The influence of parental education and literacy skill levels on children's achievement in primary school, Moyo district, rural Uganda
Citation:DRAJEA, ALICE JURUGO, The influence of parental education and literacy skill levels on children's achievement in primary school, Moyo district, rural Uganda, Trinity College Dublin.School of Education.EDUCATION, 2015
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This thesis explores how the different levels of parents education and literacy skills influence their primary six children s academic attainment. The interest in this area was derived from endemic poor literacy abilities among universal primary school children in rural Uganda leading to persistent poor school achievement. The study reviews pertinent literature related to parental education and literacy skill practices in the home setting. The focus is on the nature and quality of support parents provide, the amount of available literacy related resources in the home environment because of parental education or lack of it and the challenges they face. These areas underscore the three research questions guiding the study. Related studies indicate that if parents have well developed literacy skills and practices, and adequate literacy resources at home and in the community, they will positively influence their children s education. However, when they lack such symbolic social capital, they face challenges that are likely to impact negatively on their children s educational achievement. This phenomenon is explored in this study in a development world context, notably the Moyo district in Northern Uganda. Mixed-methods with an ethnographic element is used to gather data from 119 participants across three geographical sites through the methods of questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, document analysis and participant observation involving three primary schools, and nine families of different educational and economic backgrounds. Vygotsky s sociocultural historical theory and the concept of cultural capital in terms of intergenerational transmission of educational success underpins the basis for the inquiry. Data are thematically analysed using a cross-case analysis. The findings indicate that all parents researched, regardless of the different levels of their education, desire that their children succeed in education but they face serious economic and other problems in supporting them to do so. The educated parents are aware of the problems and the advantages of education, but the reality of their lives and the financial challenges they face restrict them in prioritising time for educational activities with their children. Their support remained at the level of paying school fees for their children, and barely providing other school requirements. The semi-literate and uneducated were aware of the broader benefits of education, but were not yet fully aware of the level of interaction that is required to support and encourage their children for school success.
This is compounded by the harsh financial realities in the everyday lives of these families. Their low and irregular income tend to control and hinder them from extending adequate support to their children’s schooling. There was evidence of an overly heavy burden of responsibilities on parents that are work related. Salaried parents worked away from home and so did the semi-literate and illiterate (mostly doing casual jobs and cultivation). Whereas a lack of time negatively impacted upon all parents’ ability to support their children’s education. illiteracy hindered the academic involvement of less educated parents. Overall, the children involved in this study were deprived on many fronts: limited parent-child interaction, lack of home study and own space, play and educational opportunities. The study concluded that parental education and literacy skills exclusively are unlikely to enhance children’s achievement. Instead, parental knowledge of school matters and practical engagement with additional external support could make a difference in children’s achievement in school. The study makes recommendations for policy and practice in educational, economic and political spheres. It will also serve as resource material for future research.
Mr Diarmuid Kenneally
Comboni Missionaries. London Province
Author: DRAJEA, ALICE JURUGO
Qualification name:Doctor in Philosophy
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin.School of Education.EDUCATION
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available