The impact of poverty on students’ attendance and academic performance in Bahi district

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
This study aimed at assessing the impact of poverty on students’ attendance and academic performance in Bahi District. The study was guided by four research objectives; to identify the heads of household socio-economic status in the area of study; to examine the influence of poverty on students’ school attendance in the study area; to assess the impact of student’ attendance on academic performance based on continuous assessment and national examination results; and also to identify other poverty, related factors affecting students’ school attendance and academic performance. Five secondary schools were sampled. The study involved 300 respondents comprising of 5 heads of school, 5 academic teachers 20 teachers, 150 students and 120 parents. The study used a multiple case study design and a mixed methods research approach. Data were collected through interview, questionnaires, observation, focus group discussion and documentary review. The findings revealed that the majority of heads of households were low income earners and mainly depended on hand hoe agriculture for subsistence. Parents’ socio-economic status impacted on their ability to afford meeting the direct and indirect schooling costs. Parents and students’ attitudes towards education contributed to poor attendance of students in schools and hence poor academic performance. Alongside with poverty, poor school infrastructure, shortage of teachers and teaching materials contributed to students’ poor academic performance. Due to rampant poverty among the people in the study are there emerged some institutions sponsoring students living in difficult conditions. It was concluded that poverty was the most important factor adversely affecting students’ attendance and academic performance in national examinations. Other related contributing factors were poor infrastructure in and around the schools as well as lack of cooperation among stakeholders. The study recommended awareness creation seminars among parents, development of a sense of school ownership among stakeholders, establishment of various strategies aimed at raising school funds, addressing cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, gender and environmental conservation as well as introduction of food feeding programme in the schools.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LC146.T34A43)
School attendance, Secondary schools, Academic achievement, Poverty, Bahi district, Tanzania
Alexander, M. (2013) The impact of poverty on students’ attendance and academic performance in Bahi district. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.