ERIC Number: ED456968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Home Environment and School Achievement: A Longitudinal Study of Primary School Children in Swaziland.
Booth, Margaret Zoller
In rural Swaziland, fathers often migrate for work, leaving wives and children behind. The family is denied the presence of a husband, father, and role model, as well as economic support, which fathers often fail to remit home regularly. A longitudinal study investigated the effects of parent availability and other home characteristics on the school achievement of 80 rural Swazi children in 6 schools. Results indicate that father absence was a significant detriment for Swazi children, particularly boys, as they progressed through school. When compared to other home characteristics, parental availability was one of the top predictors of school success, followed by the amount of time available at home for schoolwork, regularity of parental reading at home, regularity of the child being read to at home, presence of someone to aid in schoolwork, and regularity of the child eating breakfast. In addition to father absence, other socially constructed variables rather than academic ability hindered the educational progress of Swazi schoolchildren. Both boys and girls experienced problems receiving quality education but for different reasons. Girls generally performed better academically than boys, but they also dropped out at higher rates. Girls dropped out because of pregnancy and marriage; boys dropped out because they fell behind due to staying home and caring for livestock. A school preparedness test administered in grade 1 was able to predict those students who would repeat grades, but not those who would drop out. (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Dropout Rate, Educational Attainment, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Family Environment, Fatherless Family, Females, Foreign Countries, Males, Migrant Workers, Parent Influence, Parent Student Relationship, Role Models, Rural Education, School Readiness, Sex Differences
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Swaziland