Effects Of Households Living Conditions on Pupils' Academic Performance in Zongo Communities in Kumasi, Ashanti Region

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The study sought to examine the effects of poverty on academic performance in the Zongo communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The study is philosophically grounded in urban geography using the systems theory to establish linkages between academic performance and other socio-economic variables like income, location and parents’ educational backgrounds. The study identified the falling standard in academic performance of pupils within the Zongo communities in the basic education certificate examination and attempts to identify solutions to improve such falling standards. Questionnaires and interviews were the main research instruments. These were however supplemented with personal observation. In all, 396 questionnaires were administered to Parents, Pupils, Head teachers, Teachers and Education director. Principal Component Analysis, Cross tabulations; Chi-square and Frequency tables were employed in the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data using the Statistical Product and Service Solution. The low income of parents, location of schools within the Zongo communities, and parents’ educational background were the major causes of low Pupils performance within the Zongo communities. The study recommends that the Ghana Education Service should conduct regular training and supervision of teachers working under the Islamic Education Unit. The study also recommends that the School Feeding Program of the government should be introduced within the Zongo communities as a way of supplementing the nutritional needs of the Pupil within the Zongo communities. The study also proposes empowering the youth and the parents within the study areas through vocational and technical training so as to create job opportunities, and thereby reduce unemployment within the study area. The study finally concludes that improvement in parent's income is a single most important factor that can enhance the academic performance of the pupils living in the Zongo communities.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department Of Geography and Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy.