THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY IN THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY
1.1 Background of the Study
For some decades now, performance of Nigerian students has become a major theme of discussion in academic circles. The performance of students at the end of each academic session/year examinations has been consistently poor. Most students in various institutions of higher learning actually graduate but with very low grade after school.
Commentaries on the issue of poor performance have traded blames as to the causes of this state of affairs. While some accuse the school system, the lecturers, and government, others have accused parents, the home and students themselves. While this argument is on, the contentious issue of poverty is the umbrella with which all other reason for poor performance of students fall.
Poverty has become endemic in Nigeria with almost 700% of the population below the poverty line. It is in view of the above that one becomes particularly concerned at the poor academic performance of students. It is against this background that a research work aimed at examining the effects of poverty on the academic performance of students in our higher institutions.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
The purpose of this research is to know the causes of poverty and evaluate its effects on the academic performance of students.
The World Bank has called special attention to the causes of mass poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus lack of access to skills, facilities and opportunities is seen as the most basic cause of poverty. The reasons for such lack of access relates to the patterns of social and economic organisation, especially to the patterns of socio-economic organisation, especially to the patterns of social and economic inequality.
Other causes of poverty can be likened to unemployment or lack of capital for trading, death of a spouse, family background, social circumstances, social class, size of family, like a large family may have to cope with extra large expenses, etc. One’s quality of health can hinder one’s chances of employment, poverty in turn, can also cause ill health.
The primary reason for poverty must be sought not in the circumstances of individuals but in the state of the nation and its management. As has been argued by Kenneth Galbraith, the developed countries of the world are very poor in physical resources while the poorest countries include some of the richly endowed with physical resources, like Nigeria.
The Effects of Poverty can not be over emphasized. Poverty stops some people from participating as equals in everyday life, from feeling part of their community and from developing their skills and talents. This process is often called social exclusion. The Irish government has set a national policy target of reducing consistent poverty to 2% by 2007. The Nigerian government has included poverty reduction as part of their Millennium Development goal from 1999 to 2015.
The Academic Performance of Students can be hampered with poverty. The poor state of the economy and its adverse effect on the parents who make provision for students to pay their fees, dues, buy text books cannot be overemphasized. When fees, house rents, and other dues are not paid, the student can not be relaxed to write his examinations well especially if he is interrupted during examinations to present his school fee receipt, this can affect his performance.
The problem of this research work therefore, is to find out the extent to which poverty has affected the academic performance of students in our tertiary institutions.
1.3 Objective/Purpose Of Study
The major purpose of this is to find out why people believe that students perform poorly in their academics and to identify what factors are responsible for this. To also know to what extent and how poverty contributes to the poor academic performance of students.
Specifically, the research will:
- Examine factors which contributes to poor academic performance of students in our institutions of higher learning.
- Determine the extent to which the students themselves contribute to their poor academic performance.
- Examine the extent to which the school itself contribute to the poor academic performance of students.
- Determine whether poverty contributes to students’ poor performance.
- Make appropriate recommendations that would help in solving the problem.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This research will lead to a greater understanding of the key and major factors which hinder academic performance in our tertiary institutions and in Ebonyi State University.
The research affords the opportunity for the society, government, Educational and school administrators, lecturers, parents and students themselves to re-examine the existing trends that affects learning adversely and form an informed and effective response to the problem.
The country, state and the school system will be able to form its policies and procedures to come out with the best practices that can foster better academic performance.
1.5 Scope and Limitations
This research was conducted on finding out the effects of poverty on the academic performance of students in Ebonyi State University.
The researcher’s review of many books and write-ups on the subject of the effects of poverty on academic performance of students in Ebonyi State University was limited and constrained by a number of factors, including the following, namely:
- TIME CONSTRAINT: The researcher was unable to visit most organisations related to her study where helpful materials could have been collected due to limited and time available to her.
- FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT: The researcher did not have enough funds to enable her procure relevant textbooks and other materials for the study.
- INADEQUATE INFORMATION/MATERIALS: The researcher had difficulty sourcing accurate information/data from some organisations and the school that could not be penetrated due to their secretiveness.
Consequently, the researcher had to rely on the information gotten from textbooks, journals, etc for this study, working diligently to ensure thoroughness in information/data collection.
1.6 Research Questions
The problem of this research will be investigated by addressing the following research questions:
- How does poverty contribute to the poor academic performance of students?
- How does the learner contribute to poor academic performance?
- Does the school contribute to poor academic performance in the state university?
- Does the country’s/educational system contribute to the poor academic performance of students?
- To what extent does poverty contribute to the poor academic performance of students?
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