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  • Background to the Study

Education is the most valuable legacy a nation can leave to its population, particularly to its youths. Due to the fact that education is critical in the growth of any nation or society, this is the case. Education can be defined as the process of transmitting what is valuable to members of society to other members of society. Okafor (2014) asserts that education encompasses all of the experiences that a person has that lead to the acquisition of information and the illumination of the mind. According to Nwabachili and Egbue (2012), education is something that is passed down from one generation to another. As a result, education is defined as the process of socialising a youth in order for him or her to grow up as a contributing member of society. This process might take place in an informal, formal, or non-formal setting.

According to Wakjissa (2018), family size refers to the overall number of persons in the family, as well as their ages. The number of adults and children in the family is represented by the size of the family. The best family size for a youth, on the other hand, is one in which the child is cared for in his or her own house, in the company of family members with whom he or she has a loving and constant bond. A family is the first and most important group formed by a group of people who are naturally sympathetic and affectionate to one another. The father is responsible for protecting the family, while the woman is responsible for feeding and caring for the children. By observing his father, mother, and other family members, the child learns a great deal. There are two types of families that we see on a regular basis: nuclear families and joint families. It is possible to encourage children to achieve high levels of academic achievement if their parents devote sufficient time and attention to the educational needs of their children. And this is only feasible if parents use family planning to make sound decisions about their children’s future. The size of the family has a significant impact on the influence and shaping of a child’s behaviour and thoughts, particularly in the development of educational attainment and attitude toward learning. The youth is always in contact with his or her family and is impacted by everything that happens in the family. Each child need a pleasant environment since he or she is innocent, soft, and delicate from the moment of birth. He is in desperate need of someone who will nourish him with love and care.

Services for family planning are available. Individuals and couples’ capacity to foresee and achieve their intended number of children, as well as the spacing and timing of their deliveries, is measured. Using contraceptive techniques and treating involuntary infertility are two approaches of achieving this goal, according to experts (Butler, 2018). So it may be deduced that family planning may include consideration of the number of children a woman desires to have, including the option of having none, as well as the age at which she wishes to have them, among other things. External variables such as marital status, professional concerns, financial circumstances, and any infirmities that may impair their capacity to have children and raise them all have an impact on these decisions. Access to family planning services enhances the likelihood of having healthy children while also allowing moms to devote more time to earning a living through other means. An increase in female participation in economic activities may result in an increase in their production and income, which in turn may result in an increase in economic growth. Increased earnings are frequently reinvested in commercial ventures or used to supplement home expenditures. This results in greater per capita consumption as well as a reduction in poverty (Adeoti et al. 2018). It is possible that having fewer children will result in more resources being allocated to each youth, higher educational involvement, and a reduction in child labour (Huisman & Smits, 2018; Webbink, Smits & De Jong, 2012). Children who grow up with poor educational and developmental outcomes may face a variety of difficulties, including reduced employment and lower wages, higher rates of early and non-marital childbearing, as well as lower incomes, with all of the associated risks to the health and well-being of their families. This suggests that advances in family planning may be connected to economic and social growth, and that these changes must be realised in order to achieve long-term poverty reduction (Blakeslee, 2017). In addition to preventing the coming tragedy of overpopulation, family planning is important for the health of mothers since it prevents unwanted abortions and lowers the number of times a woman gives birth to her children. Every pregnancy raises the chance of adverse effects on maternal health, thus it is preferable to avoid having an unneeded pregnancy in the first place. Furthermore, family planning would result in an improvement in the overall health of the youth that is delivered, because a healthy woman would almost certainly give birth to a healthy child (Shie, 2011). Family planning is very vital for the education of children, as seen by their academic accomplishments. Children that have a well-thought-out educational plan do better in school. This is why children are created and nurtured through socialisation procedures that have been carefully tailored to their needs. At order to keep up with the evolving demands of the realms of competition and excellence, socialisation procedures are carried out at home and in educational institutions. In order to reach these goals, it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of the elements that influence the educational successes of schoolchildren. In light of the foregoing debate, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between family size and children’s educational accomplishments in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.

  • Statement of the Problem

The alarmingly low levels of educational accomplishment among school-aged children have been a subject of worry for many involved in the educational system. Most children from big families do not finish high school, resulting in lower educational accomplishments for the entire family. This is especially prevalent among impoverished families in rural parts of Mangu, who are particularly vulnerable. Evidence from throughout the world, on the other hand, indicates that small-size families are more concerned with providing the greatest education possible to the few children they have.

Because they have more resources to dedicate to their individual children, they have been able to provide them with additional facilities and educationally oriented properties. As a result, it is an undeniable truth that the size of a family has an impact on scholastic attainment. It is a well-known fact that people with big family sizes do not understand the notion of having a small family size, which may be remedied through family planning counselling that is efficient in educating every individual in Nigerian communities.

As a result, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between family size and educational attainment among the people living in the study region. The level of living of the people, which is determined by the number of children in the household, must also be considered. The educational success of children is determined by the size of the family and the degree of information about family planning held by the population. The purpose of the study is to determine whether or not people in the study region require family planning counselling based on their current understanding about family planning.

  • Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the influence of family size on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Mangu Local Government Area. Other specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the standard of living of the students based on their family size.
  2. Examine educational achievement of children in the family based on the family size.
  3. Determine the knowledge of family planning and its effectiveness among the students.

1.4. Research Questions

            The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. To what extent does the standard of living of the students in Mangu LGA based on their family size?
  2. To what extent does the educational achievement of students in the Mangu LGA family based on the family size of the people?
  3. To what extent does family size affect academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Mangu Local Government Area?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant difference between standard of living and family size of the students in Mangu LGA.
  2. There is no significant difference between family size and educational achievement of the students in Mangu LGA.

1.6. Significance of the Study

Parents, government officials, and policymakers will all profit from the findings of this research.

Parents will get an understanding of the importance of family size on the scholastic accomplishments of their children, as well as the importance of family planning in order to provide time to their children when they arrive, as well as the importance of good health for both the children and the mother. As a result of this study, parents or those who are planning to become parents will be the primary benefactors because all of the issues identified and solutions offered will be beneficial to them.

It will be up to the government to raise knowledge about the benefits of family planning on the educational accomplishments of children in order to attain this goal. Their mission will be to spread this understanding throughout rural communities, where the problem of cluster children is most widespread. As a result, they will support family planning among a large number of households.

The findings of this study will be beneficial to policymakers because they will be able to develop policies that would aid in encouraging family planning among parents and intending parents in the Mangu Local Government Area.

When this study is completed, it will serve as a reference material to future researchers who will want to carry out further studies on similar grounds. The findings will add to the already existing body of knowledge on influence of family size on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students.

1.7 Scope and Delimitations of the Study

This study covers the influence of family size on the academic achievement of senior secondary schools students. The study is restricted to selected secondary schools in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. Despite the fact that the study is restricted to a single local government area, the conclusions of the study will be applicable to other sections of the state and the country as a whole.

1.8. Operational Definition of Terms

Academic Achievement: this is the level at which a person is able to achieve his educational pursuit.

Parent: This is a male or female adult who gives birth to a younger individual.

Family: This is the composition of mother, father and children. Or it could be one parent (father or mother) and children.

Family Size: This is the total number of people living in a particular family.

Education: the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a primary, secondary or tertiary institution.

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