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Dr. Vijayakumar D.R MBBS, DPM, DNB (NIMHANS), CCST (UK)
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Scholastic backwardness

Scholastic backwardness

Scholastic backwardness is one of the commonest educational problems encountered in children and consists of the fact that the child’s performance at school falls below the expectations i.e.  according to the level of intelligence.

What are the causes for scholastic backwardness (academic problems)?

The causes for a child being poor in academics are varied and range from physical causes to psychological causes the later being more common.

Some common reasons for scholastic backwardness are

  • Early conditioning and environment
    • Environment  not suited for  academics like harsh teacher, demanding parents, overcrowded class rooms, lack of encouragement from school authorities, poor health leading to repeated absence from school, bullying in school, being severely reprimanded at school,
    • And separation anxieties are some of the factors for academic decline.
  • Intelligence

Children who have intellectual disability can have problems in academics as taught in regular school. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum children who have very high IQ scores can become bored and feel lack of stimulation in the school curriculum lag behind in academics

A) Attention deficit hyperactive disorder ( ADHD)

    • Children suffering from ADHD can suffer from poor academic performance.

B) An unhealthy teacher –pupil relationship often causes scholastic backwardness.

C) Physical handicaps

Auditory and visual disturbances can lead to academic backwardness which at times can be difficult to spot in the early years of schooling.

D) Frequent physical illnesses leading to frequent absenteeism lead to a fall in academics.

E) Family environment.

    • The family environment is one of the most important factor for a child doing well in academics and parents play a very important role. Proper study environment, appropriate encouragement, spending quality time with their children will give the desired result. At times parents can have great expectations from their child and can push the child unnecessarily leading to fall in academic levels. 
    • The above list is not exhaustive and various other factors can play a role in academic backwardness.

How does the mental health worker assess for academic backwardness?

The doctor has an exhaustive interview with the child and parents. He will look at the child’s report cards, books, both text and written books interact with the child at length to find out causes for the academic decline. He might even suggest certain tests and then come to a conclusion. So be prepared with the child’s books, report card, teacher comments and both parents are advised to go to see the doctor. It is a time consuming process but the rewards could be worth the effort.

What is the treatment for academic backwardness?

Depending on the cause the treatment may include talk therapy and medications for certain conditions if needed. The process of treatment can be long and if persisted you may get the desired result.