Esprit Rock

Determining the factors that affect students’ performance is not a trivial matter

Determining the factors that affect students’ performance is not a trivial matter. It may be subject to various factors, including socio-economic, background of students, their family structure and family environment, personal attitude of a student towards his/her studies, level of stress in family or in educational institution, peer pressure, family support financial as well as in studies, teachers’ level of teaching, and so on. However, as the topic on factors affecting is vast, some important variables have chosen, and the details are below:
Factors affecting Performance
1.Socio – economic factors affecting performance
i) Students’ Parents/Guardians Education background
This may be due to parents/guardians who do not have education beyond secondary school education, this way they may not be good role models for the children. Desarrollo (2007) pointed that the extent to which parents or other family members are actively involved in a student’s education had a positive effect on the student’s attainment.
ii) Source of Income for Students’ Parents/Guardians
According to Conger et al 1992, 1993, 1999 low parental socio-economic status is related with diminished resources hence contributing to lower academic achievement.
iii) Cultural Factors
Children who come from insecure surrounding caused by socio cultural practices such as cattle rustling, early marriages and so on display emotional problems at school. They don’t have concentration in class and confidence in whatever job they are given to do (Durojaiye, 1976).
2.Students Personal Factors Adding/giving to Poor Performance
Mwamwenda (1995) contended that the achievement of students in a subject is figured out by their attitudes rather than inability to study. Haimowitz (1989) pointed to the cause of most failures in schools might not be due to inadequate instruction but by active resistance by the learners. This argument hints that good attitudes should be developed for achievement in the subject to improve.

3.School Based Factors that Add/give to Poor Performance
i) Methods of Teaching
According to (Costello, 1991) lecture method is ineffective in that it turns the learners into passive participants in the learning process. However, even though there is the existence of the disadvantage, lecture method is beneficial in covering large content (SMASSE, 2007). Discussions, project and discovery methods creates an enabling surrounding condition for the learners and makes sure of that individual differences are taken care of.
ii) Teaching/Learning Materials
Psacharopolous and Woodhall (1985) textbooks are a key contribution for performance in examinations. This view is shared by Chepchieng (1995) who states that availability of and quality of textbooks in a secondary school is strongly related to achievement among children from lower income families especially those in rural schools. According to Munda, Tanui and Kaberia, (2000) physical facilities add positively to students’ academic performance.
4.Social Factors
According to the study conducted by (Umar, 2010), social factors such as romantic relationships, organizations and clubs, and sports activities have been found to have negative effects on students’ academic performance. These social factors affect academic performance in terms of time demanded and the psychological state they may cause.
5.Language Issue
Results by (Harb, 2007) show that the most important factor that affects a student’s performance is student’s competence in English. Besides their competence in English, students who participate in class discussions outperform other students.
6.Other factors
According to the study by (Suttor, 2010), some of the factors that can impact academic success in high school include determination, work ethic, home life, attendance, accepting constructive criticism, social skills, and indulging in adult or illegal activities. While there are many factors in the academic success of a student, the most important is the positive and academically challenging attitude of the student towards his education.
Recommendations
• To help on the shortcoming of teaching/learning materials and equipment’s, the government needs to improve their provisions to schools. It should extend loan facilities and helping payments to secondary school students from poor families.
• The government and other stakeholders such as Non-Governmental Organizations need to inform the local community to discard beliefs and practices (such as early marriage, cattle rustling etc) that prohibit effective participation which result to poor performance.
• The Ministry of Education and school’s managements should encourage teachers particularly after the release of examination results. This comprises recommendation for promotion, giving helping payments to of house rents.
• The Ministry of Education should review the curriculum to make it relevant and flexible to the diverse needs of different areas and background of the students.