SOCIO – ECONOMIC STATUS AND CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL LIFE CHANCES
This study investigates the relationship between socio-economic status and children’s educational life chances using the peasant farmers of Basawa and Bomo districts of Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State as a case study. The study was embarked upon to find out the impact of socio-economic status on children’s educational life chances. Some of the problems of the study area stated in this work are; children’s low school enrolment due to their parents’ low socio-economic status, children’s educational achievement depending on parents’ education, and effects of gender on children’s education. The population of the study are teachers and students in SS1 in Basawa and Bomo districts and target population of 264 students and 48 teachers were sampled. The study which is a correlational study used both quantitative and qualitative instruments such as: self-designed questionnaire, unstructured interview schedule, anecdotal records, and observation. Some of the findings of the study are: children’s school enrollment is determined by parents’ socio-economic status and children’s educational life chances depends on parents’ socio-economic status. Some of the recommendations made in reference to the findings of the study were: Universal Basic Education should implement free education scheme effectively especially in rural areas and urban centres. Teachers should also be supervised concurrently in their service of teaching in schools on how to relate to students without passing biased judgments.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is one of the most enduring legacies which a nation can bequeath to
her succeeding generations. This is because education serves as an illumination through
which people see the path to solving their problems. Education generally is accepted as
a vital asset for social mobility, economic mobility, and a societal transformation factor,
for both personal and national levels. Mahuta (2007) views formal education as the type
of education that is taught in schools which is planned and organized with aims and
goals that are intended to be achieved. According to Swift (1996), as cited in Mahuta
(2007), education is the way the individual acquires the physical, moral and social
capacities demanded of him by the group into which he is born and within which he
must function. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), as cited in Mahuta (2007), sees education
as, the influence exercised by adult generations on the younger ones that are not yet
ready for social life. It can therefore be said that education arouses and develops in an
individual certain number of physical, intellectual and moral skills which are demanded
of him by both the political society as a whole and his social environment in which he
or she lives.
Emile Durkheim as quoted in Haralambos & Heald (1980) maintains that;
Society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands. Durkheim argues that to become attached to the society, the child must feel in it something that is real, alive and powerful, which dominates the person and to which he also owes the best part of himself. (p 173)
Education is a sound investment that is expected to enhance the economic
growth of individuals which implies that education is a strong factor of social mobility.