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The Effects of Family Factors on Educational attainment in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Abstract:

Governments of The Bahamas have long held the view shared by the World Bank (1999) that education in general, and higher levels of schooling in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge economy and society in all nations. In the four decades following the attainment of independence in 1973, significant activity and important developments within the Bahamian educational system have taken place. Enhanced budgetary allocations, considerable improvement in the preparation of teachers, reductions in the student teacher ratio, the universalization of primary and secondary education, increased educational opportunities at the tertiary level, all point to significant progress made in education (Bethel, 1997).

However, these developments notwithstanding, the levels of educational attainment characteristic of the population (given the degree of investment reposed in the sector and the long tradition of compulsory schooling) is a source of continuing concern. Opposition politicians, employers and some academics fault the education system for not producing enough high school graduates and those with the skills needed to meet labor market needs and contribute positively (reflected in the problematic attitudes and risky behavior of many youth) (King, 2009; Bethel,1997). In addition, policymakers, college professors, and corporate citizens are particularly distressed about secondary school completion levels and the under-representation of the traditional age students and males in tertiary education (Chipman-Johnson and Vanderpool, 2003).

Several factors including macro-structural, community and family factors impact upon educational attainment (Whitsel, 2011; Feinstein, 2008). Studies that investigate the relationship between family factors and educational attainment tend to highlight parental education and family income as indicators of family factors. While research on the factors that influence educational attainment is available, there is a paucity of information existing on the factors that influence educational attainment in countries having the characteristics of The Bahamas: small island developing/emerging state with a colonial past located in the Anglophone Caribbean.

This study supposes that in the context of The Bahamas family factors are likely to contribute greatly to educational attainment. However, there is a desire to get a clearer understanding supported by empirical research findings. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of family factors on educational attainment, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. By shifting the context to that of a small state in the Anglophone Caribbean region, the study broadens the understanding of and adds to the body of knowledge on educational attainment.

A variety of univariate and bivariate statistics along with logistic regressions techniques was used to develop a descriptive profile of educational attainment and the associated family factors which help to create this profile. In order to examine factors that influence educational attainment, this study analyzed data from a structured interview schedule, administered to 600 persons. Each respondent answered questions relating to such matters as theirs and their parents’ educational attainment, socio-demographic factors such as place of residence, nationality, sex, age and family related factors including family structure, sibship (size and birth order), religion.

Initial findings indicate that there are several developments of interest. Most respondents state that lack of resources was the principal reason which exerted a negative impact on their level of educational attainment. On the positive side, mother’s emotional support for their children’s education was cited as important to them realizing their level of educational attainment. Predictably, the respondent’s level of educational attainment differs appreciably by parents’ nationality, educational attainment, occupation and perceived family income and place of residence. Less predictable was the differences in level of educational attainment based on the respondents’ religious affiliation (i.e. between Christian sects), type of school attended and the assumed number of siblings by way of the father occurring outside the mother/father union.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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MLA Citation:

Taylor, Marcellus. and Johnson, Pandora. "The Effects of Family Factors on Educational attainment in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717999_index.html>

APA Citation:

Taylor, M. C. and Johnson, P. , 2014-03-10 "The Effects of Family Factors on Educational attainment in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717999_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Governments of The Bahamas have long held the view shared by the World Bank (1999) that education in general, and higher levels of schooling in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge economy and society in all nations. In the four decades following the attainment of independence in 1973, significant activity and important developments within the Bahamian educational system have taken place. Enhanced budgetary allocations, considerable improvement in the preparation of teachers, reductions in the student teacher ratio, the universalization of primary and secondary education, increased educational opportunities at the tertiary level, all point to significant progress made in education (Bethel, 1997).

However, these developments notwithstanding, the levels of educational attainment characteristic of the population (given the degree of investment reposed in the sector and the long tradition of compulsory schooling) is a source of continuing concern. Opposition politicians, employers and some academics fault the education system for not producing enough high school graduates and those with the skills needed to meet labor market needs and contribute positively (reflected in the problematic attitudes and risky behavior of many youth) (King, 2009; Bethel,1997). In addition, policymakers, college professors, and corporate citizens are particularly distressed about secondary school completion levels and the under-representation of the traditional age students and males in tertiary education (Chipman-Johnson and Vanderpool, 2003).

Several factors including macro-structural, community and family factors impact upon educational attainment (Whitsel, 2011; Feinstein, 2008). Studies that investigate the relationship between family factors and educational attainment tend to highlight parental education and family income as indicators of family factors. While research on the factors that influence educational attainment is available, there is a paucity of information existing on the factors that influence educational attainment in countries having the characteristics of The Bahamas: small island developing/emerging state with a colonial past located in the Anglophone Caribbean.

This study supposes that in the context of The Bahamas family factors are likely to contribute greatly to educational attainment. However, there is a desire to get a clearer understanding supported by empirical research findings. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of family factors on educational attainment, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. By shifting the context to that of a small state in the Anglophone Caribbean region, the study broadens the understanding of and adds to the body of knowledge on educational attainment.

A variety of univariate and bivariate statistics along with logistic regressions techniques was used to develop a descriptive profile of educational attainment and the associated family factors which help to create this profile. In order to examine factors that influence educational attainment, this study analyzed data from a structured interview schedule, administered to 600 persons. Each respondent answered questions relating to such matters as theirs and their parents’ educational attainment, socio-demographic factors such as place of residence, nationality, sex, age and family related factors including family structure, sibship (size and birth order), religion.

Initial findings indicate that there are several developments of interest. Most respondents state that lack of resources was the principal reason which exerted a negative impact on their level of educational attainment. On the positive side, mother’s emotional support for their children’s education was cited as important to them realizing their level of educational attainment. Predictably, the respondent’s level of educational attainment differs appreciably by parents’ nationality, educational attainment, occupation and perceived family income and place of residence. Less predictable was the differences in level of educational attainment based on the respondents’ religious affiliation (i.e. between Christian sects), type of school attended and the assumed number of siblings by way of the father occurring outside the mother/father union.


Similar Titles:
The Relationship between Family Factors and Educational attainment In The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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