Learners’ Characteristics and Academic Performance: A Study of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Primary School, Ghana

Olivia Akrofi

Issue: Vol.1  No.1 May 2020  Article 1 pp. 1-9
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/jelt.2020051   |   Published online 25th May 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The learner has a significant role to play in improving his/her academic performance. This study investigated learners’ characteristics contributing to low academic performance in primary school. The study focused on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Primary School in Kumasi, Ghana. Using a qualitative approach, one hundred and twenty (120) learners, sixty (60) parents and thirty-five (35) teachers were purposively sampled using questionnaires, interviews and informal discussions respectively. Responses of learners revealed that some of them felt rejected by peers, did not understand lessons taught, while some were inattentive and attention seekers who tend to disrupt the concentration of studious learners. The findings showed that lack of parental motivation and assistance negatively impact the academic work of learners. The study recommends that a guidance and counselling unit be set up in schools to assist learners develop attitudes and habits for academic achievements..

Keywords:  Learners’ characteristics, academic performance, guidance and counselling, socio-economic status,  motivation.

Adane, Linda Ofosua. “Factors affecting low academic achievement of pupils in Kemp Methodist Junior High School in Aburi, Eastern region.” Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Ghana, 2013.

Ajayi, K. O., A. O. Lawani, and M. O. Salomi. “The influences of self-concept and academic motivation on students’ attitude to mathematics in selected secondary schools in Ogun State, Nigeria.” European Journal of Scientific Research 67, no. 3 (2012): 444-455.

Akrofi, Olivia. Parental involvement of School Guidance and Counselling of the Adolescent.Unpublished. University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. 2009.

Aremu, S., and B. Oluwole. “The development and validation and academic performance. 5 Factor Inventory: An unpublished manuscript department of guidance and counselling.” University of Ibadan, Ibadan (2000).

Barry, J. “The effect of socio-economic status on academic achievement [PhD dissertation].” Wichita, Kansas: Wichita State University (2005).

Carbonaro, William. “Tracking, students’ effort, and academic achievement.” Sociology of Education 78, no. 1 (2005): 27-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/003804070507800102

Chowa, Gina. “How Do Student and School Characteristics Influence Youth Academic Performance in Ghana? A Hierarchical Linear Modeling of Baseline Data From the YouthSave Ghana Experiment.” (2013).

Crosnoe, Robert, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, and Glen H. Elder Jr. “School size and the interpersonal side of education: An examination of race/ethnicity and organizational context.” Social Science Quarterly 85, no. 5 (2004): 1259-1274. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0038-4941.2004.00275.x

Daley, David, and James Birchwood. “ADHD and academic performance: why does ADHD impact on academic performance and what can be done to support ADHD children in the classroom?” Child: care, health and development 36, no. 4 (2010): 455-464. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.01046.x

Dawson-Brew, Emma, Vera Ankomah-Sey, and Eric Nyarko-Sampson. “The relative effect of Field Dependent and Field Independent learning styles on the academic performance of undergraduate students of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.” IFE PsychologIA: An International Journal 18, no. 2 (2010): 48-64. https://doi.org/10.4314/ifep.v18i2.56643

Diaz, Antonia Lozano. “Personal, family, and academic factors affecting low achievement in secondary school.” Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology and Psychopedagogy 1, no. 1 (2003): 43- 66.

Dweck, Carol S., Gregory M. Walton, and Geoffrey L. Cohen. “Academic Tenacity: Mindsets and Skills that Promote Long-Term Learning.” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2014).

Erling, S. “Allocating time within the school year calendar: A review of the literature.” (2007).

Etsey, Kafui. “Causes of low academic performance of primary school pupils in the Shama Sub-Metro of Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) in Ghana.” In Proceedings of the Regional Conference on Education in West Africa. 2005.

Ferla, Johan, Martin Valcke, and Yonghong Cai. “Academic self-efficacy and academic self-concept: Reconsidering structural relationships.” Learning and individual differences 19, no. 4 (2009): 499-505. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2009.05.004

Girmus, Ronald L. “How to Motivate Your Students.” Online Submission (2012).

Hidi, Suzanne. “Revisiting the role of rewards in motivation and learning: Implications of neuroscientific research.” Educational Psychology Review 28, no. 1 (2016): 61-93.

Kotzé, Chané. “The child’s psychological experience of the parent’s new partner divorce.” PhD diss., 2008.

Louw, Daniel Andreas. Human development. Pearson South Africa, 1998.

Memon, G.R., Muhammad, F.J. Muhammad, A. (2010). ‘Impact of parents’ socioeconomic status on students on students’ educational achievement at secondary schools of district Malir Karachi, Pakistan.’, Middle East Journal of Science Research, (2010).

Mendezabal, Marie Jean N. “Study habits and attitudes: The road to academic success.” Open Science Repository Educationopen-access (2013): e70081928.

Michael, Ige Olusegun, and Ogunleye Akinyemi Wumi. “Causes and remedies to low academic performance of students in public secondary schools: A study of Ijero local government area of Ekiti State.” (2016).

Mphale, Luke Moloko, and Mavis B. Mhlauli. “An investigation on students’ academic performance for junior secondary schools in Botswana.” European Journal of Educational Research 3, no. 3 (2014): 111-127. https://doi.org/10.12973/eu-jer.3.3.111

Mutsotso, S. N., and E. S. B. Abenga. “Study methods for improving quality learning and performance in higher education.” (2010).

Stewart, Endya B. “School structural characteristics, student effort, peer associations, and parental involvement: The influence of school-and individual-level factors on academic achievement.” Education and urban society 40, no. 2 (2008): 179-204. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124507304167

Tias, P.A, S. Istamar and Adi Atmoko. “The contribution of intelligent quotient on Biology academic achievement of senior high school students in Medan, Indonesia. (2015)

Tella, Adedeji. “The impact of motivation on student’s academic achievement and learning outcomes in mathematics among secondary school students in Nigeria.” Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education 3, no. 2 (2007): 149-156. https://doi.org/10.12973/ejmste/75390

Vellymalay, Suresh Kumar N. “The impact of parent’s socioeconomic status on parental involvement at home: A case study on high achievement Indian students of a Tamil School in Malaysia.” International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences 2, no. 8 (2012): 11.

OLIVIA AKROFI is a Chief Teacher at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Primary School. She holds a Master of Philosophy (Educational Innovation and Leadership Science) from KNUST, Kumasi –Ghana and a Master of Education (Guidance and Counseling) University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast- Ghana. Email: ooakrofi@gmail.com

Akrofi, Olivia. “Learners’ Characteristics and Academic Performance: A Study of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Primary School, Ghana.” Journal of Education and Learning Technology 1, no.1 (2020): 1-9. https://doi.org/10.38159/jelt.2020051

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).