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This study aims at identifying the causes and results of low academic performance from students, lecturers, parents and perspective as well as proffering possible solutions to the afore-mentioned problem. With regards to the researchers’ experiences as an under-graduate from a prestigious university, after seeing the academic results of students on various courses, the researcher observes that there are weaknesses in the students’ academic achievement. Since, academic achievement is a standard prerequisite for students to progress from one level of study to another, here the researcher discovers the basic needs associated with the topic. The researcher intends to recommend intervention strategies which can be used in reducing the major causes of poor academic performance to the lowest minimum in higher institution.

Systematic Random Sampling procedures were used to select students while simple random sampling was employed in selecting lecturers as well as parents. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and Binary Logistic model used for inferential analysis.


                                          CHAPTER ONE


1.1:  Background of the study

Education being an essential tool for development, it is mandatory that a student’s performance meets up with the required standard of education obtainable. Education is a fundamental human right as well as a catalyst for economic growth and human development (Okumu et al, 2008).

A students’ academic performance is the results of the tests, assignment, examinations, attendance and other graded points associated with the course. This contributes to the standards and quality of education every accredited university is aiming at. In achieving this, a number of practical and instructional strategies are designed to improve the students’ academic performance.

On this note, the researcher cross-examined failed academic experiences positively by going through them, to draw the required experiences for success but laying more emphasis on failure in order to eradicate it causes. Changing it from the previous painful memory to a better performance providing academia with the benefits that will emerge from the study. Naturally, humans are so anxious to succeed both in their scientific and practical lives at all levels, but lasting success cannot be achieved constantly because humans rely on trying in their lives, and the consequences of this attempt most times is failure. Failure here does not necessarily focus on giving up as long as it would not be the last option in a person’s life, but it becomes a motivation for success and a ladder to climb and moving towards the best to achieve the goals and objectives.

The studies on ELT in Oman show that the vast majority of the students who finish high school (grade 12) and join different public and private higher education institutions are unable to use language to fulfill their social, personal, academic, and career needs effectively and appropriately (Al-Issa, 2009).

Research have it that, failure is always associated with frustration and fear because of its relation to punishment from others which takes a form of disrespect, rebuke and punishment either physical or moral like, carry overs and negligence. Though, the fear of failure, committing mistakes, permanent feeling of guilt and not trying to succeed are the failure itself. Academic failure can be described as failure to keep attempting which is usually related to the fear of making mistakes. However, trying to achieve a goal can be considered a success even if it was less than expected. Aremu (2003) identifies poor academic performance as a performance that is adjudged by the examiner and some other significant as falling below an expected standard. Which implies that poor academic performance is not only frustrating to the pupils and the parents, its effects are equally crucial on the society in terms of lack of manpower in all fields of the economy and politics.

This study tends to address the real causes of this weakness, fear and attempt to understand and analyze these causes to provide suitable solutions to reduce the phenomenon of weakness of students’ poor academic performance.

Surfing in the Internet and googling, we would come across ample number of articles and studies conducted to find out the factors that have impact on students’ academic performance in different contexts and countries (Cascio 2015; Rahamneh, 2012).

Poor academic performance of students in many higher institutions including Nigeria has been associated with underlying problems such as poor socio-cultural, socioeconomic, School environmental, socio-political factors and many others that need further investigation. Therefore, it poses a threat to our future leaders and interest in the course of the study to assess the factors influencing students’ poor academic performance of higher institution.


The issue of low academic performance in our higher institutions today is one of the biggest problems facing the modern educational standard, which hindered them from the implementation of their educational mission appropriately. Still, this problem may lead to the presence of a group of students who are unable to pursue their courses with their colleagues because of their weak potentials, becoming a source of annoyance, chaos and inconvenience to the lecturers and the rest of the students and this in turn leads to disruption of the educational process in the classroom and the institution as a whole. Though, many parents complain of poor academic performance experienced by their children, unaware of the real reasons behind this which include lack of funds to securing most of the required learning materials and facilities.

This created the need for the researcher to assess the real causes of poor academic achievements in higher institution.


The main objective of this study is to examine the causes of poor academic performance with an attempt to explore the possible factors that may correlate in meaningful ways with the poor academic performance of students in higher institution. Meanwhile, the researcher came up with some sub-objectives during the course of the study which include;

  • To examine the factors associated with poor academic performance in higher institution.
  • To examine the student-related factors associated with poor academic performance.
  • To access the role of lecturers in poor academic performance of students in higher institution.
  • To ascertain the relationship between students’ attitude to learning and availability of a conducive learning facilities.


For the successful completion of this study, the following research hypotheses was formulated by the researcher

HO   There are no student-related factors affecting poor academic performance in higher institution.

H1   There are significant student related-factors affecting poor academic performance in higher institution.

Hypotheses 2:

HO   There are no lecturers-related factors associated with poor academic performance in higher institution.

H1   There are significant lecturers-related-factors associated with poor academic performance in higher institution.


This study aims at assessing poor academic performance in higher institution, bringing about insight into understanding factors which contribute to poor academic achievements of students; thereby deploying useful initiatives to improve their academic performance. Specifically, the study is beneficial to students, to boost their academic performance in diverse courses and to help them recognize the need to study hard. To lecturers, in assisting them in the areas where students needs more attention so making their course more appealing. To the government and curriculum development committee, to review all courses as a whole, focusing on the area that is needed by the students, and recommend necessary actions to assist in creating conducive facilities for learning. To future researchers, parents, scholars to study on how to assist students in improving poor academic performance.


The scope of this research work centers on the causes of poor academic performance in higher institution, with view of some related factors like the students, lecturers and learning environment. Placing more emphasis on finding out if students had interest in working hard, to getting good grades, and engaging challenging intellectual materials. There are some factors which contradicted the free flow of this study which include;

Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which was allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher had to combine other academic activities with the study.

Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study could not permit wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research materials      available to the researcher at the time of this study was insufficient, thereby limiting the study.


ACADEMIC: academic is relating to education and scholarship.

HIGHER INSTITUTION: Higher Institution, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education. Higher institution generally culminates in the receipt of certificatesdiplomas, or academic degrees.

ACADEMIA: the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.

PERFORMANCE: Performance is an act of presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment.

EDUCATION: Education is defined as the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits.


Academic performance or achievement in the context of this study refers to the level at which undergraduate students perform in their course of study. This accomplishment is measured through tests, assignments, and examinations conducted in every module taught at higher institution.



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