The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students

The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students
The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students

ABSTRACT: This research work examined The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students. Research questions and null hypotheses were stated and tested at 0.05 alpha levels of significance. Literatures relevant to the study were reviewed theoretically based on Social Constructivism learning theory and Lewin’s Field Theory of Motivation. The conceptual framework was done. The population of the study comprised all secondary two (SS2) students in Oyo East Local Government Area of the 2020/2021 academic session. The sample size used for the study was two hundred students (200) drawn from four public schools in Oyo East Local Government Area.

The survey research design was adopted in the study. The instruments used in this study was a questionnaire titled “Corona Virus and Academic Performance of Students’ Questionnaire (CVAPSQ)’’. This instrument was tested on thirty (30) students and the reliability co-efficient was obtained using the test-retest reliability method. Data obtained for the study were analyzed using one-way ANOVA statistical analysis, and findings showed that: There is no significant influence of school closure due to Covid 19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in Economics. Also, there is no significant impact of e-learning utilization due to Covid 19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students.


The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students



This chapter presents the background to the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, delimitations and limitations of the study and definition of terms. 

1.1 Background to the study

COVID-19 pandemic has affected all levels of the education system (Nicola et al, 2020). Educational institutions around the world (in 192 countries) have either temporarily closed or implemented localized closures affecting about 1.7 billion student populations worldwide (UNESCO 2020). Many universities around the world either postponed or canceled all campus activities to minimize gatherings and hence decrease the transmission of the virus. However, these measures lead to higher economical, medical, and social implications on both undergraduate and postgraduate communities (Nicola et al, 2020; Esposito and Principi, 2020).

Due to the suspension of classroom teaching in many colleges and universities, a switch to online teaching for undergraduate and graduate students becomes effective [reviewed in (Sahu, 2020; Yamin, 2020)]. This form of learning provides an alternative way to minimize either the contact between students themselves or between the students and lecturers (Pragholapati, 2020). However, many students have no access to online teaching due to a lack of either the means or the instruments due to the economical and digital divide (UNESCO 2020).

The importance of education to human development has been well documented, highlighting the catalytic roles of education in national and human capital developments (Fägerlind & Saha, 2016; Griffin, Care & McGaw, 2012). Education is a means of self- development through learning, knowledge, skills, and habits conveyed across generations. The importance of education for the economic, social and moral development of nations cannot be under-estimated. It is of significant concern that education at all levels has been threatened since the emergence of the novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The corona virus disease is a highly infectious disease that has plagued the world population over the months from December 2019 till date. The disease spread through droplets (World Health Organization, 2020) and has affected more than 9.1 million persons, and resulted in about 473,000 deaths worldwide (Aljazeera News, 2020) as at the time of writing this paper. As a result, countries have relied on several containment measures, including a range of physical and social distancing measures to flatten the epidemiological curve and avert morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 (Barasa et al., 2020; Viner et al., 2020).

Different countries have engaged in various measures to implement physical distancing, such as complete closure of the economy, including educational institutions (Nicola et al., 2020; UNESCO, 2020). The pandemic is affecting all levels of the education system, from pre-school to higher education, in a manner that is of irreparable educational and economic implications (Lindzon, 2020). For instance, a four-week school closure in New York City translated to an economic impact of about $10.6 and $47.1 billion (Lindzon, 2020). A 12-week nationwide school closure cost 1% of GDP (Araz et al., 2012), while protracted closures could cost 3% of UK GDP (Keogh-Brown et al., 2010). Though school closure is intended to control the spread of the virus within schools, prevent carriage to other vulnerable individuals, and sustain public health, these closures have had widespread socioeconomic impacts (Lindzon, 2020; Wren-Lewis, 2020; Cauchemez et al., 2009).

Furthermore, the far-reaching effects of social/physical distancing and the associated lockdown measures, as well as school closures, have thwarted the education sector and are expected to leave an indelible mark on the education system (Impey, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020; Nicola et al., 2020). Over 188 out of 195 countries have been implementing nationwide school closures and restricted education facilities (Nicola et al., 2020; UNESCO, 2020). It is estimated that more than 1,576, 021, 858, which constitute about 91.3% of all the learners across the globe, have been affected by the closure of educational institutions (Fong et al., 2020; Nicola et al., 2020; Sadique Adams & Edmunds, 2008; Brown et al., 2011; UNESCO, 2020). Apart from the impact on learners, school closures have high economic, health and social costs (Cauchemez et al., 2009; Brown et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2010).

Timely responses have been in place in most countries, such as Australia, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, with regard to online learning before the pandemic (Crawford et al., 2020). Yet, researchers have shown that the pandemic has posed significant challenges to education in such countries (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, it is expected that the pandemic would have a more adverse effect on schools that had no online learning platforms before the pandemic (Zhong, 202; Kachra & Brown, 2019). Zar et al. (2020) pointed out that the indirect effects of the pandemic include disrupted schooling and lack of access to school, more especially in low and medium-income countries.In low and medium-income countries, the impact of COVID-19 is particularly threatening to education given that education systems have been working on substandard platforms (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020). It is also challenging in overcrowded resource constrained schools in these regions to provide a safe learning environment for students (Zar et al., 2020).

The pandemic has a peculiar dissipating impact on education in Africa and other countries through decreased level of education, broadened existing divide in learning access and outcomes and increased school dropouts (Blundell et al., 2020; Dorn et al., 2020). In Nigeria, the threat posed to education is compounded due to peculiar vulnerabilities, including poor health systems, poverty and inequality, hunger, internally displaced populations, high population densities, urban-rural divide and out-of-school population (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020).

Prior to COVID-19, Nigeria accounts for one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children. About 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years in Nigeria were out of school, and only about 61 % of 6 to 11-year-old children receive primary school education on a regular basis (UNICEF Nigeria, n.d.). Hence, while Nigeria is battling with underlying educational challenges that have kept the country behind in getting young people ready for the dynamic workplace (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Obiako & Adeniran, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020), COVID-19 impacts further exacerbate this problem.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools in Nigeria were closed from March 27, 2020, as one of the Federal Government measures to limit the spread of the disease. This translated to a contextualized state-wide school closure across the 36 states in the country. In response, different states’ Ministries of Education have been releasing modalities for radio and TV schooling and internet-based learning for students in public primary and secondary schools. Though these efforts could be effective, with experience from developed countries, it can amount to a far-reaching negative impact on the education system in developing low-income countries like Nigeria (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020). For instance, as the COVID-19 pandemic is revolutionizing digital and online education globally, primary and secondary school learners in rural and under-served communities remain behind due to lack of skills and resources to adapt or transition to the new learning avenues.

In addition, university students who may have the skills to undertake internet-based learning face poor internet infrastructure and a lack of reliable electricity supplies (Crawford et al., 2020; Zhong, 2020). Thus, learning remotely (including ratio, TV schooling, and online learning apps for primary and secondary learners, virtual libraries and online classes in the universities) is practically not feasible in most Nigerian communities. Poorly resourced institutions and socially disadvantaged learners where limited access to technology and the internet, as well as students’ inability to engage in an online environment, undermine Government response (Zhong, 2020).

Obiako and Adeniran, 2020 (2020) found that the pandemic has impacted education in three major ways, including missed learning for the majority of the pre-pandemic students, loss of access to vital school-provided services and leaving more kids behind.   Thus, these impacts are likely to widen the gaps in education quality and socioeconomic equality following the school closures in the country. This is because a lesser percentage of learners who are in the urban areas, who are likely to hail from higher-income families, stand more chance to access education during school closure through technology (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020), leaving behind the majority of learners from poor homes and underserved rural and suburban areas of the country (Zhong, 2020). Apart from this, learners in schools that lack the resources or capacity to transition to online delivery are currently missing learning (Leung & Sharma, 2020).

Learning within the homes could also be a challenge or present challenges for learning. Such depends on parents’ educational attainment and other commitments, leaving a greater percentage of the learners’ population behind. These problems constitute considerable concerns from all stakeholders in education (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, even though most states in the country are currently responding through radio and television, a good fraction of the learners are still experiencing some challenges in their education.

Further, to the best of researchers’ knowledge, no study has investigated the impact of COVID-19 on education with particular reference to primary and secondary schools based on perspectives of education stakeholders (educators, parents and learners) in Nigeria. Therefore, this study relied on stakeholders’ views to deconstruct the educational challenges posed by COVID-19 and how those challenges have impacted education and learning in primary and secondary schools. This then formed the background to investigate the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students..

The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students

1.2    Statement of the problem

The COVID-19 pandemic led to numerous governments deciding to close schools for several weeks in spring 2020. Empirical evidence on the impact of COVID-19-related school closures on academic performance is only just emerging in the literature. Personal observations indicate a considerably negative effect of school closures on student performance specifically in younger students and students from families with low socioeconomic status. At the same time, certain measures can be identified that might mitigate these negative effects. This then motivated the researcher to investigate the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Academic Performance of Students.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

1.4   Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would be of immense benefit to the school administrator, government, parents, policy makers,

  • It is hoped that the findings of the study may help school administrators reflect upon various factors that influence the teaching-learning process. By so doing, they could investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their schools which may consequently lead to reducing absenteeism, dropouts and repetition and consequently effective teaching-learning process.
  • These findings may also help the government through the Ministry of Education to provide more funds for schools for instructional materials and repair and maintenance of the available physical facilities, and also provide in-service training for teachers in private schools thus improving the teaching-learning process.
  • Parents may also use findings from this study to help improve the school facilities by organizing for fund raising for instance to construct a classroom, Language laboratory, library among other facilities irrespective of the pandemic.
  • Policy makers would use the findings to help them make decisions in developing strategies towards improvement of academic standards in secondary schools.
  • Future researchers will use the study in identifying priority areas and gaps on which to carry more research about effect of corona virus on academic performance in other subjects in secondary schools.
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