AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES OF POOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AMONG THE PHYSICAL AND HEALTH IMPAIRED STUDENTS ( EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
1.1 Background to the study
The immense contributions of education to the development of any society in the world cannot be over-emphasized. Education is one of the most important aspects of human resource development. For this reason, every child has the opportunity to achieve his/her academic potential. However, despite the quintessential purpose of education, it is sad to observe that poor academic performance have become more pronounced especially among the student with physical and mental impairments. The Federal Government of Nigeria considers physical disabilities and health disabilities as separate and special education categories for individual with such disability. To this end, disabilities education act, (2004) use the term orthopaedic impairment to refer to conditions that we all call physical disabilities. Students with physical disabilities have problems with the structure or the functioning of their bodies. Similarly, the federal government through individual with health impairment to describe collectively, conditions and diseases that creates special health care for student with health disability.
From the above, poor academic performance is seen as a major underlying problem of children that suffers with physical and health impairment. The implication of this poor performance does not only result in the child having low self-esteem, but it has become a serious source of worry and stresses to the parents, educators, as well the government. For instance, the research conducted by Sittlington and Frank (2009) found that one year after graduation from high school only 6.5% of the 50 students with physical and mental disabilities who had enrolled in were still in school. Additionally, many of the physical and mental disabilities students who were no longer in school were also unemployed. Ellis and Cramer (1995) stated that 62% of physical and mental disabled students were unemployed one year after school graduation. The authors also reported other statistics revealing the serious implication of which demonstrate the extent of the problem and the subsequent cost to society if better solutions are not found. Study shows that 50% of students that were tested and found with drug abuse are students with physical and mental disabilities. Also, students with mental disorder who drop out of school are more likely to experience economic and social difficulties (Barga, 1996). Unemployed adults with disabilities become consumers of public resources instead of contributors (Fass, 2000).
Consequent upon the above, this study becomes very essential with a view to scientifically and empirically investigate the underlying cause(s) of poor academic performance among these students and ultimately find a remedy to the problem.