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THE EFFECT OF POVERTY ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a process through which individual acquires skills, competencies, and attitude. It is the right of every child to be educated, be it traditional or western. Thus, education is been regarded as culture to man, people and the nation of the world at large. This explains why man has to educate himself and his offspring in the society. Poverty is one of the factors militating against man from carrying out his educational activities perfectly. Because of the various perception and complexities of the term poverty, a universally agreed definition cannot be arrived at. But then poverty according to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (2000) defined poverty as the state of being poor. Oguw Mike (2005) sees poverty as a way of life characterized by low calorie intake, inaccessibility of adequate health facilities low quality education system, low life expectancy, unemployment and under-employment. Leroy and Symes (2001) consider poverty as a major anti-risk factors relating the concept poverty to Nigeria, it will therefore be considered in a broader way which implies that it has be viewed in various perspectives which include one national state and home background. At the national level, a nation can be considered poor when her economic standard is very low and this automatically makes the nation underdeveloped. The economy of a country that does not reached certain stage of development in terms of infrastructure and other development indices. As regard poverty in the family level, we are referring to the home background. Even before the indigenous education or western type of education, the home has always been the agency through which man learns various aspect of life to enable him live a meaningful life in his environment. The home which is also known as traditional way of educating the young ones is still regarded as the first school of a child before he enters the larger society.
The role of the home cannot be over emphasized because the general assumptions that states of poverty in the family or home goes to a long way to determine the extent of youth or students educational development. Education is seen by many as the route to alleviate poverty. There is no doubt that meaningful; education is the most potent instrument for alleviating and eventually abolishing poverty. In considering the effect of poverty on academic performance of students to be precise, the home background is the most important phenomenon that needs to be seriously considered in order to enhance the effective study of the relationship between poverty and students academic performance. In view of this, some factors that needed to be considered in the home or family background are parents academic qualification, socio-economic class and facilities available in home or home environment as well as parent status.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Evidence shows that in Nigeria, the number of those in poverty has continued to increase every year. By 1999, when the government came into power, it was estimated that more than 70% of Nigeria lived in poverty. In recent years, it has been a controversy through in the mind of people that if the poor status of any society or nation, even family can really have an impact on the students educational performance. In view of this, the study intends to investigate the positive and negative impact of poverty on the student’s education in Nigeria. This is because the diversity of the world poverty by different scholars who have used it in their course of study and how it has affected the learning and performance of the students in their educational development. Goldstem (1976) admitted this concept when he said that the fact that much of youth educational development takes places in a circle or home, the child begins to attend school in psychological tourism, an attempt would be made to determine the influence of parent’s socio-economic performance and the poverty impact on students education. There is a group which contents the poor have right to be assisted on the bases of group solidarity. Oijkstra (1984) we know that in Africa, the system of the extended family addresses the issues of poverty in the community.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of poverty on the student’s academic performance in Nigeria emphasizing on some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The study is to find out whether students of nation can really be affected with any economic standard of the nation. The study also tries to find out the extend of which any community standard of living can affect the students education in that community. Some teachers are surprise when it comes to evaluate performance of some students such teachers might find a particular students in class performing extremely poor despite all kinds of skills employed in carrying out an effective teaching and learning process which extremely well.
This study will also provide possible suggestion, in enhancing or improving the student’s academic performance by bringing out strategies to alleviate poverty. For instance by introducing the Britain welfare legislative system by providing accommodation, transportation, feeding, sickness benefiting, clothing etc those families living below the poverty level.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is important when looked at from the concept of poverty and the three various factors, the national level, the community level and the home level or family background which influence student’s educational needs. It is hoped that the study definitely identified some of the essential factors existing in the various level as they influence students in their performance. The study will give solution on how to improve students’ academic performance. The level of literacy can also influence the level of performance in economic enterprise. This is why Africa tradition insists on lifelong education as a process of acquiring various types of literacy, cultural, political, religious etc for meaningful and effective living.
The study will also focus on the need for government to incorporate parents in planning, for student. This is because the parents know best the environment under which students at home will learn and other variable which affect their performance. The study also enables us to know that poverty has become serious problem in Nigeria. Despite her oil wealth, Nigeria becomes one of the poorest nation in the world. This life span as short and there are social, political and economic difficulties. Begging has become a vocation to many who now live on the street. The crime rate is alarming, as violence, fraud and armed robbery increase. One way of solving the problem of poverty is to introduce measures ameliorate an equitable distribution of resource.
Henner Hilder Brand (1994) believes that the process of alleviating might be beyond the acquisition of literacy and the introduction of income general efforts. He seems to be suggesting that the cure of poverty would be the conclusion of people in decision and policies. The living conditions of the poor also signify lacks of participatory opportunities in the economics, cultural, political and social areas. The living conditions of the fight against poverty should consequently focus on eliminating the deficits mentioned in order to be effective in the long-run.
For the proper examination of this study, the following have been formulated to serve as a guide in the conduct of the investigation.
- What is the impact of environmental factors on the academic performance of students?
- To what extent does the economic status of any nation affects its students academic performance?
- Does the economic status of the parent have an impact on the academic performance?
- Does the educational background of your parent have any impact on your academic performance?
- Does lack of equipment like textbooks affect the academic performance?
SCOPE/DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
A study of this type requires a wide coverage area but it is subjected to certain constraint, which includes;
- Insufficient funds which hindered getting enough information from many other schools.
- The period of time is limited.
- This research is restricted to some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State only.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Poverty: It is the lack of basic human needs, such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, shelter, transportation etc poverty is said to exist when people or individual lack the means of satisfying basic needs.
Family: family is a social group which consists of father, mother and children in this work, we can classify family to be a man, his wife, or wives, and children.
Academic performance/Achievement: This is how students can perform in academic. It also refers to as the score or grades obtained by students in examination in their various school. it could be high academic performance which means pass or low academic performance which means failure.
Home Environment: This refers to the surrounding in which the students live. In this study it means the adequate facility which the home has provided for students. It could be radio, sleeping space, television and reading room whether conducive for learning or not.
Poverty Alleviation: This is the act of reducing poverty. In this course of study, it refers to when the problem of poverty is resolved.