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Factors contributing to academic performance of students in a Junior High School

Bachelor Thesis 2018 99 Pages

Pedagogy - School System, Educational and School Politics

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENT

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENT

ABSTRACT

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of Problem
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Research Objectives
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Justification of the Study
1.7 Significance of the Study
1.8 Scope of the Study
1.9 Limitation of the Study
1.9 Delimitation
1.10 Organization of the Study

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction
2.1 Definition of Key Concepts
2.2 Factors contributing to academic performance
2.2.1 Student factors which contribute to academic performance
2.2.2 Teacher factors which contribute to academic performance
2.2.3 Parent factors which contribute to academic performance
2.2.4 School factors which contribute to academic performance
2.2.5 Level of parents’ education and academic performance
2.2.6 Gender and academic performance
2.2.7 Age and academic performance
2.3 Educational Structure in Ghana
2.4 Theoretical Framework
2.4.1 Production Function Approach (PFA)
2.5 Conceptual Framework
2.6 Empirical Review

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.0 Introduction
3.1 The Research Approach
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Data Collection and Data Needs
3.4 Source of Data
3.4.1 Data Collection Tools and Procedure
3.5 Population for the Study
3.6 Sample and Sapling Procedures
3.7 Model Specification
3.7.1 Dependent Variable
3.7.2 Independent Variables
3.8 Quality Data
3.8.1 Reliability and Validity
3.9 Data Presentation and Analysis
3.10 Ethical Considerations
3.11 Study Area

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Presentation of Results
4.1.1 Demographic Characteristics of Respondents
4.3 General Academic Performance of JHS Students at Gomoa Manso
4.3.1 BECE Results of Gomoa Manso Basic School
4.3.2 Terminal Results of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School
4.4 Student, Teacher, Parent and School factors that contribute to academic performance
4.4.1 Students Factors
4.4.2 Teacher Factors
4.4.3 Parent Factors
4.4.4 School Factors
4.5 Multivariate analysis of determinants of academic performance
4.5.1 Gender and Academic Performance
4.5.2 Parents Level of Education and Academic Performance
4.5.3 Students age and Academic Performance
4.6 DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
4.6.1What is the general academic performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School?
4.6.2 What are the student, teacher, parent and school factors that contribute to an improvement in academic performance?
4.6.2.1 Student Factors
4.6.2.2 Teacher Factors
4.6.2.3 Parent Factors
4.6.2.4 School Factors
4.6.3 Does parent level of education, student age and gender has an impact of academic performance?
4.6.3.1 Gender
4.6.3.2 Parents Level of Education
4.6.3.3 Students age of Education

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Introduction
5.1 Summary of Findings
5.2 Conclusions
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Suggestions for future study
5.6 Implication

REFERENCES

APPENDIX I

APPENDIX II

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank and glorify the all-knowing God for his protection and abundant grace that guided me in completing this study and PGDE programme successfully. My special appreciation goes to Mr. Darlington Zah of University of Education, Winneba-Ghana, who supervised this work. Thanks are also due to all lecturers of the Institute for Educational Development and Extension, University of Education, Winneba for preparing me intellectually up to this stage.

Finally, I thank Mrs. Felicia Sackey, Head of School for Morgan International Community School for her support and motivation.

ABSTRACT

Students’ academic performance is a key feature in education. This study was therefore conducted primarily to assess the factors contributing to improvement in academic performance of Junior High Students (JHS) in Gomoa Manso Basic School which is in the Gomo-East District in the Central Region of Ghana. The mixed and descriptive research design was used and a sample size of 87 respondents (79 students and 8 teachers) were selected through random sampling technique. The findings revealed that the average academic performance (47.0%) of the JHS students in Gomoa Manso Basic School is weak and their performance in Mathematics (average score of 31.48%) and English Language (average score of 39.99%) is a fail. It was noticed that student factors that contribute to an improvement in academic performance include; regular studying, self-motivation, punctuality and regular class attendance, hard-work and interest in a subject. The teacher factors were completion of syllabus, use of TLM’s, frequent feedback to students and given students special attention. Per the findings, parent factors which was very key was parent showing concern in their children’s academics and providing them their academic needs. School factors that were significant included availability of text books and TLM’s. The study also found that parent level of education and gender has a positive relationship with academic performance but it’s insignificant. However, age has a positive significant (5% significance level) relationship with academic performance. Based on findings, the study recommends that there should be strict monitoring on teachers to vary their teaching methods to suit their needs of the students and also to provide the students with constant feedback on their academic performance. Again, the students should be motivated and orientated to take ownership of their studies by having regular studies and attending school during school days.

LIST OF TABLES

Table 2.1 Grading system at the JHS level

Table 2.2 Summary of empirical review

Table 3.1 Education Structure of Ghana

Table 3.3 Reliability Test

Table 4.1 Demographic Characteristics of Students

Table 4.2: Demographic Characteristics of Staff

Table 4.3: BECE Results of Gomoa Manso Basic School from 2010-2015

Table 4.4: Descriptive Statistics

Table 4.5: Descriptive Statistics of Subject Performance per Class Level

Table 4.6: Subject Performance by class level

Table 4.7 Students factor that contribute to improvement in academic performance

Table 4.8 Teacher factors that contribute to improvement in academic performance

Table 4.9 Parent factors that contribute to improvement in academic performance

Table 4.10 Parent factors that contribute to improvement in academic performance

Table 4.11: Cross tabulation of Gender and academic performance

Table 4.12: Regression results of impact of Gender on academic performance

Table 4.13: Cross tabulation of Parent’s level of education and academic performance

Table 4.14: Regression results of impact of Parent level of education on academic performance

Table 4.15: Cross tabulation of Students age and academic performance

Table 4.16: Regression results of impact of Parent level of education on academic performance

LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURES

Figure 2.1. Education structure of Ghana

Figure 2.2 Conceptual framework

Figure 3.1 Map of Gomoa District Showing Gomoa Manso

Figure 4.1 BECE Performance of Gomoa Manso Basic School, 2010-2015

Figure 4.2: Normality test for exam score

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

Abbildung in dieser leseprobe nicht enthalten

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Academic performance of students is a key feature in education (Rono, 2013). It is considered to be the centre around which the whole education system revolves. Narad and Abdullah (2016) opined that the academic performance of students determines the success or failure of any academic institution. Signh, Malik and Signh (2016) also argued that academic performance of students have a direct impact on the socio-economic development of a country. Similarly, Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq and Behanu (2011), asserted that students’ academic performance serve as a bedrock for knowledge acquisition and the development of skills. Additionally, Farooq et al., (2011) emphasized that the top most priority of all educators is academic performance of students. According to Narad and Abdullah (2016) academic performance is the knowledge gained which is assessed by marks by a teacher and/or educational goals set by students and teachers to be achieved over a specific period of time. They added that these goals are measured by using continuous assessment or examinations results.

Factors contributing to improvement in students’ academic performance have received much attention from educators and researchers (Signh, Malik & Sign, 2016; Ali, Haider, Munir, Khan & Ahmed, 2013; Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq & Behanu, 2011). These researchers found that several factors contribute to improvement in the academic performance of students. Ali et al. (2013) found daily study hours, social economic status of parents/guardians and age as factors that significantly affects academic performance. Similarly, Narad and Addullah (2016) and Farooq et al., (2011) also found economic status of parents, their academic background and encouragement as factors that influence academic performance. Proper guidance from parents and teachers, communication skills, and learning facilities have also been found as a significant determinant to academic performance (Signh, Malik & Signh, 2016).

The findings from the previous studies is a combination of home, school, students and teacher factors (Narad & Abdullah, 2016; Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq & Behanu, 2011) as well as environmental, personal, social, psychological and economic factors (Sign, Malik & Sign, 2016; Ali et al. 2013). Other authors have also found that age, gender and parents’ level of education affects academic performance (Khan, Iqbal & Tasneem, 2015; Eshetu, 2014). It should be noted that these findings differ among countries, different academic levels and the subjects involved. The current study focuses on factors contributing to improvement in academic performance of students at the Junior High School (JHS) in Gomoa Manso, Ghana.

Per the education structure in Ghana, JHS forms the third level of basic education. According to the Report of President’s Committee on Review of Education in Ghana, basic education is defined as “the minimum period of schooling needed to ensure that children acquire basic literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills as well as skills for creativity and healthy living” (Ministry of Education, 2002, p. 26). This level should be free and compulsory and comprises of Kindergarten, primary and JHS. As indicated earlier, the focus of this research is on JHS. JHS is a three year post primary education program which prepares students aged 13 to 15 years to sit for a Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in their third year. From 2010 to 2016 the enrolment of JHS students increased by 10.6% (Ministry of Education, 2016). Their performance at BECE from 1998 to 2002 was 60.1%; this figure increased by 0.99% from 2003 to 2007 but dropped significantly by 9.1% from 2008 to 2011.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The fourth goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” (United Nations Development Program, 2017, p.7). This is one of the most important SDGs because the UN sees it as medium in achieving the other goals (UNDP, 2017). It has therefore become necessary that all countries ensure that their populace get access to quality education. In Ghana, the Education Sector Performance (ESP) Strategic plan from 2010-2020 seek to ensure the provision of equitable good quality universal education (MoE, 2016). Although the definition of quality education is very complex, one of its key components is academic performance (United Nations Children’s Fund, 2000).

The academic performance of JHS students have been declining since 2009. Their general performance after BECE declined from 62.16% in 2009 to 50.21% in 2008. It decrease again from 49.12% in 2010 to 46.93% in 2011 (West African Examination Council, 2012). The trend is not different from Gomoa Manso Basic School which is the case study for this research. Out of the 51 candidates for 2010 BECE, no candidate obtained a grade of 6 – 10; only 9 had aggregate 11 – 30. In 2011, 34 candidates were presented for the BECE, no one had aggregate 6 -10, 10 obtained aggregate 11 -20 and the other had 21 and above. Apart from 2010, where 2 candidate obtained aggregate 6 -10, the subsequent years have followed the same trend in 2010 and 2011 (Ghana Education Service, 2014).

Previous studies have found that improvement in the academic performance of students is dependent on a combination of teacher, student, school and parental factors (Amuzu, Ankalibazuk, & Abdulai, 2017; Narad & Abdullah, 2016; Okolie, Elom, & Inyiagu, 2014; Oppong-Sekyere, Oppong-Sekyere & Akpalu, 2013; Farooq et al., 2011). Others have also attributed it to environmental, personal, social, psychological and economic factors (Sign, Malik & Sign, 2016; Ali et al. 2013; Mushtaq & Khan, 2012). Most of these studies tend to focus on a single subject or focuses on limited factors that contributes to academic performance. For example, Farooq et al. (2011) focused on only socio economic status and parent’s level education. They recommended that other studies should explore peer factors, family factors, student and school factors. Again, Jayanthi, Balakrishnan, Ching, Latif and Nasiruden (2014) emphasized that an extensive study should be conducted to include more than one school to assess the academic performance of students.

Although, several studies have been conducted to assess the academic performance of students worldwide, there is lack of sufficient studies conducted to assess factors that can improve students’ academic performance. The few studies conducted do not assess the current performance of students in JHS and their preparation towards their final exam (Nkrumah, 2017). This gap in the literature needs to be addressed. The current study sought to assess factors that contribute to improvement in the academic performance of JHS students in Gomoa Manso Basic School.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to assess factors that contributes to improvement in academic performance of Junior High School (JHS) Students in Gomoa Manso Basic School.

1.4 Research Objectives

The study was conducted primarily to assess the factors that contribute to improvement in the academic performance of Junior High School students in Gomoa Manso Basic School. Specifically the study sought to:

1. Asses the general performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School.
2. Determine the student, school, parent, and teacher factors that contributes to improvement in the academic performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School.

1.5 Research Questions

Generally, this research sought to answer one broad question; what factors contributes to improvement in the academic performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School? To answer this broad question, the following specific questions served as a guide:

1. What is the general performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School?
2. What are the student, school, parent, and teacher factors that contributes to an improvement in the academic performance of JHS students at Gomoa Manso Basic School?

In addition to the above, the following hypothesis was tested:

Null Hypothesis

1. There is no significant relationship between level of parent’s education and an improvement in academic performance.
2. There is no significant relationship between gender and an improvement in academic performance.
3. There is no significant relationship between age and an improvement in academic performance.

1.6 Justification of the Study

Students’ academic performance is an important subject to all stakeholders in the education sector. As a result, several studies have been conducted to asses factors that contribute to students’ academic performance. However, there is inadequate materials to explain factors contributing to improvement in the academic performance of student in Gomoa Manso Basic School (Nkrumah, 2017).

Generally, their academic performance is below average and this affect the students, teachers, parents and all other stakeholders. It is therefore important that educators and researchers conduct studies to find all the key factors which can help to improve their academic performance.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The introduction of free Senior High School (SHS) in Ghana has made it imperative that all JHS candidates get access to SHS. Their placement in SHS is, however, not automatic but dependent on their performance at BECE as well as their continuous assessment. This implies that the performance of students at the JHS level should be critically examined. The current study sought to address this challenge by assessing factors that contribute to improvement in the academic performance of JHS students. The findings from this study will assist the students to appreciate the preparatory level towards their final exam. Headteachers and teachers would be able to identify their weakness as well as those of their students and plan strategically. Parents will know the strength and weakness of the wards and the role they have to play to ensure that their children obtain good grades. Other stakeholders such as the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) would also be well informed. Again, the findings from the study will serve as the basis for future studies.

1.8 Scope of the Study

Geographically, the study was conducted at Gomoa Manso which is in the Gomoa East District of the central region of Ghana. Currently, there are over 20 basic schools within this district but only one of them is situated at Gomoa Manso which serves as the case study for this research. As indicated earlier, basic school comprises of Kindergarten, primary and Junior High School. This study focused on JHS level and only Gomoa Manso Basic School was be used. The main attention was on the current performance of the students and the school, student, home and teacher factors that contributes to improvement in their academic performance.

1.9 Limitation of the Study

Simon (2011) opined that limitation in a research are weaknesses that are outside the control of the researcher. Bases on his assertion, the main limitation of the study was the cooperation from respondents. The other limitations was using a single school to make generalization for all Junior High School students in Ghana.

1.9 Delimitation

According to Simon (2011) delimitations are within the control of the researcher. It spells out the researcher’s choices, boundaries and scope of the study. The study focused on academic performance of Junior High School students from form one to three. Gomoa Manso Basic School was used as the case study and the target groups were teachers, JHS students and the Head master.

1.10 Organization of the Study

The entire study was organized into five chapters. The first chapter focused on the background to the study, the problem statement, objectives of the study, research questions and hypothesis, brief overview of the research methodology, the significance of the study, its limitations and delimitations and how the entire study will be organized.

In the second chapter, the operational definition of the study was given, the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study was also provided; an empirical review on academic performance was outlined and all other literatures related to this study was extensively reviewed. The chapter was captured as literature review.

The third chapter is the research methodology. In this chapter a step by step approach on how the broad objective and specific objectives of the study was achieved is clearly outlined. It entails the research design, population and sample size, sapling technique, instrument to be used, data analysis and the ethical consideration of the study.

The data collected from respondents is presented, analysed and discussed in chapter four. The findings from the study was summarised in chapter five. Conclusions and recommendations is also be given in the same chapter.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction

The main idea of literature review is to identify, compile, evaluate and synthesize literatures related to the research topic (APU, 2015). Onwuegbuzie (2016) posited that it is the systematic and thorough review of available literatures on the research topic. The literature review in this study focused on the following thematic areas: definition of key concepts used in the study; factors contributing to academic performance; educational structure in Ghana; theoretical and conceptual framework; and an empirical review.

2.1 Definition of Key Concepts

Several concepts have been used in this study but the key variable which was defined is academic performance. This is because academic performance determine the human capital development of an economy; it enable students and parents to know the current academic state of their students; and it determines the failure and success of an academic institution (Narad & Abdullah, 2016).

Academic performance have been defined and explained by several authors. According to Narad and Abdullah (2016) academic performance is the knowledge gained which is assessed by marks by a teacher and/or educational goals set by students and teachers to be achieved over a specific period of time. They added that these goals are measured by using continuous assessment or examinations results. Annie, Howard and Midred (as cited in Arhad, Zaidi & Mahmood, 2015) also indicated that academic performance measures education outcome. They stressed that it shows and measures the extent to which an educational institution, teachers and students have achieved their educational goals. Similarly, Yusuf, Onifade and Bello (2016) opined that academic performance is a measurable and observable behaviour of a student within a specific period. He added that it consist of scores obtained by a student in an assessment such as class exercise, class test, mid-semester, mock examination, and end of semester examination. Again, Martha (2009) emphasized that academic performance of students is defined by a student’s performance in an examination, tests, and in a course work.

The definitions given by the authors’ shows that the definition of academic performance is based on measurable outcomes such as class exercise, test, and examinations results. Based on this, the operational definition of academic performance used in this study is the results obtained by a student at end of a specific term in all subject. Per this study a student who obtains a total of aggregate 6-36 in six of his/her subjects is considered to be academically good; and the percentage pass is 50 percent and above.

2.2 Factors contributing to academic performance

Several studies have been conducted in different countries to assess the factors which contribute to academic performance of students at different levels. In Pakistan, Farooq and Berhanu (2011) found that parents’ education and socio-economic status have significant effect on a student’s academic performance in Mathematics and English Language. A study conducted by Jayanthi, Balakrishnan, Ching, Latiff and Nasirudeen (2014) in Singapore revealed that the interest in pursuing a subject, co-curricular activities, nationality of a student and gender affect the academic performance of a student. Additionally, Sibanda, Iwu and Olumide (2015) found that, regular study, punctuality in school and self-motivation are the key determining factors which influence students’ academic performance in South Africa. Ali, Munir, Khan and Ahmed (2013) also found that daily study hours, parent’s socio-economic status and age have a significant impact on academic performance.

Moreover, Catherine (2015) found that socio-economic status of parents especially those with high incomes has a significant impact on academic performance of students within the Kitale Municipality of Kenya. Positive classroom environment has also been found as determining factor of academic performance (MolokoMphale & Mhlauli, 2014). Maganga (2016), Nghambi (2014) and Osei-Mensah (2012), indicated that the availability of teaching and learning materials, competency of teachers and the environment in which a school is located have an impact on students’ academic performance. Furthermore, students’ personality traits, personal goals and motivation as well as the support from teachers and the teacher’s level of experience significantly influence the academic performance of students (Ulate & Carballo, 2011).

The discussion above suggests that academic performance of students is influenced by a combination of factors which includes but not limited to: Parents level of education, socio-economic status, interest in a subject, gender, regular studying, punctuality in class, self-motivation, availability of teaching and learning materials, and competency of teachers, school environment, personal goals, and personality traits. These factors could be classified into student, teacher, school and parents factors.

2.2.1 Student factors which contribute to academic performance

From the discussions above, it is evident that students play a critical role towards their academic performance. Students’ factors such as developing interest in a subject, engaging in co-curricular activities (Javanthi et al. 2014), regular studying, self-motivation, punctuality in school (Sibanda et al. 2015; Khan & Ahmed, 2013), and students personal goals as well as personality traits (Ulate & Carballo, 2011) affect their academic performance.

According to Maric and Sakac (2014), students’ factors that affects their academic performance could be classified into Internal and social factors. They found that the internal factors that influence students’ academic performance included interest in content of a subject, internal satisfaction, and aspiration. The social factors also included social prestige and material reward. MeenuDev (2016) corroborated that students level of interest in a subject influence their academic performance. Similarly, Kpolovie, Joe, and Okoto (2014) asserted that student’s attitude to school and their interest in learning influence their academic performance.

Moreover, Komakech (2015) found that there is a positive relationship between students’ attendance to school and academic performance. Using correlational approach to assess attendance on academic performance in Nigeria, Oghuvbu (2017) had the same result as Komakeck. He found that there is a positive correlation between class attendance and academic performance. Stanca (2010) also found that class attendance has a statistical significant impact on academic performance. Several studies have also found the same relationship (Lukkarinnen, Koivukangas, Seppala, 2016; Aden, Yahye, Dahir, 2013; Duran-Narucki, 2008).

The attitude of students towards their learning have been found to have a significant relationship with academic performance. For example, Awang, Ahmad, Bakar, Ghani, Yunus et al. (2013) found that there is statistical significance relationship between students attitudes towards their learning and academic performance. Janssen and O’Brien (2014) argued that although students learning has an impact on academic performance, it is indirect. Notwithstanding their findings, Manoah, Indoshi and Othuon (2011) confirmed that in the case of mathematics, students’ attitude towards the subject has a direct impact on their academic performance. However, Uok and Langat (2015) found that students who had positive attitudes towards mathematics did not affect their mathematics score.

Afzal, Ali, Khan and Hamid (2010) asserted that students’ personal motivation plays a vital role towards their academic performance. They found that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has a positive on students’ academic performance. They added that intrinsic motivation has a strong predictor towards academic performance than extrinsic motivation. Similarly, Haider, Quereshi, Pirzada and Shahzadi (2015) concluded that motivation play an important role in the success of a student academics. In their study, they found that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation had a positive statistical significance relationship with academic performance. They outlined that students motivational characteristics such as self-exploration, altruism, and career focused and manages social pressure have a positive impact on their academic performance. Using structural equation modelling analysis to assess the effect of motivation on performance, Kusukar, Cate, Vos and Croiset (2013) categorised motivation into Random Autonomous Motivation (RAM), Controlled Motivation (CM) and Autonomous motivation (AM). They found that RAM which they define as intrinsic motivation is positively correlated with academic performance. Additionally, Amrai, Motlagh, Zalani and Parhon (2011) argued that the academic performance of students is affected by a combination of different motivational factors.

The literatures reviewed indicated that students factors which influence their academic performance is a combinations of several indicators. From this review, it was found that interest in a subject, regular studying, class attendance, self-motivation and attitude of student towards learning are the key factors which affect their academic performance. All the literature reviewed with the exception of Uok and Langat (2015) who found that there is a positive relationship between these factors and academic performance. This implies that if a student exhibit positive attitude towards these factors his/her academic performance will improve, all other things being equal.

2.2.2 Teacher factors which contribute to academic performance

Teachers play vital role towards the academic performance of students. A study conducted by Kimani, Kara and Njagi (2013) in Kenya on teacher factors influencing academic achievement, found that teachers experience, age, gender and professional qualification had no statistical significant relationship with academic performance of students. However, they noticed that performance targets, completion of syllabus, paying attention to weak students, assignments, student evaluation, and the teaching workload of a teacher had significant relationship with students’ academic performance. In Nigeria, Akiri and Ugborugbo (2009) also found that there is no statistical relationship between teacher effectiveness and academic performance.

Ganyaupfu (2013) on the other hand asserted that combination of teacher and student centred method have a positive effect on academic performance. They concluded that student centred method is more effective than teacher approach. Musili (2015) added that teacher experience and professional training have a significant impact on students’ performance. Blazar (2016) confirmed that the impact teachers have on the academic performance of their students is substantial. But stressed that little is known about the specific teacher factors which contributes to the academic performance of students.

Furthermore, Akinsolu (2010), concluded that teacher-student ratio, teacher’s experience and qualification has a significant impact on academic performance. Similarly, Ewetan and Ewetan (2015) emphasized that the level of teacher’s experience has significant impact on academic performance in English Language and Mathematics. They posited that school with teachers with more than 10 years’ experience perform better than school with teachers with less than 10 years’ experience.

Teacher factors that significantly affects students’ academic performance as reviewed above includes: Teachers teaching experience, completing of syllabus, paying attention to weak students, assignments, students’ evaluation, teacher effectiveness, teacher and student centred method of teaching, professional training, teacher to student ratio and qualification of teachers. It was also noticed that teacher’s age and gender have no effect on students’ academic performance.

2.2.3 Parent factors which contribute to academic performance

Recent studies have found that parental involvement have a positive impact on the academic performance their wards. McNeal (2014) for example, revealed that parent involvement directly affects the behaviour and students attitudes but indirectly influence their academic performance. In Ghana, Chowa, Masa and Tucker (2013) posited that the involvement of parents towards their wards academic performance is categorized into home-based and school-based parental involvement. Their study revealed that home-based parental involvement have a positive significant relationship with their wards academic performance but there is a negative relationship between school-based parental involvement and academic performance. Similarly, Mante, Awereh and Kumea (2014) also concluded that parental involvement affect the academic performance of their students but the direction of the impact wasn’t stated. Additionally, Mwirichia (2013) noticed that parental involvement in the academic performance of students has different forms. He found that there is parent involvement in educational activities at school, parent-school communication and parents’ involvement in academic activities at home. The study concluded that parent’s involvement in home academic activities have a direct influence on the academic performance of their wards; it was realized that parent’s involvement in academic activities at school has an indirect effect on academic performance; and the impact of parent-school communication on academic performance was found not to be a strong predictor. It was recommended that parents provide home-school tutorials for their wards and there should be rules to govern their children’s studying behaviour in the house. Caro (2011), also found that parent-school communication as a positive impact on their wards education.

Matinez (2015) emphasized that students with high level of parental involvement in their academics significantly perform better than those students with no parental involvement in English Language arts and Mathematics. Using a multiple mediational analysis, Topor, Keane, Shelton and Calkins (2010) found that there is a statistical significance association between parental involvement and the wards academic performance. In Pakistan, Rafiq, Fatima, Sohail, Saleem and Khan (2013) had the same results. They emphasized that parental involvement has a significant effect in improving the academic performance of students. In South Africa, Mutodi and Ngirande (2014) found that parent-teacher communication, family and home support as wee las parenting have is positively related to academic performance. The concluded that the most significant predictor of academic performance is the family and home support.

Empirically, parental involvement have been found to have a significant positive impact on the academic performance of the wards but the degree and level of parental involvement varies and this has an indirect effect on the academic performance of their children.

2.2.4 School factors which contribute to academic performance

School based factors are factors within the school which influence academic performance. Tuitock, Yambo and Adhanja (2015) found that in Kenya public schools, the key school factors which affect academic performance are modern laboratories and text-books. Within the same country, Nambuya (2013) revealed that the availability of physical resources such as library, text-books, adequacy of classrooms and spacious playing ground affect the academic performance of students.

In Tanzania, Tety (2016) noticed that instructional materials have an impact on academic performance. Awolaju (2016), Olayinka (2016), and Adipo (2015) also found that students who are taught with instructional materials in Nigeria perform better than students taught without instructional materials. Similarly, Krukru (2015) found that in Nigeria, instructional materials have a significant impact on academic performance. He asserted that the use of instructional materials facilitates the smooth delivery of a lesson and it enhances teaching and learning. The use of instructional materials assist students to understand the concept of a subject better. As a result of this students who are taught with instructional materials perform better than student taught without instructional materials (Adalikwu & Lorkpilgh, 2013).

The location of a school has also been found to have a significant impact on the academic performance of students. Mhiliwa (2015) opined that the distance of a school affects the academic performance of students. He emphasized that the longer the distance of a school from a student’s residence the more tired and hungry the student becomes hence it will negatively affect their academic performance. He argued that students in community schools will continue to perform poorly if community schools are not provided within their community. According to Ellah and Ita (2017) students in urban areas tend to perform better in English language than those in rural areas. This indicated the location of the school has an influence on students’ performance in English Language. However, Yusuf and Adigun (2010) found that there is no statistical significance relationship between school location and academic performance.

Again, it was found that schools with suitable rules and regulation; fair punishment; and good implementation of students’ rules and regulations perform better than school with less suitable rules and regulations (Mussa, 2015). Ehiane (2014) also recommended that effective school discipline should be used to control students’ behaviour because it has a direct impact on their academic performance. Simba, Agak and Kabuka (2016) concluded that discipline has a positive relationship with academic performance. They asserted to improve on academic performance the discipline level of students should be enhanced.

Moreover, the size of a class or students to teacher ratio has also been found as a school factor which influence academic performance. According to Ajani and Akinyele (2014), there is a significant relationship between teacher to students’ ratio and a student’s performance in Mathematics. Zyngier (2014) argued that if the class size is smaller and is combined with effective teaching, its impact on the academic performance is positive. Similarly, Bakasa (2011) found that school factors such as effective teaching when combined with class size have a positive impact on academic performance. However, Owoeye and Olatunde (2011) found that there is no statistical difference between class size of schools in the urban areas and rural areas on academic performance. Vandenberg (2012) corroborated that class size has no significant impact on academic performance.

According to Sabitu, Babatunde and Oluwole (2012) there is a statistical significant difference in school facilities of private and public schools but in terms of academic performance there is no statistical difference. On the other hand, Owoye and Yara (2011) stressed that school facilities is the most important determining factor of academic performance.

With respect to school environment, Lawrence and Vimala (2012) found that there is no statistical significant relationship between school environment and academic performance but other studies said otherwise. For example, Odeh, Oguche, and Dondo (2015), found that school environment has significant impact of academic performance. Duruji, Azuh, and Oviasogle (2014) also found that school environment has a statistical significance relationship with academic performance.

School factors which affect academic performance is enormous as revealed by the literatures above. However, it has been proven that the key school factors which directly influence academic performance includes: instructional materials, discipline, effective teaching, class size and the school environment.

2.2.5 Level of parents’ education and academic performance

According to Khan, Iqbal and Tasneem (2015) parents with higher level of education show much interest in the academic performance of their wards. They observed there is a positive significant relationship between the level of parents’ education and students’ academic performance. The same result was found by Muthoni (2013) in Kenya. She noticed that in Kenya Secondary schools, the level of education of a student parent is positively related to his/her performance. Similarly, Ogbugo-Ololube (2016), found that parents level of education has a positive relationship with academic performance. It was also observed by Ntitika (2014) that parents with higher level of education serve as a motivation for their children to work hard to achieve their academic goals. He added that such students have higher aspirations for their education. He found that parent’s level of education has some level of impact on their wards academic performance. Muruwei (2011) argued that although parents level of education has significant impact on academic performance, it not a major determining factor. There are other factors such as learning environment and facilities which also important factors that influence academic performance. On the other hand, Amuda and Ali (2016) found that parent’s level of education has no statistical impact on their wards academic performance.

The impact of parent’s level of education of the academic performance of their wards seems inconclusive. Whiles some studies found a positive significant relationship; others have argued that it is not the sole determining factor of academic performance. Additionally, studies have also found that there is no statistical significance relationship between parents’ education level and academic performance. This creates a gap in the literature hence the researcher sought to fill this gap.

2.2.6 Gender and academic performance

The relationship between gender and academic performance have been researched extensively for the past decade (Eitle, 2005 as cited in Farooq & Berhanu, 2011). According to Ghazvini and Khajehpour (2011) there is a difference between the cognitive levels of boys and girls. They noticed that the learning task of girls is more adaptive than boys.

Omwirhiren and Anderson (2016) indicated that there is a statistical significant difference between the academic performance of males and females in Chemistry. They concluded that boys performed better than girls. Farooq and Berhanu (2011) on the other hand found that girls generally perform better than male students. Similarly, Nnamani and Oyibe (2016) and Jayanth et al. (2014) found that gender has a significant impact on academic performance. Maric and Sakac (2014) also observed that girls have higher academic performance than boys. MeenuDev (2016) also noticed that girls are superior to boys in academic performance. The same result was found by Nnamani and Oyibe (2016). They noticed that females perform better than males in Social studies. With respect to Mathematics, English and Aptitude, boys perform better than the girls (Eshetu, 2014). Manoah et al. (2011) also argued that in terms of mathematics, gender has no statistical significant impact on performance. Adigun, Onihunwa, Irunokhai, Sada and Adesina (2015) also found that there is no statistical difference but concluded that boys perform better than girls.

A study conducted in Nigeria to assess gender difference in academic performance of students in Economics subject at the Secondary school level revealed that, in 2006/2007 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), there was no statistical difference in the academic performance of boys and girls in Economics but from 2008 to 2010 there was statistical difference. It was concluded that males generally performed better than females in Economics (Amuda, Ali, Durkwa, 2016). The impact of gender on academic performance still remain inconclusive. Using Aptitude Test as a measure for academic performance in Kashim Ibrahim College of Education in Nigeria, Goni, Yagana, Ali and Bularafa (2015) noticed that there is no statistical difference between gender and academic performance. Wangu (2014), found other wise and reported that females perform better in languages while males perform better than females in the sciences.

From the discussion above, the influence of gender on academic performance is not clear; whiles some researchers have found a statistical significance difference, other found no significance difference. In assessing the performance of boys and girls, it has been revealed that it depends on the subject but it has been established that they have different cognitive level.

2.2.7 Age and academic performance

Several demographic variables have been used as a predictor of academic performance (Jabor, Machtmes, Kungu, & Buntat, 2011) but this section looks at the impact of age on academic performance. The impact of age on academic performance are mixed. For example, Ali et al. (2013) found that age has a significant impact on academic performance. Jabor et al. (2011) also found the same result by using mathematics as a measure of academic performance. Similarly, Abubakar and Oguguo (2011) noticed that there is significant positive impact of age on academic performance in Mathematics and Science but the degree of association is weak. Amro, Mundey and Kupczynski (2015) corroborated that in an online and face-to-face algebra class, age was found to be a predictor of students’ performance. Further, Ezenwafor and Obi (2015) used the Vocational and Technical Education students in Nigeria to assess the effect of age and gender on their academic performance. Their study revealed that age has a significant impact on academic performance. Naderi, Abdullah, Aizan, Sharir and Kumar (2009) suggested that other studies should be contacted to incorporate other factors which determine academic performance because they found a weak positive impact of age on academic performance.

In contrast, Amuda, Bulus and Joseph (2016) reported that age has no significant impact on academic performance. Voyled (2011) also reported that student age does not have an impact on his/her performance in reading but was significant for mathematics.

2.3 Educational Structure in Ghana

The educational structure in Ghana is divided into three parts: Basic Education, Secondary Education, and the Tertiary Education (Ghana Education Service [GES], 2014) and its being run on a 6-3-3-4 system (Ministry of Education, 2016). This means that the Basic Education level, which comprises of Kindergarten, primary and Junior High school lasts for 9 years; the Secondary Education last for 3 years; and the tertiary education also last for 4 years (GSS, 2014). It should be emphasized that from 2007 to 2009 the structure was a 6-3-4-4 system. This shows that secondary school lasted of 4 years during that period (GSS, 2014). The figure below provides an overview of the structure of the Ghanaian education system.

Figure deleted due to copyright issues

Figure 2.1. Education structure of Ghana

Source (Ministry of Education, 2016)

The figure reinforces the explanation given above. It shows that pre-school education last for 3 years. Pre-school was not considered to be part of formal education in Ghana until 2002 (Ghana Education Service, 2004). The aim for incorporating it was to prepare children for smooth transition into the primary level (Adu-Gyamfi & Adinkra, 2016). Primary education last for 6 years and is divided into lower primary and upper primary. The aim for this level is to enable children acquire knowledge, develop their attitudes and other skills to be able to solve problems (Adu-Gyamfi & Adinkra, 2016).

The main focus of this study is on Junior Secondary School. As indicated in the figure, this level of education last for three years. At this level, students are introduced to basic scientific skills to enable them prepare to the next level. This level also serve as the transition level from basic education to secondary education. Subject offered at this level includes: English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies, B.D.T (Pre-Technical Skills, Home Economics, Visual Arts), Religious & Moral Education, French, Ghana Language & Culture, I.C.T, Physical Education and Music and Dance. Students are supposed to pass the Basic Education Certificate Examination (Adu-Gyamfi & Adinkra, 2016).

The grading system at the JHS level is on a nine-point scale where 1 is the highest performance and 9 is the lowest performance (West African Examination Council [WAEC], 2012).

Table 2.1 Grading system at the JHS level

Abbildung in dieser leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Author’s Own Construct developed from WAEC (2012)

2.4 Theoretical Framework

Several theories have been used by different researchers to examine factors that contribute to academic performance. For example, in assessing the determinants of high academic performance of secondary schools in Tanzania, Boa (2014) adopted the Social constructivism theory. According to this theory people’s learning and thinking is influenced and shaped within a social and cultural context. Propounds of this theory believe that knowledge is collaborative and situated (Boa, 2014). Vyogotsky (1978) cited in Boa (2014) argued that individuals ability to learn and think begin from their social interaction as a result social interaction is good for cognitive development.

In assessing factors influencing academic performance of university students in South Africa, Sibanda et al. (2015) used the goal theory. The goal theory explains the meaning students attach to their academic achievement and the purpose for that action. Per this theory, students are likely to perform better if they are aware and understand factors that influence their academic performance (Sibanda et al., 2015).

MolokoMphale and Mhlauli (2014) conducted a study in Botswana to investigate the academic performance of students at the Junior Secondary School. They adopted the critical theory. This theory is based on the fact that individuals who found themselves in a particular situation like poor academic performance should be given freedom form this situation which seems to enslave them but should be guided to develop their behaviour in a democratic manner (Basic 2010 cited in MolokoMphale & Mhlauli, 2014).

The theoretical model used in this study is the Production Function Approach (PFA). The next section provides a detailed explanation of this model.

2.4.1 Production Function Approach (PFA)

This model has its root in economics. It was developed in 1767 by A.R.J. Turgot but became known to the public in 1928 when Charles W. Cobb and Paul Douglas used it in their study (Tangaraju, Chee, Koon, Yi & Mann, 2013). According to Gordon (2007), this model is built on the principle of input-output approach. That is the transforming raw materials (input) into goods and services (output).

This model has been used by several researchers to assess factors which contribute to academic performance. Martha (2010) posited that the students’ academic performance or achievement is treated as the output factor and the input factors are the independent variables. According to Tangaraju et al. (2013), the common input factors used teaching and learning materials, teacher quality and family factors.

In this study, the output factor is academic performance of a student and the input factors are: Interest of students, regular studying, class attendance, self-motivation, attitude towards learning, teacher’s experience, syllabus completion, doing assignment, parents’ involvement, provision of instructional materials, discipline, effective teaching, class size and the school environment, parents level of education, age and gender of a student.

2.5 Conceptual Framework

Prior studies have shown that factors affecting academic performance is enormous. From their findings, these factors can be categorised into student, teacher, parent and school factors. Based on the PFA model used in this study, the conceptual framework below was developed.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2.2 Conceptual framework

Source: Author’s Own Construct (2018)

The main objective of this study was to assess factors which contribute to improvement in the academic performance of students in Gomoa Manso JHS. From the literature reviewed and the PFA model, the conceptual framework above was deduced. According to the PFA model the input factors are the independent variables which contribute to academic performance which is the dependent variable. The input factors as captured in the framework are categorized into student, teacher, parent and school factors.

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Details

Pages
99
Year
2018
ISBN (eBook)
9783668841062
ISBN (Book)
9783668841079
Language
English
Catalog Number
v450284
Institution / College
University of Education – Distance Learning
Grade
5 (GHA-System)
Tags
Academic performance

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Title: Factors contributing to academic performance of students in a Junior High School