THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN LAFIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Over the past decades, the unfortunate reality is that the income gap has widened between Nigerian families. Educational outcomes are one of the key areas inuenced by family income. Children from low-income families often start school already behind their peers who come from more auent families. The incidence, depth, duration and timing of poverty all inuence a child’s educational performance, along with community characteristics and social networks (Evan,
2004). However, both Nigerian and international organizations have shown that the effects of poverty can be reduced using sustainable interventions. Meanwhile, poverty remains a stubborn fact of life even in rich countries. According to Harris (2006) complex web of social relationships student experience with peers, adults in the school and family members exerts a much greater inuence on their academic performance. This process starts with student core relationship with parents or primary caregivers in their lives, which form a personality that is either secure and attached or insecure and unattached. Securely attached children perform better in school (Bali, Granger, Kivlighan, Mills-Koonce, Willongby & Greeberg, 2008). Once students are in school, the dual factors of socialization and social status contribute signicantly
to academic achievement. The school socialization process typically pressure student to be like their peer or risk social rejection, whereas the quest for high social status drives students to attempt to differentiate themselves in some areas, for example, socioeconomic status forms a huge part in this equation. Children raised in poverty rarely choose to behave differently, but are faced daily with overwhelming challenges that auent children never have to confront and their brains have adapted to suboptimal conditions in ways that undermine good school performance. The human conditions which we might classify as being in poverty have a long history with a variety of interpretations; these conditions are inuenced by a number of factors including resources, contemporary standards and public perceptions of what is minimally acceptable (Evans, 2004).