School education is an important sub-sector of the entire educational system. It acts as a feeder for the higher level of education. The quality of higher education, which is expected to produce high quality professionals in different fields of social, economic and political life of the country hinges on the quality of school age education.
The attitude which children display towards school often reflects their attitude towards their teachers, parents, friends and other related variables of school education. Effective teachers are those who individualise instruction, interact with students, keep students task oriented, enrich classroom environment, encourage students, recognize academic strengths and talents of students and have good personality, knowledge and professional competencies.
Parents who envision their children attending university need to prepare them early. Efforts to increase students’ academic performance and achievement have also been linked to family involvement, emotional support, parents’ aberrance to education, their economic conditions, social background, the way parents communicate with teachers and actively participate in educational program can increase the performance of students.
Commitment of students and their motivation to achieve their potential rests within themselves. Students’ self efficacy, self reliance, adaptability, flexibility, decision making, problem solving, intelligence, reading habits and confidence are the factors that add to their university preparation and performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the school age experiences of university students, specifically, the roles their school teachers, parents, and they themselves played in preparing them for higher education.
The main objectives of the study were 1) to identify the factors that were helpful in preparing students for higher education. 2)to measure the role of school teachers, parents, students themselves, peers and school environment in preparing students for higher education and 3)to highlight suggestive measures for improvement of education at school age.
The population of this study consisted of all the university students enrolled in higher educational courses. A sample of one thousand students from twenty universities was randomly selected. Data collected through developed questionnaire was tabulated, analysed and discussed. Chi Square was applied to determine whether the observed frequencies were significantly different from the expected frequencies. Parameter for acceptance and rejection of statement was at 0.05 significance level.
Main conclusions of study were that the students negated the role of school teachers, student self, peers and school environment with the preparation skills needed for university level work, while only parents role was found significant in preparing students for higher education. It was recommended that schools should provide opportunities to attend programme that include student mentors suggestions and share their experience. Incentive programme for teachers must be strengthened. Adequate facilities in terms of physical, financial, residential, laboratories, libraries, student support services and a congenial academic atmosphere must be provided. The teachers should be trained in communication sills and classroom verbal interaction analysis.