Influence of socio-economic, psychological and physical factors on academic performance among orphaned pupils in public primary schools in Kapseret Sub-County, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Mulaa, Eleanor, Akola
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The number of orphaned children is increasing across the world, creating a significant problem for educational attainment. The need toiprovideiqualityieducationiforiallichildreniis ioneiofitheiobjectivesiofithe Sustainable Development Goal number four on inclusive and equitable quality education. However, the academic achievement of orphaned pupils has been affected by several factors. Despite the measures the government is putting in place to improve pupils' academic performance such as free primary education, the academic performance of orphaned pupils in public primary schools has been persistently average and low. The purpose iof ithe istudy iwas ito idetermine ithe iinfluence iof isocio-economic, ipsychological iand iphysical ifactors ion iacademic iperformance iamong iorphaned ipupils iin ipubliciprimaryischoolsiiniKapseretiSub-County. iTheispecificiobjectivesiwereito;iestablishithe iinfluenceiofisocio-economicifactors, ipsychologicalifactorsiandiphysicalifactorsioniacademic iperformanceiofiorphanedipupils. The study was based anchored on the ecological systems theory by Bronfenbrenner. This study adopted the concurrent triangulation design to investigate the research problem. The target population for this study was 447, comprising of 371 orphan pupils in class 6, 7, and 8, 19 head teachers, 57 class teachers from 19 public primary schools in Kapseret Sub-County. The sample size was 211 comprising of 175 orphaned pupils, 9 headteachers and 27 class teachers. Purposive and simple random sampling were used to select respondents. Primary data was collected using the questionnaire from the orphaned pupils, while interview schedules were used to collect data from headteachers and class teachers. Secondary data used were from journals, books, and research thesis. The study used both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods. Quantitative data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, which included frequencies, percentages, means, and the standard deviation. Inferentially data were analyzed using Pearson's correlations and regression model tested at 0.05% level of significance. Qualitative data were analyzed using the thematic method. Findings revealed that socio-economic, psychological and physical factors negatively influenced orphaned pupils' academic performance. Study findings revealed that socio-economic factor has a negative and significant influence on academic performance (β1=-0.138, p<0.05). Socio-economic needs were prioritized over the educational needs of orphaned pupils. The study results revealed that psychological factors have a negative and significant influence on academic performance (β2=-0.130, p<0.05). Orphaned pupils faced psychological challenges such as relatives' verbal abuse, lack of affection and protection that influence their academic performance poorly. Further study findings revealed that physical factors have a negative and significant influence on academic performance (β3=-0.285, p<0.05). The study concluded that the academic performance of orphaned children was negatively influenced by socio-economic, psychological, and physical factors. Orphaned children were more affected by lack of permanent shelter as they had to move from relatives to relatives for accommodation and others opting to live in schools and the church. The study recommended that for improvement of orphaned pupils’ academic performance, schools need to initiate supportive programs to cater for the extra needs of orphaned children to ensure deficiency in their foster homes do not affect their academic performance. Parents and institutions taking care of orphaned children should be trained on a positive upbringing to reduce the gap of the children feeling accepted and protected.
Africa Nazarene University