Academic performance has become instrumental in determining a child’s future in this highly competitive world. All over the world, education is considered to be a benchmark over which economic development and economic growth of a country depends upon. This study stems from a practical view that there have been complaints that pupils’ academic performances have been fluctuating in Kamara Division. The purpose of the study was to examine parental factors influencing academic performance in Kamara Division. Specifically, the study sought to: identify whether parental level of education, involvement and expectations influence academic performance in Kamara Division. The study was informed by The Social-Ecological Theory which emphasizes the complex environmental system where people live and operate. The study was carried out in Kamara Division which has a total of 30 public primary schools. Three hundred and sixty parents who are members of school committees, 30 head teachers and one Education Officer in the Division formed the target population. Stratified sampling was used as schools were classified according to the zones. Simple random sampling was used to select the schools that were included in the sample. The study used a sample size of 108 parents. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data from parents while interview schedule was used to collect data from nine head teachers and one Education Officer. The researcher discussed the items in the instrument with the supervisors and experts from the department after which all the changes were made. On the other hand, the reliability of the instruments was determined by Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha method where a reliability index of 0.821 was obtained which is considered suitable for this study. Descriptive statistics was used in analyzing data. The study found that parents who are educated understand the importance of giving their children quality education; literate parents often visit their children at school to assess their progress; and literate parents respond to schools needs like payment of school fees more effectively than illiterate parents. Secondly, parents support their children by providing school basic needs and parental involvement influence academic performance. Finally, parents have a lot of expectations in their children to perform well; that the level of expectations they have on their children influence their academic performance; they perceive their children as capable and can perform better and they visit their children in school and encourage them to work hard. The study recommended that there is need for the school management to create awareness to these parents in order for them to realize and appreciate the importance of their participation and how it may influence their children’s academic performance.

Background of the Study
Education is the process of developing the capacities and potentials of the individual so as to prepare that individual to be successful in a specific society or culture (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). Education is a continuous process which begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is constant and ongoing process. Schooling generally begins somewhere between the ages four and six when children are gathered together for the purposes of specific guidance to acquire and develop skills and competencies that society deems important. In the past, once the formal primary and secondary schooling was completed the process was completed. However, in today’s information age, adults are quite often learning in informal setting and through distance learning throughout their working lives and even into retirement. This therefore stresses the importance of education worldwide and as a result, pupils need to be given quality and equitable education which can only be achieved when education obstacles are minimized (Aremu, 2000).

A modern society cannot achieve its aim of economic growth, technical development and cultural advancement without harnessing the talents of its citizens. One of the major tasks of education is to help children to develop the skills appropriate to the age in which they live and those skills which promote a lifetime of learning (De Civita, Pagani, Vitaro & Tremblay, 2004). Educationists and counsellors in educational settings are often confronted with students who appear to have above average scholastic aptitude but are very poor in their studies. A recurring question baffling them has been why some students succeed in their study while others do not. This question is sometimes considered to be closely related to learning than teaching (Richardson, 2009).

The world is becoming more and more competitive. Quality of performance has become the key factor for personal progress. Parents desire that their children climb the ladder of performance to as high a level as possible. This desire for a high level of achievement puts a lot of pressure on students, teachers, and schools and in general the education system itself. In fact, it appears as if the whole system of education revolves round the academic achievement of students, though various other outcomes are also expected from the system. Thus, a lot of time and effort of the schools are used in helping students to achieve better. The importance of scholastic and academic achievement has raised important questions for educational researchers such as; to what extent do the different parental factors contribute towards positive academic performance? (Ramaswamy, 1990).

Thus, a family as a basic unit of the society plays a vital role in the socialization and later education of its members. Grant and Hallman (2006), for instance found that higher parental/household head level of education is associated with increased access to education, higher attendance rates and lower drop-out rates. A number of reasons are put forward for the link between parental education and retention in school. Some researchers indicate that non-educated parents cannot provide the support or often do not appreciate the benefits of schooling (Pryor & Ampiah, 2003). The family lays the foundation of education before the child goes to school. Parental involvement with the schools has become a major educational issue in the 1980s in the USA, an era of concern about the quality of education, (Kathleen, 1989). Student achievement has always been an important issue in education amongst educators, administrators and parents such that in USA, the current push is to increase student academic performance in order to meet federally- mandated standards, (Benoit, 2008).

While parental expectations and aspirations directly affect student achievement, they also play an important part in students’ development of their own beliefs and expectations. Research has demonstrated that parental expectations and aspirations significantly predict student expectations and aspirations (Benner & Mistry, 2007). According to Epstein (2009), parental involvement is the most powerful influence in a child’s education. It can have various effects on students, both academically and behaviorally. It is against this backdrop that this study sought to establish the influence of parental factors on pupils’ academic performance in Kamara Division.

The government of Kenya has invested heavily in education particularly at primary and secondary levels. However, many schools continue to register poor results in national examinations. Since the government is providing free funds for all public primary schools and head teachers being trained on the management of these funds, it is expected that academic performance should improve. In Kamara Division for instance, pupils’ academic performance has recorded a mixed results in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) from 2007-2011. The following is a summary of how pupils have been performing in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in Kamara Division...

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 64 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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