Psychosocial effects of home environment of coffee -picker parents on student’s academic performance in day school secondary in Murang’a County
Academic performance in secondary schools in Kandara Sub-County of Murang’a County has been far below the National standards as depicted by results in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E). The results revealed that on average, most students achieved D+ indicating that they could not qualify for admission in institutions of higher learning. Several researchers (Marjoribanks, 1972; Walberg, 1972; Kellaghan, 1977; Burns & Homel, 1985; Kurdek & Sinclair, 1988) have identified a relationship between home environment and pupils' academic achievement. While this relationship has been studied in other parts of the world, it has not been studied in day schools in Kandara Sub-County, especially among students whose parents' main preoccupation is casual labour in coffee farms. The purpose of this study is thus to establish the psychosocial effects of home environment on the performance of students in day secondary schools in Kandara Sub County. Specifically, the study aims to: investigate the influence of the parents’ economic situation on their children’s scholastic performance, identify the impact of parenting style on children’s performance, examine the impact of parents’ involvement in their children’s education on children’s academic performance, investigate the impact of parents’ level of education on the child’s performance, and suggest remedial measures that could improve the situation. This has been informed by the realization that students in day schools are the ones most affected by the home environments, compared to those schooling away in boarding schools. The choice of coffee farmers was arrived at given that this is the major pre-occupation of majority of parents with children in day schools within the area. This study will be anchored on the Social Cognitive Theory as propounded by Albert Bandura. According to the theory, learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement (Bandura, 1963). Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used. The study used both primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected using questionnaires and interview schedules that were administered to parents, class teachers, and students. Secondary data, on the other hand, were gathered from schools’ records of student performance in past examinations. The target population of this study will comprise 2,500 students in 36-day schools, whose parents are coffee pickers. The study will also target 36 head teachers, from the day schools, 540 teachers, and 298 members of the Parents Teachers Associations (PTA) from the sub-county. A pilot study were conducted to ensure that the instruments elicit the type of data anticipated to answer the research questions. Data collected from the field were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0. The study will generate both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data were analyzed through descriptive statistics by use of frequencies, percentages and averages, and represented using pie charts, histograms, and tables. Qualitative data, on the other hand, were coded, analyzed, and interpreted using descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation. Benefit the students whereby measures were taken to improve their performance through teacher – counselors and also their parents were counseled on importance of having a keen interest in their children’s performance. School administrators, the Sub-County education office were in a position to formulate strategies to improve academic performance in Kandara Sub-County taking all stake Holders on board.