FACTORS INVOLVING PARENTS’ CHOICE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS

ABSTRACT

Parents with higher occupational prestige, income, and social status, as well as larger social networks, are more likely to send their children to private primary schools. In comparison to lower-income families, their strong networks provide them with more accurate information on school quality and characteristics. Any responsible society, government, and parent is concerned about educational excellence and quality assurance. Parents enroll their children in private secondary schools so that they can receive a high-quality, functional education that will prepare them to thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic society. Private secondary schools appear to be meeting these parental expectations. However, private secondary schools are entirely privately run and receive no government funding. This means that anyone who chooses to attend private secondary schools must pay for this service. However, the vast majority of our population lives in poverty (NEEDS 2006) and cannot afford to send their children to private secondary schools. Public secondary schools, on the other hand, are accessible to all students, wealthy and poor alike. The government and society cannot afford to play with the quality and excellence of public secondary schools. The goal of this research was to look at the elements that influence parents’ preferences for private secondary schools. This would aid in understanding the areas where private secondary schools excel, and the government may focus on areas where public secondary schools need to improve. INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Parents are the main carers for their children and are responsible for enrolling them in a school of their choosing. According to Fung and Lam (2011), parents will use their divine right of choice and prioritize their children’s best interests. This decision is often influenced by the family’s economical condition (Malmberg, Andersson & Bergsten, 2013). Parents with higher occupational prestige, income and social status, and wider social networks are more likely to send their children to private primary schools than parents with lower income status and smaller social networks (Maangi, 2014). Their strong networks provide them with more precise information on school quality and characteristics than lower-income families get (Allen, Burgess, & McKenna, 2014).

 

According to Darmody, Smyth, and McCoy (2012), parental school choice is seldom driven by a single factor but by a number of interconnected variables. Beamish and Morey (2013) discovered in Australia that parents favor schools with excellent academic quality and performance. They also regard closeness to home as a crucial consideration in school selection. A school that is more than 30 minutes away is not considered a viable option (Beamish & Morey, 2013). In Australia and the United States, parents prefer lower class sizes because they feel they give more individual attention and higher education quality (Fung & Lam, 2011). According to Rehman, Khan, Tariq, and Tasleem (2010), the learning environment in the school has a substantial impact on the quality of education. This comprises structures and amenities in a favorable location that allows for learners’ personal and social growth. As a result, parents pick schools that offer safety, convenience, and attractiveness (Yaacob, Osman & Bachok, 2014). Most parents in Malaysia and Pakistan choose private schools because they provide better educational facilities and a more suitable learning atmosphere (Rehman, et al., 2010; Yaacob et al., 2014). Academic achievement is often used to measure a school’s desirability to parents.

Parents want a school where their children are likely to excel academically. There is a notion among parents who pick private schools and the wider public that strong academic standards make certain institutions intellectually superior (Fung & Lam, 2011). As a result, parents are more inclined to choose a school based on its academic success (Yaacob etal., 2014). Parents in Malaysia choose schools with good academic achievement, according to Yaacob etal (2014), to assure their children’s future education. According to Rehma et al. (2010), parents in Pakistan choose private schools owing to strong examination outcomes. They also feel that small class sizes in private schools encourage general growth and self-confidence in students and that overcrowding in government schools is a detriment to their education.

 

A low pupil-teacher ratio provides for more personalized attention, tighter interactions between instructors and students, and fewer interruptions. According to Ferns, Friendly, and Prabhu (2009), “the staff-child ratio is the most important indicator of quality” (p.8). High pupil-teacher ratios, according to Nyokabi (2009), signal poor quality and are likely to reduce predicted gains. In their quest for acceptable schools, parents often choose a school that is in a convenient location. Proximity often has a threshold function, which limits the amount of time that parents are prepared to let their children go (Beamish & Morey, 2013). Although some parents do not pick the closest school owing to a perception of low-quality education (Yaacob et al., 2014), it is critical to establish an accessible distance between home and school. According to Maangi (2014), research conducted in the United Kingdom by Bradley and Mandres (2000) found that a 10% improvement in a school’s examination score resulted in a 7% rise in enrollment. According to Goldring and Rowley (2006), in the United States of America (USA), parental choice of school is based on academic achievement and concentration.

 

Lower test results in public schools enhance the chance of selecting a private primary school. Goldring and Rowley (2006) discovered that most schools in California, USA, do not offer transportation to and from school. As a result, while selecting a school, parents prioritize location. Parents in Nigeria prefer private schools, which have superior facilities, to government schools, which have inadequate classrooms and are overcrowded (Onuka & Arowojolu, 2008; Adebayo, 2009; Tooley & Yngstrom, 2014). In terms of academic achievement, parents rank private schools higher than public schools (Onuka & Arowojolu, 2008; Adebayo, 2009). While the majority of parents who chose government or low-cost private schools prioritize proximity to home, parents of children attending high-cost private schools prioritize academic achievement (Tooley & Yngstrom, 2014). This implies that some parents will prioritize high academic performance over all else. Parents actively pick the schools their children attend.

 

They make their decisions based on a variety of preferences and criteria. They rationally and logically consider a variety of factors and make school decisions based on more than one factor. However, the factors differ between parents. 1.2 Formulation of the Problem Any responsible society, government, and parent is concerned about educational excellence and quality assurance. Parents enroll their children in private secondary schools so that they may get a high-quality, useful education that will prepare them to thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic world. Private secondary schools seem to be meeting these parental expectations. However, private secondary schools are wholly privately managed and receive no government funding. This means that everyone who chooses to attend private secondary schools must pay for this service.

 

However, the vast majority of our population lives in poverty (NEEDS 2006) and cannot afford to send their children to private secondary schools. Public secondary schools, on the other hand, are accessible to all students, wealthy and poor alike. The government and society cannot afford to play with the quality and excellence of public secondary schools. The goal of this research was to look at the elements that influence parents’ preferences for private secondary schools. This would aid in understanding the areas where private secondary schools excel, and the government may focus on areas where public secondary schools need to improve. 1.3 The Study’s Objectives The study’s goal is to look into the factors that influence parents’ choices of public and private schools in Nigeria. However, the specific goals are as follows: I examine the factors that encourage parents to choose private schools for their children, and ii) comprehend the reasons that convince parents to avoid public schools when selecting a school for their children. iii) To compare the perspectives of parents on school choice. 1.4 Research Proposals The following research questions guided the study: What are the factors that encourage parents to send their children to private schools? ii) What are the factors that persuade parents to avoid public schools when selecting a school for their children? iii) How can we compare parents’ perspectives on school selection? 1.5

 

Importance of the Research The study’s findings will be useful in informing the Ministry of Education about what parents consider important when selecting a school for their children. It will also provide insight into why some public schools in the country have higher enrolment than others in the same area. The information may be used by the Ministry of Education and policymakers to determine effective, efficient, and equitable resource allocation to public schools. The findings will also help to shed light on the impact of physical facilities, the academic performance of schools, pupil-teacher ratio, and proximity to the area of residence on the curriculum implementation process. The Study’s Scope The study will be carried out in ten selected (five each) public and private secondary schools in Uyo, AkwaIbom State, to demonstrate the similarities and differences in school choice in both categories of schools. 1.7

 

The Study’s Limitations The first limitation of this study will be the lack of literature on parental secondary school selection. This will be mitigated by the use of related parental choice literature at other levels of education. Another limitation is that the research will be limited to public and private secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This means that the findings will not be applicable to other levels of education. 1.8 Definitions of Terms Influence: refers to the potential of school-related elements to influence parents’ decisions about their chosen school. Parental choice is the act of a parent making a decision to select one option from a pool of several possibilities. The availability, sufficiency, and condition of physical infrastructures such as classrooms, libraries, computer laboratories, and outdoor play areas are referred to as physical facilities. School-related factors are aspects of the school environment that influence parental school selection.

ABSTRACT
Parents with more professional prestige, money, and social standing, as well as larger social networks, are more likely to send their children to private primary schools.

In comparison to lower-income families, their extensive networks provide them with more precise information about school quality and characteristics.

Any responsible society, government, and parent is concerned about educational excellence and quality assurance. Parents enroll their children in private secondary schools so that they may get a high-quality, useful education that will prepare them to thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic world. Private secondary schools seem to be meeting these parental expectations. However, private secondary schools are wholly privately managed and receive no government funding. This means that everyone who chooses to attend private secondary schools must pay for this service.

 

However, the vast majority of our population lives in poverty (NEEDS 2006) and cannot afford to send their children to private secondary schools. Public secondary schools, on the other hand, are accessible to all students, wealthy and poor alike. The government and society cannot afford to play with the quality and excellence of public secondary schools. The goal of this research was to look at the elements that influence parents’ preferences for private secondary schools. This would aid in understanding the areas where private secondary schools excel, and the government may focus on areas where public secondary schools need to improve.

 

INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Parents are the main carers for their children and are responsible for enrolling them in a school of their choosing. According to Fung and Lam (2011), parents will use their divine right of choice and prioritize their children’s best interests. This decision is often influenced by the family’s economical condition (Malmberg, Andersson & Bergsten, 2013). Parents with better professional prestige, income, and social standing, and larger social networks are more likely to send their children to private primary schools than parents with lower financial status and smaller social networks (Maangi, 2014). Their strong networks provide them with more precise information on school quality and characteristics than lower-income families get (Allen, Burgess, & McKenna, 2014).

According to Darmody, Smyth, and McCoy (2012), parental school choice is seldom driven by a single factor but by a number of interconnected variables. Beamish and Morey (2013) discovered in Australia that parents favor schools with excellent academic quality and performance. They also regard closeness to home as a crucial consideration in school selection. A school that is more than 30 minutes away is not considered a viable option (Beamish & Morey, 2013). In Australia and the United States, parents prefer lower class sizes because they feel they give more individual attention and higher education quality (Fung & Lam, 2011).

According to Rehman, Khan, Tariq, and Tasleem (2010), the learning environment in the school has a substantial impact on the quality of education. This comprises structures and amenities in a favorable location that allows for learners’ personal and social growth. As a result, parents pick schools that offer safety, convenience, and attractiveness (Yaacob, Osman & Bachok, 2014). Most parents in Malaysia and Pakistan choose private schools because they provide better educational facilities and a more suitable learning atmosphere (Rehman, et al., 2010; Yaacob et al., 2014).

Academic achievement is often used to measure a school’s desirability to parents. Parents want a school where their children are likely to excel academically. There is a notion among parents who pick private schools and the wider public that strong academic standards make certain institutions intellectually superior (Fung & Lam, 2011). As a result, parents are more inclined to choose a school based on its academic success (Yaacob etal., 2014). Parents in Malaysia choose schools with good academic achievement, according to Yaacob etal (2014), to assure their children’s future education. According to Rehma et al. (2010), parents in Pakistan choose private schools owing to strong examination outcomes. They also feel that small class sizes in private schools encourage general growth and self-confidence in students and that overcrowding in government schools is a detriment to their education.

A low pupil-teacher ratio provides for more personalized attention, tighter interactions between instructors and students, and fewer interruptions. According to Ferns, Friendly, and Prabhu (2009), “the staff-child ratio is the most important indicator of quality” (p.8). High pupil-teacher ratios, according to Nyokabi (2009), signal poor quality and are likely to reduce predicted gains. In their quest for acceptable schools, parents often choose a school that is in a convenient location. Proximity often has a threshold function, which limits the amount of time that parents are prepared to let their children go (Beamish & Morey, 2013). Although some parents do not pick the closest school owing to a perception of low-quality education (Yaacob et al., 2014), it is critical to establish an accessible distance between home and school.

According to Maangi (2014), research conducted in the United Kingdom by Bradley and Mandres (2000) found that a 10% improvement in a school’s examination score resulted in a 7% rise in enrollment. According to Goldring and Rowley (2006), in the United States of America (USA), parental choice of school is based on academic achievement and concentration. Lower test results in public schools enhance the chance of selecting a private primary school. Goldring and Rowley (2006) discovered that most schools in California, USA, do not offer transportation to and from school. As a result, while selecting a school, parents prioritize location.

Parents in Nigeria prefer private schools, which have superior facilities, to government schools, which have inadequate classrooms and are overcrowded (Onuka & Arowojolu, 2008; Adebayo, 2009; Tooley & Yngstrom, 2014). In terms of academic achievement, parents rank private schools higher than public schools (Onuka & Arowojolu, 2008; Adebayo, 2009). While the majority of parents who picked government or low-cost private schools prioritize accessibility to home, parents of children attending high-cost private schools prioritize academic accomplishment (Tooley & Yngstrom, 2014). This means that some parents will prioritize strong academic success above anything else.

Parents actively pick the schools their children attend. They make their decisions based on a variety of preferences and criteria. They sensibly and logically analyze a variety of issues and make educated decisions based on more than one aspect. However, the variables change across parents.

1.2 Formulation of the Problem
Any responsible society, government, and parent is concerned about educational excellence and quality assurance. Parents enroll their children in private secondary schools so that they may get a high-quality, useful education that will prepare them to thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic world. Private secondary schools seem to be meeting these parental expectations. However, private secondary schools are wholly privately managed and receive no government funding. This means that everyone who chooses to attend private secondary schools must pay for this service.

 

However, the vast majority of our population lives in poverty (NEEDS 2006) and cannot afford to send their children to private secondary schools. Public secondary schools, on the other hand, are accessible to all students, wealthy and poor alike. The government and society cannot afford to play with the quality and excellence of public secondary schools. The goal of this research was to look at the elements that influence parents’ preferences for private secondary schools. This would aid in understanding the areas where private secondary schools excel, and the government may focus on areas where public secondary schools need to improve.

1.3 The Study’s Objectives
The study’s goal is to look at the variables that impact parents’ choices of public and private schools in Nigeria. However, the precise goals are as follows:

I To investigate the factors that influence parents’ decisions to send their children to private schools.

ii) To comprehend the factors that persuade parents to avoid public schools when selecting a school for their children.

iii) To compare the perspectives of parents on school choice.

1.4 Research Proposals
The following research questions led the study:

I What are the elements that attract parents to send their children to private schools?

ii) What are the factors that persuade parents to shun public schools when selecting a school for their children?

iii) How can we compare parents’ perspectives on school selection?

1.5 Importance of the Research
The study’s findings will be useful in providing information to the Ministry of Education on what parents consider important when selecting a school for their children.
It will also shed light on why some public schools in the country have higher enrolment rates than others in the same geographic area. The information may be used by the Ministry of Education and policymakers to assess effective, efficient, and fair resource distribution to public schools. The data will also help to shed light on the impact of physical facilities, the academic performance of schools, pupil-teacher ratio, and proximity to the area of living on the curriculum implementation process.

The Study’s Scope
The research will be carried out at ten chosen (five each) public and private secondary schools in Uyo, AkwaIbom State, to demonstrate the parallels and differences in school choice in both categories of schools.

1.7 The Study’s Limitations
The main restriction of this research would be the lack of literature on parental secondary school selection. This will be minimized by the use of similar parental choice material at other levels of education. Another constraint is that the research would be limited to public and private secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This implies that the findings will not be applicable to other levels of education.

1.8 Definitions of Terms
Influence: refers to the potential of school-related elements to influence parents’ decisions about their chosen school.

Parental choice is the act of a parent making a decision to choose one alternative from a pool of multiple choices.

The availability, sufficiency, and quality of physical infrastructures such as classrooms, libraries, computer labs, and outdoor play spaces are referred to as physical facilities.

School-related characteristics are features of the school environment that impact parental school selection.