Quality Of Parental-Care In Nigeria Rated Poorly: Basic Education And Family Planning Identified As Key Remedies

Abuja, Nigeria. April 5th, 2016 –Latest public opinion poll results released by NOIPolls Limited has revealed that about 4 in 10 (37 percent) Nigerians are of the opinion that the quality of parental care in the country is ‘poor’ and this represents more than two-thirds of respondents polled. Nigerians in this category supported their opinion with observations such as poor morals and home training (41 percent), as well as poor disciplinary standards (16 percent) which is becoming commonplace in Nigerian homes; while also stating that parents often lack the financial strength (14 percent) to support quality child up-bringing. Moreover, about 3 in 10 (34 percent) rated parental care as ‘average’, pointing out the “busy schedule of parents” (34 percent), “harsh economic situation” (17 percent), and “lack of financial strength” (16 percent), amongst others for an average rating.

More findings from the poll revealed that the top five areas where Nigerian parents are considered to be lacking in parental care are ‘Home training/Morals’ (47 percent), ‘Discipline’ (33 percent), ‘Educational Motivation/Stimulation’ (29 percent), ‘Societal interaction’ (14 percent) and ‘Language, Culture & Ethnic values’ (12 percent).  Based on these perceptions, most Nigerians (78 percent) are willing to support the enforcement of policies to set standards for child up-bringing in the country, especially in the area of basic education (73 percent) for the average Nigerian child. This is no surprise given the decline in the nation’s education system proven by its failure to attain any of the global education goals for 2015[1].  

Finally, while poll results clearly point out parental up-bringing (25 percent), Peer-groups (20 percent), Behaviour of parents (10 percent), Media (9 percent), Quality of education (9 percent) and Internet access (7 percent) as factors influencing the behaviour of children in Nigeria; some Nigerians suggest that the enforcement of policies on family planning (14 percent), child custody (10 percent), and media access (10 percent), basic health requirements (9 percent) will help improve the quality of parental care received by children in the Nigeria. These are the key findings from the Parental Care Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of March 28th 2016.

Brief Background

Sociologists have since proven that the human society is made up of people, and that their behavioural make-up is fundamentally determined by their parents; how they are nurtured from childhood and the role the parents played in their formative years up to adulthood.  Parental care is a common denominator that clearly determines whether a child becomes a successful person in life, well-equipped with societal creeds and good moral values or ultimately becomes a social deviant. Parenting is the process of providing for and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood[2].  The primary caretakers of a child are the biological parents while the secondary caretakers could be siblings, relatives, trusted guardians and the government[3]. Quality parenting varies because of environment, the level of education and financial capabilities of the parents, cultural backgrounds, religious inclinations, and parenting skills etc.

In a modern day society like Nigeria, many contemporary social problems are beginning to emerge which are against her norms, morals and ethics and could be attributed as negative. Some of these problems are in some ways attributable to ineffective parenting and while it is imperative that the government set new or enforce old policies relating to child up-bringing in Nigeria, being the first point of social interaction and integration, parents must take bold steps in nurturing their children and providing them with the basic necessities they require. Such existing policies especially in the areas of child education and welfare, child abuse and rape, child protection, and child health, and child labor needs to be effectively enforced[4]. Well-organized family planning programs will reduce over-population, ensure child health, and family planning to ensure children are taken care of financially, emotionally, socially and intellectually.

Owing to the growing rate of crimes and social ills, juvenile delinquency, general perceptions and opinions of the public regarding parenting in Nigeria, in order to determine its quality as well as other key issues needed to be sought. In view of this, NOIPolls conducted a public opinion poll to ascertain opinion and perceptions of Nigerians regarding parental care in Nigeria.

Survey Findings

This survey was conducted to ascertain the level of the quality of care Nigerian parents provide their children and the results showed that 34 percent respondents nationwide rated the quality of parental care in Nigeria to be at an ‘Average’, 29 percent rated it “Good” and 37 percent rated it “Poor”. More analysis across geo-political zones depicts the South-South region (43 percent) had the highest portion of respondents who gave an “Average” rating, while the South-East region recorded the lowest (29 percent) percentage of respondent in this category.

Further analysis across geo-political zones revealed that the North-East region (36 percent) had the highest proportion of respondents who gave a “good”, while the North-Central and the South-South regions recorded the lowest proportion of respondents in this category (31 percent each). Also, analysis across age-groups showed that the older age-group categories (61+) and (46-60) had the highest portion of respondents that stated that the quality parental care in Nigeria is ‘poor’ with 46 percent and 43 percent respectively.

Respondents were further asked reasons for the response above and the results revealed that the category of respondents who rated the quality of parental care either as ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ cited; poor home trainings (41 percent), and ‘poor disciplinary standard’ (16 percent) amongst others as their top reasons. Those who rated it as ‘average’ mentioned; busy schedules of the parents (24 percent)  harsh economic situation (17 percent)  and a lack of financial strength (16 percent) amongst other reasons.

In addition, the category who rated the quality of parenting in Nigeria as either ‘very good’ or ‘good’, held the view that; ‘parents are doing their best’ (35 percent), ‘good home training and morals’ (27 percent) and ‘parents put their children in good schools’ (24 percent) among other mentions.

The survey sought to gain insight on areas where parents in Nigeria are lacking in terms of up-bringing or parenting style and the results showed that the top five highlights as stated by respondents are ‘Home training/Morals’ (47 percent), ‘Discipline’ (33 percent), ‘Educational Motivation/Stimulation’ (29 percent), ‘Societal interaction’ (14 percent) and ‘Language, Culture & Ethnic values’ (12 percent). 

In order to ascertain the level of support of Nigerians on government intervention on child up-bringing in the country, results showed that a large proportion (78 percent) of respondents nationwide indicated that they would support such the enforcement of policies to set standards on child up-bringing.  Contrarily, 22 percent showed no support.

Analysis across geo-political zones revealed that the North-East (90 percent) and the North-West (87 percent) zones recorded the highest percentage of respondent who indicated that they would support the Nigerian government to enforce policies on child upbringing; also the results showed that the North-Central zone (66 percent) had lowest portion of respondents in this category.

In establishing areas where Nigerians think the government should enforce policies to set standards on child up-bringing a majority (73 percent) cited “Basic Education”. This arguably supports the fact that the nation’s education system is fast declining proven by its failure to attain any of the global education goals of 2015[5]. Other areas mentioned are; ‘family planning’ (14 percent), ‘Technology / Media access’ (10 percent), ‘Child custody’ (10 percent) and ‘Basic health requirements’ (9 percent) amongst other reasons.

Finally, poll results show that factors that mostly influence children behaviourally are; ‘parental upbringing’ 25 percent, 20 percent cited ‘Peer groups’, while 10 percent mentioned the ‘Behaviour of parents’. Other factors mentioned by the respondents, among others are ‘Quality of education’ (9 percent), ‘Media’ (9 percent), and ‘Internet’ (7 percent).

In conclusion, this survey has shown that Nigerians have varied opinions on the quality of parental care in Nigeria, with 37 percent of respondents stating that the quality of parental care in Nigeria is ‘Poor’, 34 percent rated it average, while 29 percent gave 'good' ratings. The poll also revealed that the top five areas where Nigerian parents are considered to be lacking in parental care are ‘Home training/Morals’ (47 percent), ‘Discipline’ (33 percent), ‘Educational Motivation/Stimulation’ (29 percent), ‘Societal interaction’ (14 percent) and ‘Language, Culture & Ethnic values’ (12 percent). Finally, while findings also revealed that Nigerians would be willing to support government interventions through the enforcement of policies to set standards for child up-bringing in Nigeria, especially in the area of basic education; it is important that all other actors and appropriate stakeholders in child development take cognizance of these negatives and devise means to spin them into positives that will in-turn raise the bar on the quality of parental care in Nigeria. 

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of March 28th 2016. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited is the No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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[1] http://guardian.ng/features/education/nigeria-misses-2015-global-education-goals/

[2] Davies, Martin (2000). The Blackwell encyclopedia of social work. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-631-21451-9.

[3]   Bernstein, Robert (20 February 2008). "Majority of Children Live With Two Biological Parents". Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009.

[4] http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/nigeria-federal-government-adopts-draft-policy-to-eradicate-child-labor

[5] http://guardian.ng/features/education/nigeria-misses-2015-global-education-goals