ACADEMIC performance is one of the crucial areas of a learner’s life. Some learners may not be bothered if they progress or not, however their parents are left with great distress if their children do not perform.
This is because families, as well as the government invest in the education of the child. On top of that, generally all parents would want their children to be successful citizens in future.
“When young people fail at school, it is most often not because they are stupid, lazy or psychologically incapable. Rather, it is because they have not been taught the developmentally appropriate tools, skills and strategies every child needs to succeed in school and in life.” John Jay.
Multiple factors come to play when it comes to academic performance of a learner, which need to be considered should one want to perform better. Research has found that determinants of learners’ performance have been the subject of on-going debate among educators, academics and policy makers.
Different people believe that different factors affect learners differently under different circumstances.
However there is some form of consensus on general factors that affect performance.
These include socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. Different people come from different backgrounds – not everyone can afford schools fees, for example, and therefore some children may not attend school properly because of such reasons, which may affect their academic performance at the end of the day.
Smoking, alcohol, time spent sleeping and stress all have a great effect on students’ academic performance (Pat & Tyler). Learners need to take care of their personal health, which includes eating healthy, doing exercise, getting enough sleep and rest.
Behaviour such as smoking and drug usage may impact the school performance as these interfere with the brain functioning.
Stress has been found to interfere with performance, and should therefore be taken seriously. Many factors can cause stress, including financial constraints, child abuse, parental neglect, irresponsibility and divorce, amongst many others.
If a child is stressed, they may not focus on their schoolwork as their minds are often occupied by disturbing thoughts that may not leave room for them to study as effectively as they ought to do. Negative thoughts can trouble a child and escalate into suicidal thoughts.
These thoughts can lead to self-destructive behavioural patterns, but the thoughts in themselves can already be distracting from schoolwork and therefore directly and indirectly have an impact on academic performance.
Some learners wish to progress in school, but they might not always perform as they wish, even if they feel they are trying their best.
Some are not aware of factors that may hinder or improve academic performance and this may leave one frustrated. ‘’Knowledge is power’’ and only once people know of something can act on it. Parental involvement and motivation is crucial when it comes to academic performance.
Learners whose parents support them during studies are more likely to bear favourable results than those who don’t get any support. It is very important for parents to help their children in making sure they do their homework and assignments, support them during exams and even when children fail parents should still offer support and motivate them to carry on.
We need an effective and productive workforce in order to better develop our nation. Through efficient support from the parents, teachers, the community and the government, we will be able to achieve this.
By: Hilma Ndapewa Mbandeka, Career Institute Africa