Factors affecting pupils’ academic performance in selected urban secondary schools in Kitwe district on the Copperbelt province, Zambia.

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Chungu, Mbolela
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The University of Zambia
The study investigated the factors that contribute to Pupil Poor Academic Performance in selected schools of Kitwe Urban namely: Wusakile, Mitanto, Nkana and Mindolo Secondary Schools. The academic results at grade twelve in these schools have progressively deteriorated in the past two years (2016 and 2017). The study aimed at determining the extent to which the School and Home environments influenced the academic performance of pupils at grade twelve in the selected schools. A case study design was used which applied the qualitative paradigm and sparingly used quantitative data for the purpose of obtaining descriptive statistics. However, the study was more inclined to the qualitative research paradigm. The target population comprised teachers, pupils and school administrators. Purposive sampling procedures were used for the fifty-four (54) respondents who participated in the study. Data were collected through questionnaires, interview guides, focus group discussions and voice recordings. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically through identification of themes and sub-themes that emerged. Basic descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and tables were used in the analysis of quantitative data. The findings of the study established the following as factors contributing to poor pupil academic performance in selected secondary schools in Kitwe District: insufficient study space, inadequate provision of learners’ academic and social welfare, non-parental involvement in monitoring pupil commitment to studies, inadequate teacher up-grading, teachers not updating themselves with educational information and practice research, a lack of teacher involvement in internal and external capacity building educational programs, lack of pupil commitment to learning and study through searching for knowledge from their teachers, peers and available libraries and laboratories, lack of self-discipline among pupils. The study recommended that schools should: develop and implement strategic plans aimed at improving their infrastructure and general aesthetical outlook, restock their libraries and re-equip their laboratories, adequately monitor and supervise their teachers and pupils, establish Guidance and Counseling staff positions, develop a culture of research and peer review in teaching practice. The Ministry of General Education should involve Head teachers in the selection of new teachers before they are posted to schools.
Academic achievement. , Expectation and pupil performance. , Academic achievement--Social aspects. , Academic achievement--Psychological aspects. , Motivation in education.