Determinants of poor academic performance of secondary school students in Sumbawanga district, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study was undertaken to assess factors that influence the academic performance of students of selected secondary schools in Sumbawanga District, Tanzania. Purposive sampling was used to select the District, Heads of schools and District Secondary Educational officers. Systematic Random Sampling procedures were used to select students while simple random sampling was employed in selecting teachers as well as parents. In this study the questionnaire, physical interviews and observation approaches were used in data collection. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and Binary Logistic model used for inferential analysis. Low parents’ income, shortage of laboratory and long walking distances to schools were found to have significant influence on the poor academic performances of the students at p < 0.05. Other factors that were found to influence poor academic performance included lack of English language competence, inadequate teaching and learning materials, inadequate number of teachers and unavailability of library facilities. The performance of secondary school students were therefore, found to drop every year mainly due to schools and home based factors. It is concluded that, Sumbawanga District Council should construct laboratories and dormitories to create conducive environments for learning. Also, Sumbawanga District Council and other educational stakeholders should provide learning materials to its schools because most of parents have low incomes to meet all scholastic requirements of their children.


Master Dissertation


Poor academic performance, Secondary school, Sumbawanga district, Tanzania