|dc.description.abstract||This is a study of the incidence of failure in Indian secondary
education in Natal, in which academic performance was considered
against the background of a number of variables such as socio-economic
factors, family size, birth order, IQ, health, absenteeism, study
and reading habits, parents' level of Western education, family income,
participation in extra-curricular activities and certain
behaviour and personality traits.
A random sample of 1 787 pupils (1 092 boys and 695 girls) who wrote
the Standard VII Academic Course examination in 1974 was selected
from 16 Indian secondary schools in Natal.
Data were obtained by administering a set of questionnaires to the
pupils and the form-teachers. Data processing was done by the
lCL computer service.
The Chi-square statistical techniques was used to test for significance.
The findings suggest that:
(i) there are significant relationships between academic performance
and the following variables: parents' level
of Western education, religion, birth-order (especially
among first-born boys) IQ and absenteeism;
(ii) certain of the variables tested influenced the academic
performance of the boys differently from those of the
girls. These variables are family income, physical handicaps,
reading habits and participation in extra-curricular
activities. The trend was that these variables influenced
the boys' performance more than the girls' performance.
(iii) there were certain variables which were not significantly
related to academic performance. These were: health of
pupils, use of the library for borrowing books, fathers'
occupation, having one's own room, family size, language commonly
spoken at home and the number of times the pupils were
transferred from one school to another
Finally certain recommendations are suggested with a view to reducing
failure at school.||en