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PROJECT TOPIC: SOCIO - ECONOMIC STATUS AND CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL LIFE CHANCES: A STUDY OF PEASANT FARMERS IN BASAWA AND BOMO DISTRICTS OF KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1         Background to the Study

 

Education is one of the most enduring legacies which a nation can bequeath to

 

her succeeding generations. This is because education serves as an illumination through

 

which people see the path to solving their problems. Education generally is accepted as

 

a vital asset for social mobility, economic mobility, and a societal transformation factor,

 

for both personal and national levels. Mahuta (2007) views formal education as the type

 

of education that is taught in schools which is planned and organized with aims and

 

goals that are intended to be achieved. According to Swift (1996), as cited in Mahuta

 

(2007), education is the way the individual acquires the physical, moral and social

 

capacities demanded of him by the group into which he is born and within which he

 

must function. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), as cited in Mahuta (2007), sees education

 

as, the influence exercised by adult generations on the younger ones that are not yet

 

ready for social life. It can therefore be said that education arouses and develops in an

 

individual certain number of physical, intellectual and moral skills which are demanded

 

of him by both the political society as a whole and his social environment in which he

 

or she lives.

 

Emile Durkheim as quoted in Haralambos & Heald (1980) maintains that;

 

Society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands. Durkheim argues that to become attached to the society, the child must feel in it something that is real, alive and powerful, which dominates the person and to which he also owes the best part of himself. (p 173)

 

Education  is  a  sound  investment  that  is  expected  to  enhance  the  economic

 

growth of individuals which implies that education is a strong factor of social mobility.

This means that education has the ability to influence a person’s future socio-economic status in the society. That is to say, a person who has attained higher level of education is likely to have higher chances of getting a good job which in return determines an individual’s social class in a society. Socio-economic status is a sociological and economical combined total measure of an individual or family’s economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education and occupation. Socio-economic status is typically broken into three categories; high socio-economic status, middle class socio-economic status, and low socio-economic status to describe the three classes a family or an individual may fall into.


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