THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTSCHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION/Background to the study

The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic affects tertiary students’ mental health underscores the urgent need to understand these challenges and concerns in order to inform the development of courses of action and public health messaging that can better support college students in this crisis. University students are facing a variety of challenges in the wake of the COVID- 19 outbreak (Torales, 2020). The pandemic has been escalating and threatening the welfare of human beings globally, and this public health emergency generates fear and leads to a spectrum of psychological consequences (Liuet al, 2020), ranging from distress responses such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, to behavioural changes such as difficulty sleeping and stress eating. Before the pandemic started, one in five college students had experienced one or more diagnosable mental disorders worldwide (Zhaia and Dub, 2020),  and the psychological effects of COVID-19 can increase this number and exacerbate students’ mental health issues.

There are 188 countries in the world that have closed schools and universities due to the novel corona virus pandemic as of early April of 2020. Almost all countries have instituted nationwide closures with only a handful, including the United States, implementing localized school closures. The world has never before seen this scale of education disruption. In recent decades, major disruptions to education mainly involved natural disasters, armed conflicts, or epidemics in individual countries or sometimes regions. Even compared to school closures during previous global crises, such as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic where 40 U.S. cities closed schools, and World War II, where  1,000,000 children in the U.K. were forced out of school, the level of education disruption is much greater today, in part because 90 percent of the world’s young people are enrolled in primary school now versus 40 percent in 1920 (World Health Organization 2020).

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2020), the pandemic has interrupted the learning of more than one billion students in 129 countries around the world. Many universities worldwide have moved to emergency remote teaching (ERT) via online platforms, further inducing anxiety among the students. Studies on the effect of COVID-19 and lockdowns on college students in China reported significant adverse effects on the students’ psychological well-being and high levels of anxiety. Therefore, a lot of researchers conducted research on effects of COVID-19 globally; this study tries to assess the Psychological Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Student’s Academic Performance

Statement of the Problem

Education has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with 1.53 billion learners out of school and 184 country-wide school closures, impacting 87.6% of the world’s total enrolled learners (Education Cannot Wait [ECW], 2020). School closures could prevent the rapid spread of the epidemic, it seems to be the optimal solution in the short term. School closures can affect deaths during an outbreak either positively, through reducing transmission and the number of cases, or negatively, through reductions in the health-care workforce available to care for those who are sick (Viner et al., 2020). However, when school closures take longer, students ‘ learning and social relationships are negatively affected. Schools provide face-to-face education. But because face-to-face education cannot take place because of the epidemic and the higher Institutions in Nigeria are not equipped with an online class platform where students can be accessible through distance or online education (Jada, Giginyu & Mutah, 2021). This in itself harbors a problem because online education requires an excellent infrastructure. Every student needs to be accessible to online or distance education. But unfortunately access to the internet is not the same everywhere. Likewise, not every student in Federal University Dutse has their own PC. Moreover, some villages in Nigeria do not even have electricity. Even if the infrastructure problems are resolved in some way, the constant exposure of students to distance or online education is tedious to them. For this reason, the motivation of the students for learning decreases and the learning goals are not achieved. Not only students but also teachers and families are affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. Families may not have enough support for their children to learn at home. This may be due to low socio-economic level of families, as well as low educational level of family members. Likewise, teachers have an important role in the success of the educational process. But most teachers lacked pedagogical competence about how to manage the teacher distance or online education process. They didn’t know how to develop distance or online educational tools (Rapanta 2020). Therefore, the negative effects of the outbreak seem to be more difficult to compensate for the students. Going to school is the best public policy tool available to raise skills. While school time can be fun and can rise social skills and social awareness, from an economic point of view the primary point of being in school is that it increases a child’s ability (Burgess & Sievertsen, 2020). According to Reimers (2020) for the vast majority of children who loose opportunities to learn because of the pandemic, it will be hard to recover from those losses, the harder the longer the period of physical isolation from other students and teachers. The educational disadvantage such losses generate will beget more educational, and eventually economic and social disadvantage. Because these losses will be experienced by large segments of the population, societies will suffer as their productivity is diminished. Thus, it is based on this background that this study seeks to assess the Psychological Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Student’s Academic Performance of students.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the study is to assess the Psychological Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Student’s Academic Performance while the specific objectives are as follows;

  1. To determine the Psychological Effect of COVID-19Pandemic on Students academic performance
  2. To identify the relationship between COVID-19 Pandemic and Student’s Academic Performance
  3. To determine Challenges militating against Student’s Academic Performance during COVID-19 Pandemic

Research Questions

  1. What are the Psychological Effect of COVID-19Pandemic on Students academic performance ?
  2. What are the relationship between COVID-19 Pandemic and Student’s Academic Performance ?
  3. What are Challenges militating against Student’s Academic Performance during COVID-19 Pandemic?
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