The impact of psychosocial deprivation on the scholastic performance of grade seven learners.
This research topic presents a discussion on psychosocial deprivation and how it impacts on learners academic performance. It is a case study guided by the following questions: To what extent does psychosocial deprivation influence scholastic performance of grade seven learners? How can the school counteract the effects of psychosocial deprivation? What forms of assistance do parents and teachers need in order to work together to benefit the learners? This is a quantitative study underpinned by the ecosystemic perspective as well as the social constructivist theory. The sample size consisted of seventy learners taken from a primary school which was later reduced to twenty eight learners. The findings of the study were lack of motivation, absenteeism, learning disabilities, difficulties learning English as a second language, stressful family life, poverty and the like were some of the factors that affect learners and eventually results in their poor academic performance. The learners’ environment or neighbourhood is seen as one of the many social contexts that shape children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. However the neighborhood context does not simply “imprint” itself on children, but can be mediated or moderated by other social contexts, in particular the family. Learners who struggle with schoolwork without receiving effective intervention often drop out of school and, as a consequence, have increasingly dire employment prospects. Many learners are invisible strugglers, falling through the cracks and being written off as not needing the extra effort and intervention that educators can provide. Schools, educators and education policy makers must strive to level the playing field by counteracting or minimizing the impact of socio-economic factors on learner’s academic performance by doing the following: Supplying educational materials timeously. Preparing syllabi suited to the age, level and language of learners. Provide ongoing learner support with the help of guidance counselors and social workers. Provide nutritious programmes to supplement those with inadequate diets. Parents and teachers should work together to promote teaching and learning.