Predictors of Nutritional Status and Academic Performance of Under-Five Early Childhood Development Children in Zimbabwe

Authors

  • Miriam Ndava Department of Agricultural Economics, Education and Extension, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe
  • Lovemore Musemwa Department of Agricultural Economics, Education and Extension, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe *Corresponding author
  • Simbarashe Ndhleve Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre, Walter Sisulu University, Private Bag X1, Mthatha, 5099, South Africa.
  • Leocadia Zhou Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre, University of Fort Hare P Bag X1314, Alice, 5700, Eastern Cap, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36941/jicd-2021-0010

Keywords:

Academic performance, early childhood development, under-five children, nutritional status, mid upper arm circumference

Abstract

Despite multiple efforts to combat malnutrition of children in Zimbabwe, levels of stunting still fall short of the acceptable target of 20% by UNICEF. Malnutrition at an early age could result in irreversible damage and other far-reaching consequences such as diminished learning and school performance. Thus, this study investigated the factors affecting nutritional status and academic performance of Early Childhood Education under five years children. Nutritional status was determined using the Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) and academic performance using basic shapes and colours. Structured questionnaires were used to gather data from 216 under-five children, teachers and parents or guardians of the children in Harare and Mashonaland East Provinces of Zimbabwe. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, frequencies and chi-square test of independence using SPSS version 23. The results showed that academic performance score for urban and rural children were 82.94% and 73.81% respectively. The average MUAC was 15.8 cm for urban and 15.7cm for rural. Academic performance and nutritional status of the ECD child were both significantly related to location of school, ECD grade, value of assets owned and years of schooling of household head. Nutrition status was also affected by marital status of the household head, relationship between the household head and the ECD child, household dietary diversity and residence ownership. Academic performance of ECD children was significantly related to the age of ECD child, distance to school and ECD child household’s size, dietary diversity, income sources and total monthly income. Concentric efforts among all stakeholders aimed at reducing distance that children travel to school, improving household income and dietary diversity could reduce the incidence of malnutrition and improve children’s academic performance.

 

Received: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 1 October 2021 / Published: 5 November 2021

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Published

2021-11-05

How to Cite

Ndava, M. ., Musemwa, L. ., Ndhleve, S. ., & Zhou, L. . (2021). Predictors of Nutritional Status and Academic Performance of Under-Five Early Childhood Development Children in Zimbabwe. Journal of International Cooperation and Development, 4(2), 14. https://doi.org/10.36941/jicd-2021-0010