This study focuses on the academic performance of students at preparatory and high school levels in Irob wereda, Eastern Zone, Tigray Regional State, which is located at 37 Km far to the East of Eritrean border. It assumed that the individual and combined results of family, socio- economic, psychological and school factors on academic performance of preparatory/high level students’ in the study schools. The specific objectives of this study were to assess the factors that affect the academic performance of students at preparatory and high school levels of wereda Irob. For the study 218 students, 29 academic staff, 9 wereda administration officials, 14 tabia local administration officials and 5 PTA were selected by using stratified random sampling technique based on probability proportional to their number or size in each class. Pretest structured questionnaires were used for collecting the essential data and the focus group discussion, personal in-depth interviewee, and personal observation were used to crosscheck the data collected through the survey.
The data were analyzed using descriptive methods. The results indicated that the academic performance of students’ in the study area was determined by a variety of factors. Among these factors, students’ related factors such as self-motivation, lack of adequate effort and carelessness, and self-confidence were the most prominent factors that affect students’ academic performance. Moreover, on-availability of support system, lack of proper reading place, presence of role models, estimated income of the family’; parents attitude towards students education and household work responsibilities factors had a significant impact on students’ academic performance.
However, educational background of the family; occupation of household head; basic sanitation facilities; and presence of sources of support other than family and employment opportunity for educated students did not significantly affect the students’ academic performance. Therefore, policies should deal with academic performance of students and combating cultural, economic, psychological and institutional factors. In general, creating awareness through training on the benefit of education for all society members can greatly enhance the performance of students.
Furthermore, arranging special tutorial classes for students on regular bases for all subjects and creating conducive environment for private language school establishment to alleviate some of the challenges affecting students’ academic performance. Therefore, it was suggested that Parents, Irob wereda Education Bureau and high and preparatory schools should be more practical in this area of improvement.
Key words: Irob Wereda, Academic performance, Students, Teachers, Parents, and secondary school.
School, colleges and universities have no worth without students (Irfan & Shabana, June 2012). Students are most essential asset for any educational institute. The social and economic development of the country is directly linked with student academic performance. The students’ performance (academic performance) plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates who was come great leader and manpower for the country thus responsible for the country’s economic and social development (Ali et.al, 2009).
Student academic performance measurement has received considerable attention in previous research, it is challenging aspects of academic literature, and science student performance are affected due to social, psychological, economic, environmental and personal factors. These factors strongly influence on the student performance, but these factors vary from person to person and country to country (Ali et.al, 2009).
Moreover, in this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well-being and opportunities for better living (Battle & Lewis, 2002). It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. This increase in productivity also leads towards new sources of earning which enhances the economic growth of a country (Saxton, 2000).
The quality of students’ performance remains at top priority for educators. It is meant for making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively for quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside and outside school that affect students’ quality of academic performance. These factors may be termed as student factors, family factors, school factors and peer factors (Crosnoe, Johnson & Elder, 2004). The formal investigation about the role of these demographic factors rooted back in 17thcentury (Mann, 1985).
In a broader context demography is referred to as a way to explore the nature and effects of demographic variables in the biological and social context. Unfortunately, defining and measuring the quality of education is not a simple issue and the complexity of this process increases due to the changing values of quality attributes associated with the different stakeholders’ view point (Blevins, 2009; Parri, 2006).
Besides other factors, socioeconomic status is one of the most researched and debated factor among educational professionals that contribute towards the academic performance of students (Tesfaye, 2013). The most prevalent argument is that the socioeconomic status of learners affects the quality of their academic performance.
Most of the experts argue that the low socioeconomic status has negative effect on the academic performance of students because the basic needs of students remain unfulfilled and hence they do not perform better academically (Adams, 1996).
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