Paternal involvement in children's education: an implication of children's performance at preschool in Gucha District, Kenya
Bitengo, Teresa Mwoma
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Extensive research exists on the importance of parental involvement in children's education, yet relatively few studies have examined the individual contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children's schooling. There is a great deal of interest however, in the role of fathers in children's lives. This interest stems from the fact that traditionally in Africa fathers were the hidden parent. They were assumed to be the breadwinners of their families, but of limited importance in non-financial aspects of children's well-being and development. The purpose of this study was to establish the level of fathers' involvement in their children's education in relation to children's performance at preschool with a special focus on the factors that influence this involvement. The study was carried out in Gucha District because of its continued poor performance in the KCPE exams. Two divisions were purposively selected, one to represent the urban set up, and the other to represent a rural set up. Sixteen preschools were purposively selected from the two divisions to represent the public and private and the rural and urban pre schools. A sample size of 160 preschool children was purposively selected from the 16 preschools due to their performance level in their preschool activities according to their teachers' assessment. Further, a sample size of 160 fathers to the selected children from the two divisions was given the questionnaire to fill on their involvement in their children's education. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized to prepare and organize data for analysis to test the significance levels between variables at 0.05. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient, ANOVA and Chi Square were utilized to establish whether there were any significant relationships or differences in means between variables. Findings revealed that fathers' involvement in their children's education was significantly related to children's performance at preschool where r=0.19 with, a `p' value of 0.029. There was a significant difference in means of father involvement between fathers of different academic levels where f=25.149 at 2 degrees of freedom with a `p' value of 0.000. There was a significant difference in means of father involvement between fathers of different occupations where f=6.291 at 5 degrees of freedom with a `p' value of 0.000. Fathers' involvement in their children's education was also significantly related to the type of school the child attended where x2=25.330 at 2 degrees of freedom and a `p' value of 0.000. Sex of the child and fathers' area of residence were not found to be significantly related to fathers' involvement in their children's education where x2=2.213 at 2 degrees of freedom with a `p' value of 0.392 and x2=1.444 at 2 degrees of freedom with a `p' value of 0.846 respectively. It was therefore concluded that, fathers' involvement in their children's education influence children's performance at preschool. Factors that were found to influence fathers' involvement included; fathers' academic level, their occupation and the type of preschool the child attended. It was recommended that there is need for school managers and administrators to find ways of introducing programmes to ensure that fathers closely monitor and participate in assisting their children with school work and attending school functions.