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Cognitive Factors and Their Influence on Academic Achievement in India

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In the present Indian education academic achievement seems to be the focuses. This is the main factor that decides the future of the student. In view of its great importance, a large number of studies were conducted on the factors which are influence the academic achievement of the students. These factors can broadly be categorized into two groups – Cognitive factors and Psycho social factors.

Intelligence, Creativity, Memory, etc., come under cognitive factors while Motivation, Adjustment, Attitude Socio – economic status etc are Psycho – Social factors.

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Lot of studies has been conducted on cognitive factors and their influence on academic achievement. Relativity less number of studies were conducted on psychosocial factors and their influence on academic achievement. Though both the factors influence the academic achievement. Psycho-social factors can be controlled varied easily when compared to cognitive factors. As such, a study about the influence of psycho-social factors on academic achievement is highly essential and appropriate.

There are a good number of psycho-social factors like, Adjustment, Attitude, Interests, introvert, extravert, Motivation, school climate, socio – economic status, religiosity, values, inter-personal relations, stress, etc., which influence the academic achievement. Of these factors, the investigator had considered, Academic Motivation, Student Adjustment, Student Attitude and socio-economic status as vital factors that are influencing the academic achievement.

Rao (1979) conducted a study on mental problems of children in the age range of 13-16 years of old boys and girls sample selected for this study was 428 students. Out of them he found that 18.80% boy and 22.80% girls sufferings mental health problems.

There are different types of schools existing in our society which have differences in their ideologies, vision and mission. There are differences in the performance level of the students belonging to government and private schools. There is an article appeared in The Asian Age dated on 15-03-2006 page No.25 under the title ‘Exam stress caused tension headaches’ and about our board examinations.

Article appeared in The Times of India dated 11.03 .2006 pages.1 under the title “Boards: A master of life and death? Students who come out of this kind of institutions will be facing number of emotional disturbance and lack of balanced mental health. There is an unhealthy competition amongst private institutions in order to get more admission, result, name and fame. Every parent as well as institutions is in the society having higher aspirations and expectations from the children. Over expectations, unhealthy competitions and fear about examinations leads to stressful situations. Fear of failure reduces confidence in turn, it creates tension, headache and fever; sometimes it results in suicide.

There are number of teacher education institutions which are coming up like mushrooms all over the country. These institutions are unevenly distributed and there is a competition among the teacher training institutions in order to attract students.

Quality of input (students) is also not up to the level of expectation of the society. There is a dearth of quality of teacher educations. Further it depends on the quality of teacher education institutions and efficiency of teacher educators. Teacher training institutions should be well equipped with qualified efficient teacher educators and good infrastructure provided by the government as well as private managements.

Unfortunately most of the teacher education institutions are becoming economic enterprises and having strong holding by political authority. These teacher training institutions in turn would have an effect on the development of professional competencies of teaching aptitude and this attitude towards teaching as a consequence of this, the teachers coming out of these institutions may not be able to teach effectively. This would result in poor learning of the students and they may not being controlled by teacher. The overall effect of all these would be that the students would lose their freedom and mental health.

All activities conducted by the schools and government policies and programmes directly or indirectly decide colleges. While introducing any new innovations in educational system accept once and approval by educational experts is must. Unfortunately nothing is practiced in reality. Frequent changes and unpsychological policies and programmes influence mental health of the teachers finally it will result in the academic achievement.

Emotionally intelligent individual leads a happy and peaceful life. He/she is at ease with himself/herself, surrounding and other fellow being. We can label him/her as a mentally healthy person. They express the characteristics like adoptable and resilient mind, cheerful and optimistic outlook, well regulated instincts and habits, insight into one‘s own conduct, good tempered, socially adoptable and having a definite philosophy of life, realistic imagination etc. Therefore the development of emotions is extremely important for a harmonious development of the personality.

According to the study conducted by Anand S.P.(1989) the sound mental health was positively related to academic achievement. The degree of mental health was also related to the type of school, being the highest in convenient schools, followed by sainik, DAV and DM schools respectively. Number of studies revealed that, it is a pre requisite of our present schools to have educational practices to train the emotional intelligence and mental health which is basis for academic performance.

Bhugendranath Panda (1989) conducted a study on mental health and personal adjustment of secondary schools students, boys and girls. He found that, Oriya groups possess better social adjustment than other groups; and there does in to any difference between all other group combinations in their mental health.

Albert and Howard (1977) examined child rearing practices, socio economic antecedents on the group embedded figure test performance in the age range of 14-15 years old high schools children of racially mixed and Negro populations. It was found that difference between ethnic group and child rearing practices and SES factors determined.

Joshi A.N. (1984) conducted study on “Factors influencing English language abilities” and found that, the boy & girl students were found to be higher in such language errors as failure to identify the relationship of adverb with verb, succeeding verb, whereas the girls of 8 grade were found to be higher in failure to use a word in relation to the pronoun and failure to use neither. The growth of English language ability was found to be influenced to such factors as intelligence, socio economic status, locality and personality factors.

In this rapid changing society, due to technology and scientific advancement it is very difficult to remain mentally healthy. Therefore it has become challenge for the education system to maintain mental health of students. In this study the different aspects of school i.e. classroom, institution, individual attention, disciplines, teacher and examination and its adverse effect on mental health have been discussed.

Concrete suggestions have been provided for schools to adopt, so that students can be free from all types of maladjustments.

An emotionally intelligent individual leads a happy, healthy and peaceful life. If He/ she is at ease with himself/herself, surrounding and other fellow beings, they can labeled mentally healthy persons. They express the characteristics like adoptable and resilient mind, cheerful and optimistic outlook, well regulated instincts and habits, insight into one‘s own conduct, good tempered, socially adoptable and having a definite philosophy of life realistic imagination etc. Therefore the development of emotions is extremely important for a harmonious development of the personality. Proper training and education will go a long way to enable the young people to control their emotions and obtain mental balance and stability. Proper training and education will go a long way to enable the young people to control their emotions and obtain mental balance and stability Emotions are the prime motive forces of thought and conduct and their control is very important. If an individual is emotionally intelligent he/she will possess good mental health and finally both will directly influence high academic performance. Thus we can see that these concepts –emotional intelligence, mental health and academic achievement are closely interrelated.

In this context there is a dire needing investigate in relationship between emotional intelligence and mental health of secondary school children.

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