Parental characteristics influencing students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Isinya district, Kenya
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the parental characteristics influencing students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Isinya District, Kenya. The study was further guided by the following research objectives: to determine how the education level of parents influences the academic performance of students in public secondary schools, to examine the influence of parent’s attitude to education on the academic performance of students in public secondary schools, to determine how parents’ economic status affects the performance of students in public secondary and to establish the extent to which family type affect the academic performance of the students in public secondary schools in Isinya District, Kajiado County. A descriptive survey research design was adopted in this study. The sample of this study included;42 PTA members, 150 students and 4 principals in public secondary schools in Isinya District. In total, the sample size was 189. Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the main instruments of data collection. The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data collected from the questionnaires, which were coded into the computer with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data was presented in tables and graphs. Qualitative approach was used to analyze the data retrieved from the interview guides. From the analysis the following key findings were made: positive attitude encourages as well as enables the students to know the role of education in their future. Additionally, parental attitude encouraged students to love their studies and perform well in school. Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that parental level of education affected their academic performance to some extent. The educational level of parents encourages the students to work harder and achieve their goals whereas others indicated that it helped the students to aim higher in their educational circles. Parents who were economically stable were in a position to provide resources and materials and enroll students to the schools of their choice. However, this was not the case among most of the parents who were not economically stable. Family structure did affect the academic performance of students either to some extent or to a greater extent. The following recommendation was given: The Ministry of Education, school administrators and the local authorities need to come up with frequent community based forums that are specifically structured towards enhancing parental participation in their children’s education. During these forums, the parents may be highlighted on the importance of education not only in the child development but also community growth. There is also need for policy formulation and implementation that encourage parents who have never attained any formal education to get the opportunity. These policies need to be introduced in the rural areas such as Isinya District and parents encouraged to enroll.