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Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Student from Monogamous and Polygamous Families

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COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS
FROM MONOGAMOUS AND POLYGAMOUS FAMILIES IN OFFA, KWARA
STATE.
BY
IGWESI, B. N. (MRS),
Department of Educational Foundations,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Abstract

This study compared the academic achievement of students from monogamous and polygamous families. It was a causal comparative study under the survey research approach. The sample consisted of 100 SSI students from monogamous families and 100 SSI students from polygamous families.
Simple random sampling method was used In selecting four secondary schools in Offa, Kwara State.
Stratified simple random sampling method was also used In seiecting the students. A proforma was used for collecting data on the academic achievement of the students. Analysis of the data, using t-test statistics showed that a significant difference exists between the academic achievement of students from monogamous homes and those from polygamous homes. One of the
Implications bf this finding to teaching and learning is that a consideration of students' family background is Important because it will help teachers to find out the types of home the students come from. They will also be aware of the nature of social interactions in such homes and the psychological, social and emotional problems the students are facing at home. This knowledge will help teachers to counsel the students on how to overcome such problems and have positive attitude towards the situation so, that their academics will not be adversely

affected. The teachers will also understand the importance of a conducive social climate in teaching and learning. The study recommended that parents from
Polygamous families be considered to ensure that their" homes are rid of rancour and other behaviours
82
that might influence the child's achievement negatively.
Introduction
Over the years, many educational authorities have sought to find out the reasons for the downward trend in the academic achievement of secondary school students. Obemeata (1971), and Daramola (1994) attributed it to the students' background that is, the type of home environment where the child is raised. They stressed that the environmental condition and the nature of social interaction that goes on in the family may have some positive or negative influence on the academic achievement of a child. Daramola (1994) further stated that the factors affecting a child's educational achievement include the occupational status of the parents, the attitude of parents to their children's education, and the values transmitted by the parents. . .
Wilkins (1976) noted that in monogamous family, both parents show active interest in what their child is doing at school. They also encourage his reading habits, and this enables him to have obvious advantage over his peers from polygamous families. He further noted that the child from a polygamous family may have just few textbooks, while the child from monogamous family may have almost all the books recommended at school. In polygamous families also, it may be the mother's responsibility to see that the children do their home work, provide them with materials needed for academic work and, in most cases, manage to pay the children's fees. This is contrary to what happens in the monogamous families.
Lewis (1981) also opined that in traditional African cultures (especially in
Nigeria), one of the reasons for sanctioning polygamy was the strong desire for offspring. In their yearning for children, they tend to forget that the more the

children they have, the more difficult it becomes to finance the education of the children. Concerning student problems, Wilkins (1976) also emphasized that in the monogamous family, degrees of agreement and violent disagreement are worked out by both husband and wife. Both also share the same losses and griefs. Adika (1987) also noted that conflicts are relatively easier to solve in the monogamous than in the polygamous families. Moreover, less psychological disturbance is envisaged in the former than in the latter.
Students from polygamous families are therefore more likely to experience more problems than students from monogamous families. This will invariably affect their academic achievement. This is because, according to Sanders (1974), psychological problems are potential sources of trouble with learning.
The above studies have revealed that the nature of social interaction that goes on in a family, can affect the child psychologically and emotionally.
When a child is in a poor mental state because of psychological disturbances, his or her academic performance may be affected. In view of the aforementioned reasons, there may be the tendency to hastily conclude that polygamy will give rise to poor academic achievement. However, it is necessary to take cognizance of the fact that the resultant rivalry in polygamous homes may rather have a positive effect on the children's academic achievement. This is because in a bid to out-shine the half brothers and sisters academically the children may be forced by circumstance to develop a serious and healthy reading habit, thus, enhancing their academic achievements. Besides, some polygamous fathers may still have interest in their children's education and also have the means to adequately cater for them financially and otherwise.
The Problem
Considering the powerful influence of the family on the child and its importance as a primary agent of socialization, there is no doubt that the academic achievement of the child can be enhanced or hindered depending on the social climate in the family. It appears that many people have not yet

recognized that their family type has a great impact on their children's academic achievement. More researches are therefore needed in this area:
Is there any significant difference in the academic achievement of students from monogamous homes and those from polygamous homes? This is the focus of this study.
Purpose and Significance of the Study
This study investigated the relationship between students' family type and their academic achievement. This was done by finding out if a significant difference exists between the academic achievements of students from monogamous homes and those from polygamous homes in Offa, Kwara State.
The findings of this study would reveal to teachers and parents the effect of the social climate at home on students' academic performance. The need for parents to provide conducive environment at home for students' learning and the need for teachers to adequately act as 'loco parents' and as counsellors to students would also be highlighted.
Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.

.

I. There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.
I.1 There is no significant difference in the academic achievement in English
Language of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.
I.2 There is no significant difference in the academic achievement in
Mathematics of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.
I.3 There is no significant difference in the academic achievement in
Integrated Science of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.
I.4 There is no significant difference in the academic achievement in Social
Studies

of

students

from

monogamous

families

and

those

from

polygamous families.
Methodology.
This is a causal comparative study under the survey research approach. It used 200 SSI students sampled from four randomly selected schools in Offa, Kwara Stat,e. It consisted of 100 students from monogamous families and 100 students from polygamous families. Simple random sampling method was used to select four schools from the twelve secondary school in Offa. Twenty students each were randomly selected from the Science, Arts and Commercial classes. A total of 60 students were selected per school. This gave a total of 240 students, and since this was a comparative study, 100 students from polygamous families and 100 students from monogamous families were finally used for the study.
A questionnaire was used to elicit information on the student's name, class in school and family type. A proforma was also used to collect the students' Junior Secondary Certificate Examination results in four core subjects:
English, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies.
The results of the students were converted thus:
A

-

3 - POINTS

C

-

2 - POINTS

D

-

1 - POINT

F

-

0 - POINT

The maximum points a respondent could score is 12 while the minimum is O. The score for the academic achievement of the.students is the sum total of the points he or she got in the four core subjects. The t-test statistics was employed in testing the four hypotheses at the 0.05 level of significance.
Results
These results are presented in the order in which the hypotheses were formulated. Hypothesis I (Hol) had postulated that there is no significant

difference in the academic achievement of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families. In order to test this hypothesis, the mean scores for all the subjects were used in computing the t-test.

Table 1: The T-test Analysis Comparing the Academic Achievement of
Students from Monogamous and Polygamous Families
Respondents’ N

Mean

SD

df

Monogamous 100

2.08

0.280

Polygamous

1.92

t-value

1.96

4.00

0.235

100

198

Calculated

value

Family Type

Table

Significance level = P < 0.05
Table 1 show that the overall academic achievement of students from monogamous families was significantly higher than that of students from polygamous families.
Table 2: The t-test Analysis Comparing Students' Academic Achievement in
English Language. .
Respondents’ N

Mean

SD

df

Monogamous 100

2.30

0.458

Polygamous

2.13

0.341

100

198

Calculated

value

Family Type

Table

t-value

1.96

4.00

Significance level = P < 0.05
Table 2 shows a significant difference in the academic achievement in English
Language of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families. TABLE 3: The t-test Analysis Comparing Students' Academic Achievement in
Mathematics.
Respondents’ N

Mean

SD

df

Monogamous 100

1.85

0.354

Polygamous

1.73

t-value

1.96

200

0.441

100

198

Calculated

value

Family Type

Table

Significance level = P < 0.05
Table 3 also reveals a significant difference in the academic achievement in
Mathematics of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.

Table

4:

The

t-test

Analysis

Comparing

Students'

Academic

Achievement in Integrated Science.
Respondents’ N

Mean

SD

df

Monogamous 100

1.96

0.579

Polygamous

1.75

t-value

1.96

2.38

0.570

100

198

Calculated

value

Family Type

Table

Significance level = P < O.O5
Table 4 shows a significant difference in the academic achievement in
Integrated Science of students from monogamous families and those from polygamous families.
Table 5: The t-test Analysis Comparing Students' Academic Achievement in
Social Studies.
Respondents’ N

Mean

SD

df

Monogamous 100

2.26

0.543

Polygamous

1.86

t-value

1.96

5.71

0.487

100

198

Calculated

value

Family Type

Table

Significance level = P < 0.05
From Table 5 it is clear that the academic achievement of students from monogamous families was significantly better in Social Studies than that of students from polygamous families.
Discussion
The finding of this study shows that there is a significant difference in the overall academic achievement of students from monogamous families and

those from polygamous families. This is in agreement with Banks (1976) who noted that high achieving children in comparison to low achievers came from homes where there was a high level of parental interest, an orderly home environment and an awareness of the child as an individual.
Moreover, Tyreman (1976) has shown that these characteristics are more prevalent in the monogamous families than in the polygamous families.
This difference was also reflected in the students' achievement in the core courses which are English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Integrated
Science.
However, we cannot rule out the possibility of having some polygamous families who can adequately take care of their children, and also make the social climate at home conducive for the children's educational advancement. This may be because the various parents are financially buoyant, and that the father takes care of the children and the wives without being partial. The Nigerian culture also expects grown up and able children from such families to take care of their step sisters and brothers. Some students from such polygamous families may be able to outperform their counterparts in monogamous families if they are exposed to a social climate like their counterparts in monogamous families.
Moreover through counseling, it is possible for some students from polygamous families to develop positive attitudes to the problems associated with the social climate in their families, to the extent that their academic achievement will not be adversely affected.
Implication of the Findings.
A consideration of student's family background is very important in teaching and learning. This is because this study has shown that the nature of social interaction within the family can influence the child's personality. A negative influence on a child's emotions and psychology will consequently affect his or her academic achievement. The school is the second home of the child, therefore the social climate for learnin.9 in the school should be made conducive so that the students can do better in their academics.

An interest in students' family background will help teachers to find out the type of family their students come from, the nature of social interactions in such families and the psychological, social and emotional problems the students are facing at home. This knowledge will assist teachers in giving students the necessary advice and counselling.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This study has revealed that students from monogamous families perform better academically than those from polygamous families. The home environment and the nature of human relationships in monogamous and polygamous families are, therefore, important determinants of students' academic achievement.
In as much as monogamous and polygamous families are accepted family patterns in Nigeria, the task before us is how to create a conducive environment for learning in these families. Enlightenment programmes could be carried out to let parents (especially those from polygamous families) realize the influence of the activities that go on in their families on their children's academics. This could be done by organizing seminars of family and students' academic achievement for the parents. This could also be done during Parents'Teachers' Association meetings. The parents should also be counselled to ensure that their homes are rid of rancour and other behaviours that might influence the child's achievement negatively. Students from such families also need to be specially counselled to be serious with their academics without being distracted as a result of the rivalry, disagreements and conflict that characterized such families.
REFERENCES
Adika, J.A. (1987). Family types and Academic performance :A comparative study of selected secondary school students in two local government areas of Oyo State. Unpublished M.Ed Dissertation, University of Ilorin

Banks,O.(1976). The Sociology of Education. London: BT. Batsford Limited.
Daramola, C.O. (1994). Introduction to the Sociology of Education Ilorin:
Success Education Services.

.

Lewis, I. M. (1981). Somali culture, history and social institutions. London:
London School of Economics and Political Science.
Obameata, J.D. (1971). The effect of Urbarn - Rural Environment on intelligence. West African Journal of Education. xx (3), 475-482.
Sanders, M. (1974). Clinical assessment of Learning Problems. London:
Allyn and Bacon inc.
Tyreman, M.J. (1976). A research into truancy. British Journal of Educational
Psychology. 58,217-225.
Wilkins, E.J. (1976). The attitudes of parents towards education: An
Introduction to Sociology. Britain: Macdonald and Evans Limited.

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