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1.1 Background of the study

Food is the fuel necessary to get through a normal day. Calories in food provide energy to carry out regular day-to-day activities. Without an adequate amount of this energy, students may fall asleep in school or lack the energy to pay attention to an entire day of classes.

The brain, like the lungs, heart, arms and legs, is a part of the human body. It requires energy to function properly. Children experiencing hunger are more likely to have problems with memory and concentration because they do not have the energy to carry out these functions. Malnutrition can tamper with sleeping patterns as well, making a child too tired to get anything out of a full day of school.Additionally, the brain develops rapidly at a young age. Without the right nutrients, the brain can not develop properly, resulting in long-term effects on learning abilities.

Malnutrition makes children more susceptible to illnesses. Certain vitamins and minerals are needed to maintain a strong immune system, but, many times, poverty cuts off an individual’s access to these nutrients. Starving children get sick and can not attend school. Because their immune systems are weak already, they can not return to a healthier state for a while. Children can not learn from an in-school education when they are absent for an extended period of time. Studies from the American Psychological Association reveal the psychological effects of hunger on education. Hunger has been observed to cause depression, anxiety, and withdrawal, all of which are obstructions to a child trying to focus on education.

Hunger can also cause behavioral problems. In a classroom setting, a single child’s behavior can affect the rest of the students, the teacher’s attention, and the overall learning atmosphere. In this case, hunger not only disturbs the affected child’s learning, but the learning of others as well. Food, more specifically nutrient-rich food, is necessary for a school-aged child to make the most of a formal education. Though foreign aid efforts to increase funding for educational programs are extremely important, their effects may not have a significant impact if the problem of hunger is not addressed first.

1.2      Statement of the problem

Globally, the number of primary school children with nutritional deficiencies is high. Countries respond to these children in different ways, the most popular being school feeding programmes. Hunger is associated with lower cognition, poorer executive function, and lower school attainment in children (World Bank Group, 2018). Increased funding for education in developing countries is a chief concern of foreign aid efforts. Providing a child with an appropriate education gives him or her the tools to be more successful later in life and, consequently, the potential for economic mobility. Unfortunately, enrolling children in formal schooling does not guarantee that they will retain the information from lessons. What is one of the most prominent obstacles hindering the child’s learning process? Hunger. The effects of hunger on education are startling. Chronic hunger can prevent students from making the most of a formal education, no matter how hard they try to ignore its effects. The sad truth is that hunger can have physical and psychological effects on young people that make learning substantially more difficult.

1.3  Objective of the study

1.4 The main objective of this study it to examine  the effect of hunger on learning capability of primary school pupils in Edo state. Specifically, the study sought:

1. To investigate if hunger can lead to low cognition of the primary school pupil.

2. To determine if malnutrition of a primary school pupil can affect their learning capability.

3. To examine if hunger has a significant effect on the academic performance of primary school pupil.

1.4       Research Hypothesis

HO1:  Malnutrition of a primary school pupil cannot  distort their learning capability.

HI1:  Malnutrition of a primary school pupil can distort their learning capability.

HO2: Hunger has no significant effect on the academic performance of primary school pupil.

HI2: Hunger has a significant effect on the academic performance of primary school pupil.

1.5       Significance of the study

Findings of the study will be significant to government, teachers and other stakeholders in education including parents. To government the study will enlighten them on the need to ensure implementation of the feeding programme in the education policy. To teacher it will enhance them to be more empathetic towards the learning capability of pupils so as to help them improve where need be. To parent the study will enlighten them on the need to ensure they properly feed their children before sending to school as leaving them hungry can distort their cognition during teaching-learning process.  The study will empirically add to the body of knowledge and serve as reference material for other academia in related field of study.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the  effect of hunger on learning capability of primary school pupils. The study is however delimited to Oredo local government in Edo State.

1.7       Limitation of the study

During the course of this research, the following factors are proposed to be a limitation.

Financial constraints: Financial constraints tend to impede the researcher's efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research is reduced. However the researcher will give in their best to make this research a success.

1.8 Definition of terms

Hunger: Hunger is an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation caused by insufficient consumption of dietary energy. It is defined as a condition in which a person cannot eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs for a sustained period. 

Learning Capability: Learning capability may be considered as the interplay between external forces and internal resources and states of mind Introduction In child's learning. It describes how children develop, process and interact with the information they receive from the environment using their intellectual skill.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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