Education is essential for both life and societal development, and in all aspects, Islamic Studies trains the sensibility of students in such a manner that their attitude to life, approach to all kinds of knowledge and decisions are all regulated by the value of Islam. For this reason, this chapter discusses the background to study, statement of the problem, the purpose of this study and its significance, the research questions, the scope of study and definition of some operational terms of the research.

Background to the Study

Parental background involves such factors as education, occupation and involvement of the parents in their children’s education. These factors are the determining factors that influence students’ academic excellence


Therefore, the present research attempts to find out whether the Islamic Background influences students academic excellence especially in junior secondary school students offering Islamic Studies. To this effect, this study aims to address the components of parental background such as education, occupation and parental involvement in relation to students’ academic performance, specifically in Islamic Studies in Lagos state of Nigeria.


Several studies have been carried out in relation to the academic performance of students (Ajila & Olutola, 2000; Balogun, 2010; Ojimba, 2013; Margret, 2015; Aliyu, Ajidagba & Rafiu, 2015; Bolu-steve & Sanni). They show further the relationship between parental background and academic performance of students in several disciplines like Mathematics, English, etc. In addition, an empirical study by Ahmar and Anwar, (2013) shows that, provision and availability of extra-learning facilities help children who came from high and middle socio-economic status to perform well in the learning environment. It is further emphasised that, one of the factors affecting students’ academic attainment is parental background. Besides, most fore research cantered on the characteristic of parental factors to determine academic performance of students. However, this study intends to investigate the components of Islamic background like education, occupation, parental involvement in relation to students’ academic performance especially in Islamic Studies from Lagos state  of Nigeria in order to come up with the causes and the problems hindering secondary school students in this area.


Undoubtedly, the level of education and occupation of parents are associated with academic attainment of children. Empirical studies have shown that, some families are conscious of the needed materials, talents and potentials that are important for the educational achievement of their offspring (Allan & Jackson 2010).. Topor, Keane, Shelton and Calkins (2010) assert that, parents whose have high level of qualification get involve in their children’ education compared with children whose parents have lesser degree. Topor et al.(2010) explain further that contribution of parents toward their children’s achievement has not been demonstrated well among scholars. They note that children’s classroom activities, the children’s perception of cognitive competence and the quality of the student–teacher relationship are associated with parental involvement. Indisputably, level of qualification acquired by the parents can be an apparatus for assessing their children’s performance in school.


Study by Okeke, Nzewi and Njoku (2012) show that, low income, lack of high qualification; low occupational status and poor parental involvement have mutable effects on their children’s academic accomplishments. The findings of Otieno (2012) Chinyoka and Naidu (2013) reveal that, low income and little education are strong predictors of physical, mental health and low academic performance. It has been pointed out by Thornton (2015) that a lot of parents are involved in education of their children based on the amount of research that has been published on the significance of parental participation. Leung, Chung and Kim (2016) declare that parental occupational class, parental income and participation of parents determine children’s goals and thereby serve as an indirect indicator for the material resources that can be found in the family during a student’s childhood stage. With the different domains of parental background may also signify the social status or prestige that good for the children’s education. In light of above assertion, parental background with students’ academic attainment involves various aspects like parent income, ethnicity, profession and home atmosphere.


However. Aliyu and Isa (2016) point out that parents are expected to encourage and guide their children in order to become well accomplished persons in the society. Research has shown that there is positive connection between parental background and students’ academic attainment. Ogbugo and Ololube (2016) state that performance of learners is linked to parents’ socio-economic background and their average level of income. It is also mentioned that there is a statistical correlation between students’ academic score and parents’ educational background. Recent finding highlights that parental background such as family size, parents’ qualification and parents’ level of income are linked with, and significant to children’ academic performance in any educational environment (Abdul-Raheem, 2015).

In terms of educational success of the children, the contributions of father are found to be greater than the mother (Beller, 2009). He demonstrates further that many fathers who engaged in full time jobs have tendency to contribute greatly in their children’s educational attainment. Aliyu and Isa (2016) clarify that, children whose parents have ordinary diploma, higher national diploma and first degree help their children to perform better than their counterparts. They further showed that students’ home is attached to their academic performance. The findings by Emeka, Onorga and Owolabi (2012) show a research on influence of family structure on students‟ academic performance in Agege Local Government Area Lagos Nigeria. Emeka et al. (2012) discover that parental socioeconomic background is one of tools that is used to measure students’ attainment. It is further explained that students whose parents engaged in good academic professionals and earn high income tend to perform maximally in any subjects. Meanwhile, socio-economic status of a family is capable of affecting the behaviour of the children and this governs their aspiration. Families that have high socio-economic status tend to be more successful in preparing their children for school because they normally have access to various tools- quality child-care, books and various learning activities at home. They also have easy access to information concerning their children’s health, not to mention social, emotional and cognitive development (Ojo and Yilma, 2010).


Islam in Nigeria got to the northern area known as Kanem Bornu Empire exactly in the year 1085 C.E. before coming to Hausa land. In reality, by the start of the 14th century C.E., Islam had flourished within Hausa land, particularly Kano, Zaria and Kastina, which fell under the Mali Empire. In regards to the Yoruba land, scholars are not unanimous on the specific period that Islam arrived in the area (Balogun, 1982; Ajidagba, 1991; Azeez, 2004). In Nigeria Furthermore, Islamic teaching dated far back to 11th century when Wangara instructors together with Arab traders brought it into the region. It hit the peak in the 18th century when Sheikh Uthman bn Fodio embarked on the training of Muslim locality on the importance of taking up (jihad) in the cause of Allah in 1804.


The target was purifying Islam and its teachings from distortion, which Fafunwa 1974 describes as the standard old-fashioned system (also Aliyu and Abdulganiyu 2015).


Islamic Studies stands out as one of the subjects learnt by Muslim students in secondary schools in north-central part of Nigeria. Islamic Studies is a process that completely nurtures the individual students. Study by Khalil (2007) discuses that Islamic Studies is the balanced growth of the total personality of learners, to the point that faith can absorb into his entire personality and knowledge is gained in order to reach to a perfect Muslims. Bidmos (1996), Yoloye (2008), Balogun and Kazeem (2013) are harmonious to say that Islamic education recognizes both the revealed and acquired knowledge. Acquired knowledge contains pieces of information and learning experiences attainable through interaction with fellow human beings at formal and informal levels. Revealed knowledge is the pieces of information offered to man by God. The Qur’an is a main example of a revealed knowledge. It is further explained that because of limitations of the acquired knowledge, man needs the provisions contained in the revealed knowledge to guide him, plan his movements and organize his activities.