Barriers to Child Success in School: A Critical Focus on Child Neglect and Academic Performance of Pupils in the Bantama Community in Kumasi, Ghana

Eric Badu, Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Appiah-Danquah K Amponsah


ABSTRACT: The child neglect seems to increase students suffering and substantially affect their academic performance. This study aimed to investigate the effect of child neglect on academic performance of JHS (Junior High School) pupil in the Bantama community in Kumasi, Ghana. A cross sectional survey with quantitative methods was conducted with pupils within the Bantama community. A purposive sampling was used to select four community schools: Kookoase JHS, Presbyterian JHS, Bantama Methodist, and Roman Catholic JHS. A simple random sampling was used to select 200 pupils. The common child neglect experienced by pupils was lack of parental supervision, encouragement, and basic necessities. The study found that most pupils lacked educational materials, including books, funds for extra classes, and school uniforms. The study found a significant association between child neglect and academic performance of pupils, such that child neglect positively correlated with poor academic performance (r = 0.77; p = 0.02). The study findings suggest that pupils experienced child neglect which affects their ability to perform in school. It is recommended that parental contribution in resourcing students with the necessary provisions will improve their academic performance.

KEY WORD: Education; Child Neglect; Junior High School; Academic Performance; Parental Supervision. 

RINGKASAN: Hambatan untuk Sukses Anak di Sekolah: Sorotan Kritis tentang Pengabaian Anak dan Prestasi Akademik Siswa pada Masyarakat Bantama di Kumasi, Ghana”. Mengabaikan anak tampaknya meningkatkan penderitaan para siswa dan secara substansial mempengaruhi prestasi akademik mereka. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui pengaruh mengabaikan anak terhadap prestasi akademik siswa SMP (Sekolah Menengah Pertama) pada masyarakat Bantama di Kumasi, Ghana. Sebuah survei silang dengan metode kuantitatif dilakukan terhadap para siswa dalam masyarakat Bantama. Sampel bertujuan digunakan untuk memilih empat sekolah, yakni: SMP Kookoase, SMP Presbyterian, SMP Methodist Bantama, dan SMP Katolik Roma. Sampel acak sederhana digunakan untuk memilih 200 siswa. Pengabaian anak secara umum yang dialami oleh murid adalah kurangnya pengawasan orangtua, dorongan semangat, dan pemenuhan kebutuhan dasar. Studi ini menemukan bahwa sebagian besar siswa tidak memiliki bahan pendidikan, termasuk buku, dana untuk kelas tambahan, dan seragam sekolah. Studi ini menemukan hubungan yang signifikan antara mengabaikan anak dan prestasi akademik siswa, sehingga mengabaikan anak berkorelasi positif dengan prestasi akademik yang buruk (r = 0.77; p = 0.02). Temuan penelitian menunjukan bahwa siswa yang mengalami pengabaian mempengaruhi kemampuan mereka dalam unjuk kinerja di sekolah. Disarankan bahwa kontribusi orangtua dalam melengkapi para siswa dengan ketentuan yang diperlukan akan meningkatkan prestasi akademik mereka.

KATA KUNCI: Pendidikan; Mengabaikan Anak; Sekolah Menengah Pertama; Prestasi Akademik; Pengawasan Orangtua.


About the Authors: Eric Badu and Maxwell Peprah Opoku are the Lecturers at the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), Private Mail Bag, Knust-Kumasi, Ghana. Appiah-Danquah K. Amponsah is a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Social Work KNUST, Private Mail Bag, Knust-Kumasi, Ghana. Corresponding author is:

How to cite this article? Badu, Eric, Maxwell Peprah Opoku & Appiah-Danquah K. Amponsah. (2015). “Barriers to Child Success in School: A Critical Focus on Child Neglect and Academic Performance of Pupils in the Bantama Community in Kumasi, Ghana” in ATIKAN: Jurnal Kajian Pendidikan, Vol.5(2) December, pp.133-142. Bandung, Indonesia: Minda Masagi Press, ISSN 2088-1290.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (October 28, 2015); Revised (November 25, 2015); and Published (December 30, 2015).


Education; Child Neglect; Junior High School; Academic Performance; Parental Supervision

Full Text:



Abdallah, H. et al. (2014). “Dilemma of Basic School Pupils in Northern Ghana with Respect to Their Learning Context” in Education Research International, 2(1).

Adejobi, A. et al. (2013). “Child Maltreatment and Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Ibadan, Nigeria” in Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(2), pp.175-186.

Akanle, O. (2007). “Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Student’s Academic Performance in Nigeria” in Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3).

Akyeampong, K. (2009). “Revisiting Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) in Ghana” in Comparative Education, 45(2), pp.175-195.

Akyeampong, K. (2010). 50 Years of Educational Progress and Challenge in Ghana. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Springer.

Akyeampong, K. et al. (2007). Access to Basic Education in Ghana: The Evidence and the Issues. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Springer.

Anamuah-Mensah, J., A. Asabere-Ameyaw & S. Dennis. (2007). Bridging the Gap: Linking School and the World of Work in Ghana. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Springer.

Barrett, A.M. et al. (2006). “The Concept of Quality in Education: A Review of the ‘International’ Literature on the Concept of Quality in Education” in England: EdQual.

Berridge, D. (2007). “Theory and Explanation in Child Welfare: Education and Looked‐After Children” in Child & Family Social Work, 12(1), pp.1-10.

Chimombo, J.P. (2005). “Issues in Basic Education in Developing Countries: An Exploration of Policy Options for Improved Delivery” in Journal of International Cooperation in Education, 8(1), pp.129-152.

Colby, A. (2003). Educating Citizens: Preparing America's Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility, Volume 6. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Dass-Brailsford, P. (2005). “Exploring Resiliency: Academic Achievement among Disadvantaged Black Youth in South Africa: ‘General’ Section” in South African Journal of Psychology, 35(3), pp.574-591.

DeVooght, K., M. McCoy-Roth & M. Freundlich. (2011). “Young and Vulnerable: Children Five and Under Experience High Maltreatment Rates” in Child Trends: Early Childhood Highlights, 2(2), pp.1-20.

Fallon, B. et al. (2010). “Methodological Challenges in Measuring Child Maltreatment” in Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(1), pp.70-79.

Finkelhor, D., R.K. Ormrod & H.A. Turner. (2007). “Poly-Victimization: A Neglected Component in Child Victimization” in Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(1), pp.7-26.

Gager, C.T. & L. Sanchez. (2003). “Two as One? Couples’ Perceptions of Time Spent Together, Marital Quality, and the Risk of Divorce” in Journal of Family Issues, 24(1), pp.21-50.

Gakusi, A.E. (2010). “African Education Challenges and Policy Responses: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the African Development Bank's Assistance” in African Development Review, 22(1), pp.208-264.

Giardino, A.P. et al. (2011). “Child Abuse Pediatrics: New Specialty, Renewed Mission” in Pediatrics, 128(1), pp.156-159.

Goldman, J. et al. (2003). A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect. Available online also at: [accessed in Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: October 9, 2015].

GSS [Ghana Statistical Services]. (2012). Population & Housing Census: Summary Report of Final Results 2010. Accra, Ghana: Ghana Statistical Service.

Heady, C. (2003). “The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement” in World Development, 31(2), pp.385-398.

Hildyard, K.L. & D.A. Wolfe. (2002). “Child Neglect: Developmental Issues and Outcomes” in Child Abuse & Neglect, 26(6), pp.679-695.

Kemboi, A.J. (2013). Relationship between Child Abuse and Academic Performance in Five Selected Primary School in Suguta Zone Of Samburu County. Nairobi: University of Nairobi Press.

Lawson, H.A. (2005). “Empowering People, Facilitating Community Development, and Contributing to Sustainable Development: The Social Work of Sport, Exercise, and Physical Education Programs” in Sport, Education, and Society, 10(1), pp.135-160.

Little, A.W. (2006). Education for All and Multigrade Teaching. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Springer.

Lloyd, C.B. & A.K. Blanc. (1996). “Children's Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Fathers, Mothers, and Others” in Population and Development Review, pp.265-298.

Maclean, R. & D. Wilson. (2009). International Handbook of Education for the Changing World of Work: Bridging Academic and Vocational Learning, Volume 2. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Springer.

Slack, K.S. et al. (2004). “Understanding the Risks of Child Neglect: An Exploration of Poverty and Parenting Characteristics” in Child Maltreatment, 9(4), pp.395-408.

Tight, M. (2002). Key Concepts in Adult Education and Training. Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: Psychology Press.

Wash, L. (2013). “What are the Causes of High School Students Having Early Relationships?”. Available online also at: [accessed in Knust-Kumasi, Ghana: November 3, 2014].

Yinusa, M.A. & A.O. Basil. (2008). “Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Students Academic Performance in Nigeria: Some Explanation from a Local Survey” in Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 5(4), pp.319-323.




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
ATIKAN: Jurnal Kajian Pendidikan. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

View My Stats