Assessment Of Factors Responsible For Poor Performance Of Pupils In Public Primary Schools, , A CASE STUDY OF GWAGWALADA


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The title of the project topic is assessment of factors responsible for poor performance of pupils in public primary schools, a case study of Gwagwalada.The specific objectives are to ascertain environmental factors as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja, examine teachers factors as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools inGwagwalada Area Council Abuja, determine the attitudes of pupils as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools inGwagwalada Area Council Abuja and find out attitudes of parent as causes of pupils poor academic performance in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja.And base on the hypothesis testing the null hypotheses is rejected whereas the alternative hypotheses is accepted, all the two research null hypothesis for this study: Teacher factor has significance effect on the poor performance of pupils in public primary school and there is significance relationship between attitudes of parent and pupils poor academic performance in primary schools.the analysis was represented in tabular form for easy understanding and it consist the number of respondents and the corresponding percentage and chi – square was used as the statistical tools used for testing more than two population using data base on two independent random samples. . Since it is usually not possible to study the entire larger population of all public primary school in Abuja, the researcher has chosen 56 staff and parent of primary school in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja as the studied population in order to find a possible solution.


Students’ academic performances are affected by a number of pedagogical and sociopsychological factors or intervening variables, Adeyemo (2005). Such variables include locus of control, self-efficacy, students’ interest in schooling, self-concepts, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-regulation, study habits, parental involvement, and peer influence among others. Any of these factors will however have either a positive or negative influence on students’ academic performance thereby leading to either poor or a good academic performance depending on how influential the factor is. Poor academic performance according to Aremu and Sokan (2003), is a performance that is adjudged by the examinee/testee and some other significant as falling below an expected standard. Poor academic performance has been observed in school subjects especially mathematics and English language among secondary school students (Adesemowo, 2005). Aremu (2000), stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and politics. Education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The National Policy on Education (2004), stipulated that secondary education is an instrument for national development that fosters the worth and development of the individual for further education and development, general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children, irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities. The role of secondary education is to lay the foundation for further education and if a good foundation is laid at this level, there are likely to be no problem at subsequent levels. However, different people at different times have passed the blame of poor performance in secondary school to students because of their low retention, parental factors, association with wrong peers, low achievement, low retention, low achievement motivation and the likes (Aremu&Sokan, 2003; Aremu&Oluwole 2001; Aremu, 2000). The question therefore is what is the cause of this fallen standard and poor academic performance of students? Is the fault entirely that of teachers, students, parents or all of them? Is it that students of today are non-achievers because they have low intelligent quotient and a good neutral mechanism to be able to act purposefully, think rationally and deal effectively with academic tasks? Or is it because teachers are no longer putting in much commitment as before? Or is it in teachers’ method of teaching and interaction with pupils? Or is the poor performance of students caused by parents’ neglect, separation and poverty? The present study therefore sought to find out parents and students interest as determinants of students’ academic performance in agricultural science in selected secondary schools in Oyo metropolis, Oyo State. The past years have experienced the evolution of research pertaining to interest. Several studies concerned with the effect of interest factors on academic performance in secondary schools have yielded positive results. Adeyemo (2005), stated that “the importance of interest in whatever a person does cannot be underestimated”. Interest has to do with a learners’ predisposition to react positively in certain ways towards certain aspects of the environment and interest is usually developed in relation to and remained allied to more basic motives. Interest reaction to any situation depends on the situation’s potential or actual fulfillment of personal needs and goals. When it comes to making choices, interest is of considerable importance. When making a distinction about the structure of interest Hidi and Anderson in Adeyemo (2005), identified two forms of interest, namely, personal and situational interest. They explain that a student can approach a learning situation with or without interest. Situational interest on the other hand, refers to an interest that people acquired by participating in an environment or context. In this study therefore, interest is linked to the parents and students in relation to schooling. A parent’s interest and encouragement in a child’s education can affect the child’s attitude towards school, classroom conduct, self esteem, absenteeism and motivation. According to Comer (2006), parents’ interest in, and support of their children’s school help reinforce students’ sense of belonging to school and their identification with teachers and other school personnel. Clark (2003), also noted that parent–initiated contacts with their children’s school help strengthen students’ identification with teachers. In examining the interaction among parental involvement, teacher’s support and students’ sense of belonging to school, students whose parents are involved and interested in their school activities are better able to take advantage if the benefits of supportive teachers or school environments for their academic performance. Individual interest has been hypothesized to be a relatively enduring predisposition to attend to certain objects and activities, and it associates with positive effect, persistence and learning (Hidi&Ainley, 2002; Krap, 2000; Reninger, 2000). Reninger (2000), asserts that “people working with individual interests are motivated learners, their activity appears purposeful, sustained, and ever deepening; they do not really need to make a choice to learn subject matter that is of individual interest to them”. Choice, to Reninger in this sense is largely an effortless process. As Schiefele (1991), observes, interest leads to a mastery goal orientation when learners are motivated by interest. Learners are motivated by intrinsic reward when they recognize that, in the pursuit of an interest, they will be drawn to master the knowledge skills, not just to demonstrate them (Bandura in Edelson and Diana, 2001). Following the theoretical framework developed by Krapp (2000), Schiefele (1991), and Koller et al. (2001), interest is considered a person-object relation that is characterized by the value commitment and positive emotional valences. Interest driven activities are characterized by the experience of competence and personal control, feelings of autonomy and self-determination, positive emotional states under optimal circumstances, an experience of flow whereby the person and the object of interest coincide (Csikszentmihalyi and Schievele, 1993). Schievele et al. (1992), conclude that the overall correlation between interest and academic achievement was about 0.30; however this relation was heterogeneous across different school subjects and indicators of achievement. Since most studies in this area of research are cross sectional based on correlations, Schiefele (2001), concludes that: Firstly, most of the cognitive ability and level of prior achievement or knowledge were not included as additional predictor variable. Consequently, one cannot say precisely whether interest predicts achievement. Secondly, most of these studies were correlational in nature and thus do not allow causal conclusion. Empirically, Schiefele (1992), reports on an overall correlation between interest and academic achievement, while Odinko and Adeyemo (1999), find that interest in schooling together with other socio-psychological factors are good predictors of students’ learning outcome in and attitude to English language respectively. In a longitudinal study conducted by Koller et al. (2001), which covers the high school years, it is found that interest in mathematics has no direct effect on achievement but has effect on course work selection and achievement. It is on this note that it was expected that parents interest in schooling would have a large role in children’s performance. The foregoing, have shown that one of the greatest barriers to high academic achievement in agricultural science for a good number of students is lack of parents’ and students’ interest in agriculture and farming.

The development of any nation or community largely depends upon the quality of education available to its citizens. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources. Hence, formal education remains the vital tool for social-economic development and social mobilization in any society or nation. Primary education is the foundation on which further education is built. Primary education has two main purposes. The first purpose is to produce a literate and numerate population that can jointly deal with problems both at home and at work. It also serves as a foundation on which further education is built (Akanle, 2007). Achieving Universal Primary Education is an international priority set by the United Nations (UN). In April 2000, a Work Education Forum was held in Dakar to achieve the EFA goals. In the same year, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were declared by the UN to assist developing countries in their efforts to increase the living standards of people. The second MDG was to “ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling” (UN, 2006, p.5). This millennium target is often measured through primary school-enrolment, primary-completion and the literacy and numeracy rate among school pupils (Vegas &Petrow, 2008 cited in Adane, (2013)).

Over the past few years, concerns have been raised about the poor academic performance of pupils in school. However, researchers have shown that lack of teacher’s motivation, inadequate teaching and learning materials, lack of qualified teachers and several other related factors affect academic performance of pupils in Nigeria primary schools.

This situation raises questions about the depth of understanding of factors affecting the low performance of pupils in Nigeria primary school. The pertinent questions to address, therefore, are what is the cause of this poor academic performance of pupils? Is the fault entirely that of teachers or pupils or both of them? Or is the poor performance of students caused by parents‟ neglect or school environmental factors? The present study therefore sought to identify factors responsible for poor academic performance among public primary school pupils in Nigeria in order to assist educational authorities to develop appropriate strategies to improve their output.

The central objective of the study is to assess the factors responsible for the poor academic performance in public primary schools. The specific objectives are:

i.        Ascertain environmental factors as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja.

ii.       Examine teachers factors as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja.

iii.      Determine the attitudes of pupils as causes of poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja.

iv.      Find out attitudes of parent as causes of pupils poor academic performance in primary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja.

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