Education is paramount to the success and effective transformation of an individual and the society as a whole. This is because education is seen as a lifelong process that starts from birth and terminate at death. There are many factors that aid or hinder a student’s academic performance, such as socio-cultural and environmental factors. Walter in 1973 pointed out that the family into which a child is born is a major determinate factor in the subsequence success of the child in school. He further explains that the parent influence on standard, values and behaviour of their children is paramount and neither the school nor the age group could compete with parental control.
In 1966, Uka also said that the student academic performance stars from the home. He explained that the parent educational background affects both the attitude and motivation of the children. For instance, semi-literate parent with negative feeling of inadequacy may not be able to bail his child out of any academic problem. More so some negative verbal and non verbal expressions by parents who are semi-literate may cause the child to irregular attendance, skiving and general dislike for studies. Example of such expression might be in form of disregard for female education.
Also, the academic performance of students whose parent check their school work at home is different from those whose parent do not check , because such student whose school work is checked at home will always study hard to impress their parent and to also avoid being rebuked for poor performance. Hence supervision of school work at home serves as reinforcement for the students.
Another important factor that has a great effect on the academic performance of an individual is environment. The environment in which students resides can aid or hinder their academic performance because the assessment of student up to university level is based on the acquisition of factual knowledge. This body of knowledge result in attitude development and change. For instance, a student that is raised within an academic environment is likely to become academically conscious, better exposed and have more interest in academics than a student whose environment is business inclined as such student might give more priority to other things rather than education.
The afore mentioned points does not in any way undermine the influence of school teachers on academic performance of students. Teaching methodology of teachers as well as the syllabus also contributes to stair up interest of students thereby affecting the overall success of academic performance. For example, it has been observed that the primary school teacher many a time determine if student will enjoy or dislike mathematics, this is an influence might linger for life. Therefore, for student to have great academic performance the equation of their homes, environment and system of the school must be appropriately balanced.
Another factor that plays a great deal in academic performance of a student is finance. Many students become psychologically traumatised that academic performance is negatively affected when they are challenged with issues of finance. This factor is more devastating to student in higher institution, this is because at this stage they have become a bit independent, and feels a little responsible for themselves. However we cannot rule out the effect on students in high schools and pupils in primary schools that becomes the spotlight when ever issues of school fees defaulters are raised. They most times even loose self esteem and confidence in their ability.
All above specifics are true about a student; however would it mean that a child who is disadvantaged in one or more of the fore mention areas cannot perform well in academics?
The answer remains no to all, this is because many persons have beaten the disadvantages of life to be counted among success. Many have ridden on the challenges of life to become great and better persons while others take them as excuse to drop out.
Elizabeth Bolanle Bamidele is a final year student, mass communication department, Bayero University, Kano.