Success in academics often requires a student to overcome a lot of hurdles in life to achieve academic excellence. Much of the experience that students have while at school has a significant impact on their involvement in attaining good grades and enjoying school while in the process. Poor academic performance at school is however, contributed to a lot of external and internal factors that surround the student. Finding a solution to a student’s low performance requires both the teacher and parent to find the root causes and consider them.
Causes of poor academic performance
The grades of a student can significantly reduce due to factors that can be classified as internal and external issues. Domestic issues can include problems at home, the student’s emotional state and health state while external factors involve social interaction, school environment, teacher-student relationship and interest.
Poor performance in class leads to academic concerns which affect some individuals from elementary school all the way to college. Academic matters can have an impact on the general performance of the child both in class and other social parts of his or her life. Here are some main issues that do affect the overall performance of a student:
- Socioeconomic status
Students who come from humble backgrounds or families that have a low socioeconomic status often have a hard time to catch up with their peers who are well off. Parents who can safeguard their child’s future by ensuring that their school fees are paid and have all reading materials allow their children to have more time to concentrate. Inability to pay for schooling sets a student back as he or she may be forced to look for part-time jobs and may have additional obligations at home which may take up study time for them.
- Problems back at home
Poor performance can be a mirror of what is happening again at home. Students who have a difficult time and live in hostile environments may find it hard to concentrate and give their best in class. The most common problems experienced at home include:
- Child abuse such as physical and emotional violence from parents or surrounding neighbors.
- Drug addiction and alcoholism from adults in the family.
- Sexual harassment.
- Incurable diseases mostly of parents or close relatives and themselves.
- The permissive atmosphere at home i.e. parents who are less strict with academics or those who instill too much pressure on academic excellence
These conditions lead to the child having fear, stress and disinterest in school making them less active in their study.
- School environment
Some characteristics of a school environment can have a significant impact on how the child performs such as:
- Physical conditions of the school such as less reading materials, unkempt facilities and less assurance of safety will affect the student’s performance — minimal access to programs and services to meet the needs of the students.
- Highly populated classrooms reduce the teacher-student ratio which results to lack of proper attention from school officials.
- Disciplinary cases such as bullying in school can lead to emotional and physical issues that affect the performance of an individual.
- Learning disability
Learning disabilities can be classified into several categories leading to effects on the child’s ability in activities like spoken language, reasoning and written language. Students with learning disabilities often lag in school performance because they may need more time to process information and learn as compared to their peers. This can place a lot of pressure and stress on them. Issues such as Attention Deficit and hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and dyslexia are conditions that may render a child to have difficulties while learning.
- Emotional distress and Post-traumatic stress
This condition often leads to a reduction of self-motivation from a child as a result of a robust experience that the student may be going through. In cases where a child has lost a valuable family member or a close friend, it may take a while for them to get back up on their feet. Children going through emotional distress can display symptoms such as fear, isolation, nervousness, nightmares, lack of motivation and irritability.
- Parents education
Children are more likely to perform better with parents who work towards encouraging their children to study more and set the bar of success high for them. The level of education achieved by their parents during their time will also be a source of motivation for them and equally if the parents show interest in their studies. In families with parents who have little regards towards the academic performance of their children could significantly impact the level of importance and seriousness that the child will put in his or her studies.
Impacts of adverse effects on school performance
The causes have a significant impact on the ability of the child to get good grades while in class. Some of the most common implications include;
- Disinterest in topics of study due to underperformance
- Misunderstanding of questions while in class
- Underachievement in school activities both class work and extra-curricular activities
- Time management issues and increase in procrastination.
- Increased chances of developing mental health issues causing them to drop out of school or attempt suicide.
Developing an awareness of the issues that could negatively impact a student’s performance is a good way of finding the root cause and preparing parents and teachers to deal with the situation. To help improve on the performance, using the help of a professional therapist and counselors is a welcome attempt to set the child back on track. Early detection of their mental health and learning abilities is also essential to determine if they require individualized education plans or other special treatments. Parents and teachers can also play their role in motivating the students to study smart. Motivation has been known to instill determination, energy, improves the students’ behavior and values.
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