Education Project Topics

The Effect of Poverty on the Academic Performance of Students in Some Selected Secondary Schools

The Effect of Poverty on the Academic Performance of Students in Some Selected Secondary Schools

The Effect of Poverty on the Academic Performance of Students in Some Selected Secondary Schools

Chapter One


The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of poverty on the student’s academic performance in Nigeria emphasizing on some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The study is to find out whether students of nation can really be affected with any economic standard of the nation. The study also tries to find out the extend of which any community standard of living can affect the students education in that community. Some teachers are surprise when it comes to evaluate performance of some students such teachers might find a particular students in class performing extremely poor despite all kinds of skills employed in carrying out an effective teaching and learning process which extremely well.

This study will also provide possible suggestion, in enhancing or improving the student’s academic performance by bringing out strategies to alleviate poverty. For instance by introducing the Britain welfare legislative system by providing accommodation, transportation, feeding, sickness benefiting, clothing etc those families living below the poverty level.



This chapter attempts a review of the relevant literature and books that are related to the study, to this end the review will be centered on;

  • The concept of poverty
  • The influence of poverty on education of the students in Nigeria
  • The influence of parental economic status on the students at various levels
  • Home environment and student education.


Kelvin cleaver (1993) defined poverty as a state of being with noting or litter material with disease and low access to education. That is to say a poor person suffers because he cannot get his or her basic needs. He lives below the minimum standard of living and suffer different incurable diseases of the illumination of the mind. Poverty limit a nation, lack of opportunity of providing the basic needs of the people such as housing, basic education, infrastructure like good road, water, electricity etc he is also of the view that majority of people chose to be poor because they refuse to engage in the skills acquisition activities like clothing and textile, banking decoration and creating the further explains that all these affect rural development, the improvement of the social well being of the rural population.

The Oxford Dictionary (1998) described poverty as the state of being poor, the state of existing in amount that is too small.  Ohanmu O.K et al (2003) defined poverty as a state of one who lack an unusual or society acceptable amount of money or material possession. She goes further to say that poverty exists when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs, from the accounting view, poverty is defined as the excess of a persons expenses over his her earnings for example if a person’s gross income earning is N 10,000 per month and his or her expenses amount to N 15,000 or more month, certainly the person is on poverty lane. If the trend continues or a long period, the persons economic situation will worse imagine person who live in a average township in Nigeria who is on a salary of N7,000 a month living with a family of five from this salary, he or she will pay rent, buy food, clothes, drugs pay his children fees etc it is obvious that unless the family has another source of income he or she will go begging before the month runs to an end.

Dr. Ogwa Mike (2005) sees poverty as a way of life characterized by low calories intake, inaccessibility to adequate health facilities, low life expectancy. High infant mortality, low income employment and accessibility to various housing and social facilities. Generally, people are said to be poor if their income falls below a certain level called a threshold, also known as poverty in this definition, the poor does not have access to basic goods and services such as food, clothing, education, transportations and house.


Education is necessary but also difficult to obtain without determination inspite of its necessity, it can be acquired for free, that is why one needs to be really hard working in order to get it. However, a child, no matter how talented cannot achieve or get it if the parents cannot afford to pay his or her education fees. Therefore, the inability of parent to handle the educational needs of their children results in poor academic performance of their children in schools. Akinboye et al (1983) believed that adequate financial background is essential in learning to enhance academic performance of children in their various schools.

Owoniyi (1983) claims that the children from poor homes are likely to show to a great extent the effect of under-nourishment, illness insomnia and many other odd behaviours which affect physical and mental development of a child. He said that this could also lead to truancy and irregular attendance of school on the part of the poor. According to Ferhert (1990) the correlation between the levels of academic performance of children showed that the higher the level of education, economic and social classes of parents, the better the performance of their children at school. In Nigeria today, education is very costly, where as in the time past it was not so in those days children were begged to attend schools. The economics of was in the hands of our colonial master, which were better managers. Is it true that greed has taken away the better part of our sensibilities, thus, the sensibility of our leaders? The result is that we now have over 80% of the population who live at subsistence level. To those group education is obtain with pains and tears parent have many more experience to content with books, school fees, uniform etc and as one cannot allow these things ones child will not be happy to attend school. This is why we now have many dropout at the secondary school level of education some children may start as well in primary one only to discontinue, other stop at various level up to the university level, due to the many dropout from schools will now have many illiterates and semi-illiterates in Nigeria, thus, a number of area boys, thieves, and other miscreant continue to soar. The children of the poor, few who enter public schools are disadvantaged their teachers are not paid as at when due, they do not have teaching and learning aids. The government is not serious and the pupils are frustrated we can thus say that poverty causes the single most serious damage to student’s education in Nigeria.




This chapter describes the methodology employed in conducting the study, the study is designed to obtain information with which to access the effect of poverty on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary school in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.


The study is a survey designed to investigate poverty and its impact on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.


The population of this study from which the sample will be drawn in the course of this research consists of some secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.



This chapter deals with discussion presentation and interpretation of data gathered in the process of finding out the impact of poverty on the academic performance of students. The data were collected from five selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The result was analyzed on the basis of each of the research questions in chapter one. Below is the table.

Table 1: Is poverty alleviation programme held in your school?



The research was carried out in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. This chapter is set aside to summarize the descriptive analysis done in the previous chapter and also to conclude and give recommendations.


In recent years many students has encountered breakdown in their academic performance due to the effect of poverty. The study was therefore carried out to find the effect of poverty on the academic performance on students, teenagers, and the society at large.

School were selected in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. the researcher visited these schools to find out the effect that would arise if the poverty is not tackled in time. The researcher also sort the view of some parents. Questionnaires method was used to collect data. The questionnaire number from (1-20) for students, parents and teachers. So from the study the researcher came up with the following findings;

  1. Seminars should be held to educate people about the effect of poverty.
  2. The economic status of parents has an impact on the academic performance of students.
  3. The government should play an important role on the eradication of poverty.
  4. Government should provide equipment like textbooks and notebooks so as to reduce the effect of poverty.
  5. Parents should at least provide all the essential materials needed for their children academics.
  6. Government should provide basic goods and services such as food, clothing, education, transpiration and housing for the poor mostly the disabled so as to encourage them.


It is evident from the foregoing that the level of poverty of a country or parents greatly affects student’s performance in school academically. Based data available, it clearly shows that among the factors that determines good academic performance of secondary schools students’ poverty is prominent.

These include the economic status of a country, the economic status of parent’s occupation and income

Based on the findings of this research, one can conclude that the socio-economic status of parents goes a long way to affect and determines their children performance in school.


Based on the result of the study the following recommendations have been suggested in order to assist the government, parents in improving student’s performance;

  1. The government should provides the following;
  2. The first necessity is to provide broad based growth that will generate income earning opportunities fro the poor
  3. The second is to ensure availability or access to education, health care and other social services for the poor
  4. Government should provide school which should be located in conducive environment to enable effective learning.
  5. Parent should provide for their children the necessary schools material so that their child would be better disposed toward developing and achieving a better education attainment in life.
  6. Government should also provide guidance and counselling services in school in order to assist them especially those with maladjustment problem.


  • Crow and Crow (1981). Child psychology. London, Macmillan Press.
  • Hornby, A.S. (2000). Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary (6th ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Oguw Mike (2005) Parents’ socio-economic status as predicator of secondary school students academic performance Ekiti State, Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice.
  • Leroy V.E and Symes S.P (2001) Parent literacy and their children promising practices and research: Implications. education research report.
  • Ohanmu O.K Mike E.K (2003). What is poverty? Who asks? Who answers?’ In Poverty in focus: What is poverty? Concepts and Measures. UNDP, International Poverty Centre.
  • Bassard M.T and Sanger Y.P (1952) Factors affecting students’ quality of academic performance: a case of secondary school level. Journal of Quality and Technology Management, 7(2)