvement programs at all levels of school education.

  Statement of the Problem.

Poor academic performance of student has been of great concern to educationists, parents and counselors in particular (McCellandd, 2000). Despite all parent’s participation in management of public secondary schools mounted in schools to improve the students’ academic performance, poor performance are still recorded yearly in LAGOS and it has become necessary to find out the cause of such poor performance. In LAGOS, there was an evident increase in the mean score on the NIGERIA certificate of secondary Education examination from 4.99 in the year 2011 to 5.333 in the year 2012 and a drop to 5.016 in the year 2013. This mean score is still quite low as compared to other topping divisions in the country (Ministry of Education, 2013). Hence this background creates a need to study on the

influence of parent’s participation in the schools management and the performance of secondary school students in LAGOS. Research conducted by scholars on academic performance has consistently shown that parents participatory in motivating learners, offering financial support, making some decisions in the management and assisting in infrastructure is crucial and important in predicting learners educational achievement (Gun and Klebanov2007). However not much studies has been carried out by scholars on LAGOS. How has this influence the educational achievement of students.this therefore creates a gap to find out how parents participation influences educational achievement of the students. It is therefore based on this background that this study intends to investigate the influence of parents participation in the school management and the academic performance in LAGOS.

Although many school administrators in the area are already complaining that their efforts to improve the quality of education are being frustrated by lack of infrastructure, scholastic materials poor staff remuneration and they feel that the burden of improving students’ academic performance is being left to them. Therefore, the researcher in this study was motivated to investigate the influence of parental participation in school management on students’ academic performance. Existing literature suggests that parental involvement has an influence on students’ academic performance (Eita, 2007). There is, therefore, need to analyze the influence of parents participation in management of public secondary schools on academic performance in LAGOS in NIGERIA

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