Education is a primary responsibility of a nation towards her citizens most especially the youth. This is because for a nation to be developed, it depends on the educational level of her citizenry and also its quality of education. Education ensures the acquisition of skills and knowledge that enable individuals improve their quality of life. According to Mahammed (2010), Education helps in the transmission of values and cultural heritage from generations to generations. The education of a child begins at home which is also considered to be the first step of every human activity. The importance of education to human society cannot be undermined. In as much as nations have advanced morally, technologically, and materially, the undiminishing role that education plays can be rightly said to improve the living conditions of man. The daily psychological renumeration and the physical contribution to the globe have received numerous and wide-raging attention.
As a sub-stem of education, history as an academic field of study and an intellectual discipline has contributed its quota to the intellectual benefit of the human race. History is simply defined in a lay mans term as the study of the past in order to checkmate the present so as to improve the future. Both at the secondary and tertiary levels of education, history falls short of nothing but an essential branch of our educational curriculum.
Training of a child is the primary responsibility of the parents. A childs academic success depends on how successfully the child is managed by his/her parents in the home environment. However, not every child comes from a home that could provide them with all the necessary educational resources for their educational success.
There has been a great concern on the poor academic performance in History in most schools, especially senior secondary schools which serve as foundation to tertiary educational level. Despite the fact that nations depend largely on the uniqueness of education, the performance of most students is still decreasing. Parents and teachers in educationally developed countries are aware that both the school and home are very important in a childs education. Generally, if history students are likely to have problems interacting socially then they are likely to be different in academic performance which is usually attributed to parents socio-economic background. Socio-economic background of parents can be divided into three levels: High, Middle, and the Low socio-economic background. Also, the familys income, educational level and occupation are some of the factors to consider when analyzing socio-economic background. Based on observation, studies have noted that some parents are likely to be authoritarian to their children during interaction while other parents tend to be authoritative. Permissive style of parenting cannot help in making a history student value his/her education. It as simply been revealed to be the worst parenting style which contributes to poor academic performance. Low education and income as proven to be a strong factor of a range of mental and physical health problem causing various diseases which may result due to environmental conditions. Low income parents cannot afford many of the healthcare services and this may advance the illness of their children because of lack of treatment.
According to Crosnoe et al (2005) socio-economic factors such as income and education are important factors that affects students academic performance. In most cases, history students from highly educated families usually perform better than those who come from less educated families because educated parents give adequate parental support, academic materials, good feeding, etc.According to karshen (2005), on the effect of parental level of education on students academic performance revealed that students whose parents gained higher education scored high marks on standardized tests than those whose parents gained lower education. After history lessons, students are meant to have access to extra learning facilities at home which may not be available to students who come from a poor background thus, affecting their performance in the classroom. Lack of income may also result to the parents not being able to pay the students school fees, purchase books, uniforms,field trips and other various school materials which will hinder his/her performance. Learning environment can be seen as a major factor that also affect students performance. Aiken and Barbarin (2008) noted that school system in low socio-economic status communities often have inadequate resources and have affected students academic performance negatively. Most low socio-economic parent usually live in poor environment which can endanger these students life and concentration. Ogbugo and ololube(2016) are of the view that learners perfomance in school is linked with parentssocio-economic background and their income level. There is also the movement of parents from one area to another due to inability to pay house rent which may necessitate in the transfer of their children to another school.
Language skill is also an important factor in a students education, and it is used for testing students mastery of the subject content both in the classroom and in examinations. For instance, a child at ten (10) month hears at least 400 words more than their low socio-economic peers. Most history students who come from a high socio-economic background are being encouraged at a tender age to question the world around them. This is also characterized by a give and take conversation between the parent and the child which helps to prepare the child for a greater future. According to Reardon, Valentino, Kalogrides, Shores & Greenberg (2013) research shows that in terms of average literacy skills, low socio-economic background children are five years behind those of high-income students.The findings of Okeke, Nzewi, and Njoku (2012) shows that the variables of socio-economic background such as low income, lack of high qualification, low occupational status all have mutable effect on students academic achievement.
Hence, this work is an attempt to delve into effects of parents socio-economic background on the academic performance of History students as well as providing possible solutions and remedies.