Effect of parental involvement on quality of education in public day secondary schools in Igembe Central Sub County, Meru County-Kenya
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This study aimed at determining the effect of parental involvement on quality of education in public day secondary schools. The relationship among the variables of the study was moderated by parents’ level of education and their occupations. Specifically, the study intended to establish the effect of school-based parental involvement, home–based parental involvement, and academic socialization by parents on quality of education in public day secondary schools. This study was guided by Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour and Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. A descriptive correlational study was carried out in public day secondary schools in Igembe Central Sub County in Meru - Kenya. The target population was 28 principals, 7,182 students and 144 parents’ representatives. This made a target population of 7,354 participants from the public day secondary schools of Igembe Central Sub County. This study was guided by logical positivism philosophy which greatly regards methods of scientific inquiry and logical analysis of philosophical problems. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained from a sample of 352 students, 8 school principals and 32 parents selected through random sampling procedures. Questionnaires, an interview guide, and a focus group discussion guide were used for collection of data from students, principals, as well as parents, respectively. Document analysis guide was also used. A sample of two principals, 88 students and 8 parent from two schools in the neighbouring Igembe South Sub County were used for the purpose of pilot testing and refining the research instruments. The reliability coefficient for the indicators of school–based parental involvement, home–based parental involvement, academic socialization by parents and quality of education was 0.730, 0.951, 0.946 and 0.756 respectively. Data was collected from the respondents by the researcher. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. The quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0 (SPSS 21.0) computer software programme. Descriptive statistics such as mean scores, variances, standard deviation; and inferential statistics namely correlation and multiple regression were used to analyse the data. The results provided statistical evidence that a positive and significant relationship exists between parental involvement and quality of education in public day secondary schools. All the predictors of parental involvement were found to have positive and significant effect on quality of education in public day secondary schools. The study also established that mothers’ characteristics (level of education and occupation) had partial moderating effect on the relationship between parental involvement and quality of education in public day secondary schools. Thematic analysis for qualitative data was done and data was summarized according to similarities and common themes and presented in narratives and relevant quotes to supplement and strengthen the quantitative data. The results obtained led to the conclusions that expanding the role of parents in education improves school attendance, learning behaviours, academic performance and transition to colleges and universities. Secondly, the study established that among all the predictors of quality of education in public day secondary schools, academic socialization by parents and home-based parental involvement are significant in affecting quality of education in a combined relationship. In addition, it was concluded that all parents can participate in the education of their children, regardless of their level of education and occupation so as to improve quality of education in public day secondary schools. This study, therefore, recommends that parents be sensitized by school management on the importance of their roles in education; and the need of their continuous involvement in education of their children.