The study investigates the influence of poverty on the students’ academic performance in secondary Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria. This research work elucidated clearly the full meaning of poverty as to how it affects the academic performance of the students through poverty indicator analysis. Two hundred (200) copies of questionnaire were distributed to ten (10) selected schools in the study area. Simple mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the data collected. The findings of this research work made it clear to us that poverty has effect on academic performance of the students. Recommendations were made so as to eradicate and correct the situation.
CHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONBackground to the Study Access to education is one of the important basic human rights in all societies. InNigeria, the provision of education has been one of the most critical issues of governmentsocial policy especially since after independence in 1960. Poverty has however remained astumbling block for most people to attain this basic right. Poverty is a universal socialproblem that cuts across nations, race, locations, culture and religion. It has been in existencefrom the time of the establishment of the human race on planet earth. Poverty strickenmembers of the human race have always struggled in a number of ways to attain decent livingstandards. Poverty presents a number of challenges to its victims such as access to properhealth facilities, education, nutrition, employment and the realization of personal aspirations.According to Maslow’s theory, a hungry child cannot pay attention in class since hisor her images will be dominated by food. This brings attention in class since his or herimages will be dominated by food. This brings to light hindrances poor children experienceas they pursue their education. According to Adato, Michelle and Meinzen-Dick (2007) poverty is the scarcity or thelack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifacetedconcept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty,extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meetbasic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.The threshold at which absolute poverty is defined is considered to be about the same,independent of the person's permanent location or era. On the other hand, relative povertyoccurs when a person who lives in a given country does not enjoy a certain minimum level of"living standards" as compared to the rest of the population of that country. Therefore, the2
threshold at which relative poverty is defined varies from country to another, or from onesociety to another.Providing basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government's ability todeliver services, such as corruption, tax avoidance, debt and loan conditionality and by thebrain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income tomake basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, economic freedoms andproviding financial services (Anzia, 2007).Oguw Mike (2005) sees poverty as a way of life characterized by low calorie intake,inaccessibility of adequate health facilities low quality education system, low life expectancy,unemployment and under-employment. Leroy and Symes (2001) consider poverty as a major anti-risk factors relating theconcept poverty to Nigeria, it will therefore be considered in a broader way which impliesthat it has be viewed in various perspectives which include one national state and homebackground. Also poverty is one of the most familiar and enduring conditions known tohumanity, it is an extremely complicated concept to understand. Some researchers view it asa reaction to the stress of being poor, whereas others perceive it as a process of adapting tothe condition of poverty. Historical definitions are numerous, but can be classified as relatingto either lack of financial income or lower social status. Numerous factors contribute to theconcept of poverty, including political, economic, social, and cultural forces. The one that hasconsistently had the greatest effect on the evolving concept is the passage of time, whichencompasses all these forces in a very intricate manner.Of particular concern to this study are challenges that poverty stricken students face intheir quest for education. The plight of poverty stricken students in exasperated by stringentschool policies that pertain the payment of fees, attitudes by teachers and fellow students,shortage of food, school wear and stationery. An unsupportive home environment further3
complicates the poverty stricken students’ drive to acquire decent education. The currenteconomic crisis where the prices of basic goods are very high adds more suffering to thealready poverty stricken students. Higher needs such as esteem needs like education canbecome dominant only when lower needs such as hunger and thirst have been gratified.Research has shown that millions of children do not have access to secondaryeducation despite the concerted efforts to push the cause forward. Chitiga and Chinoona(2011), Kaba and Musonda (2011), Saito (2011), Okeke et al. (2012) identified child labour,poverty and lack of sponsorship, quest for wealth, bereavement, truancy, broken homes andengagement of children and as house helps, as factors or the clog in the wheel of children’saccess to secondary education. According to World Bank Report (2012), more than 350million people, over half of Africa’s population, live below the poverty line of one dollar aday. This implies that poverty to a larger extent, excludes many children from school. TheWorld Bank Report (2012) defines poverty as the inability to attain a minimum standard ofliving, not having enough to eat, a low life expectancy, a higher rate of infant mortality, loweducational standards, enrolment and opportunities, poor drinking water, inadequate healthcare, unfit housing conditions and lack of active participation in decision- making processes.Thus, poverty is a broad, multifaceted and multi-dimensional concept that involvesthe economic, social, political and environmental well-being of the people. The researchersdefine poverty as being unable to afford basic human needs (financial and material). Povertyaffects the children’s psychosocial development across multiple contexts including family,home, neighbourhood, and school (Chilton et al. 2007) and has more detrimental effects onsocio-emotional functioning, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement (Conger andDonellan 2007). Children living in poverty are much more prone to health and safety risksassociated with malnutrition, disease, infection, and injury than are children who are not poor(Donald et al. 2010; Jenson 2007; Lacour and Tissington 2011).4
However the term poverty can be view in two forms namely; moneyless-ness andincapacity. Moneyless-ness: Is an act of failing to have a chief control of one’s transactionaland precautionary motive of holding money, a state where no money to sustain the dailytransaction and future crises assurance.Yet it is a common thing among average Nigerian to say “Am Poor” or “Am a PoorMan”. Those who live in cities consider themselves as not meeting up with the requiredhuman needs of existence. Hence there is always the difficulty in deciding where to draw theline between the poor and the rich. In measuring the level of poverty the followingapproaches could be used. Firstly, poverty line serves as a boundary between what is poverty and what is not.There are two ways of approaching poverty for the purpose of measuring it. This could becalled: dimension of poverty boundary and depth. The second approach used to measure thelevel of poverty based on single and multiple poverty indicate: indicators would constituteselected categories of observable facts which can be given quantitative expression. Thenumerical values of such indicators would serve to determine the poverty point and depth,which is also referred to as a degree of poverty indicators such as income.Again poverty could be measured at micro and macro levels. Poverty might be thecondition of individual families when seen in that wads, it is examined at a micro level. Itmay also be seen as a condition of population within communities’ region countries and thisis measured at a macro level. The macro level conclusion can evidently be considered as anaggregate of the micro. Poverty has always been conceptualized in both relative and absolutesenses. This is generally based on whether relative or absolute standard are adopted in thedetermination of the minimum. Incomes requires to basic life’s necessities. Relative poverty is concerned with the position of difference group of individual interms of their income and consumption levels. Absolute deprivation of certain basic5
necessities of life the most obvious being food, while relative, housing and an absolute areassociated with spending on nonfood items such as clothing, housing fuel as well aseducation and health they play significant roles in the poverty status of the people. In order toavoid the irreconcilable arguments on absolute and relative poverty between countries, thepoor and non-poor is known by the establishment definition of a minimum standard of livinga poverty line relevant to that country.To this end, Poverty stricken students fall victim to these harsh and to some extentinsensitive regulations. The right to education is every Nigerian’s right as enshrined in theBill of rights in the constitution of the country. Not all citizens acquire education since manypoor children end up dropping out of school due to financial constraints.Statement of the Problem Poverty is detrimental to academic achievement in Secondary School in Ikere LocalGovernment Area of Ekiti State. Poor students suffer from starvation at home, have no properuniforms and fail to meet payment deadlines. These problems negatively affect their learningprogress as it affects their academic performance negatively. The problems of the students’academic performance as a result of poverty will still remain static not changing if there is noproper consideration and understanding of a research work like this. Purpose of the Study The broad objectives of this study are to examine the influence of poverty onstudents’ academic performance in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The specific objectives of the study are to:i. find out the major causes of poverty among secondary schoolstudents in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. ii. examine the impact of poverty on secondary school studentsacademic performance in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State6
iii. investigate how poverty could determine educational attainment ofstudents in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.Significant of the Study The findings of this study will pave way for the creation of special curriculum for thepoor class to meet up with the educational demands and objectives by the policy of educationformulator. This research work will help the federal government and state government to seethe need for them to provide the necessary social amenities for all students in the secondaryschools. Also the teachers from this study will have the better understanding of individualdifference between their students in order to treat them differently. More so, parents with low economic status will see the important in providing alleducational needs for their children, so as to perform better academically. Finally, this study will be of vast important for the students to know how to managetheir level of poverty with their academics. Scope of the study Out of the entire Secondary School in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State, theresearch work covers four (4) Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere Local Government Area.The schools are listed below:THE INFLUENCE OF POVERTY ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS