OUTCOMES EDUCATION (RECOUP)
Inspired by the Millennium Development Goals target of achieving universal primary education, the Department for International Development (DFID) has commissioned an educational research project to study the impact of education on life outcomes, including economic and social outcomes, in South Asia and Africa. The study is a multi-country initiative which includes Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan and India as study locations. The main focus of the study is to explore the impact of education and learning on labour market outcomes, health and fertility outcomes and human development outcomes.
Social and Human Strand
Oduro, A. (2008). An Investigation into Poverty, Educational Attainment and Outcomes in Ghana. Meta Analysis working Paper 2. Associates for Change
The paper provides a preliminary analysis of educational attainment among Ghana’s adult population using the Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ) survey conducted in 2003. It describes the patterns and trends in educational attainment and makes some conclusions to possible associations between educational attainment, outputs and outcomes. The paper contains a brief discussion on Ghana’s education system and educational attainment of the population aged 15 years and above, and a descriptive analysis of educational attainment and some output and outcome indicators. It also examines adult literacy, employment, unemployment and health.
It was found that a significant proportion of the population aged 15 and above has never attended school and that in some regions of Ghana the proportion that have never attended school increased between 1998 and 2003. There are also significant gender and location differences. Women are less likely to have attended school and are more likely to drop out of school compared to men, and rural people are less likely to have attended school and more likely to drop out of school compared to urban people. The disabled are less likely to attend school and this is one of the greatest differences in their educational attainment profile as compared to the profile of the entire sample. The paper concludes that overall educational attainment is positively correlated with the welfare of the household or individual.
Este, K. (2008). Academic Performance within the Cycle of Deprivation in Ghana. Meta Analysis Paper 4. Associates for Change.
The purpose of the study is to determine whether a student’s performance is related to the socio-economic background from which they come. The study selected four regions -Greater Accra, Eastern, Northern and Western Regions and two districts in each region classified either as rural or urban. The study used data from the Ghana Basic Education Comprehensive Assessment System (BECAS) Project, the National Education Assessment (NEA), and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) conducted by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).
According to the paper, there are significant differences between the rural/deprived primary schools and urban schools surveyed in the study. There were also differences in performance between boys and girls across the four selected regions. Unfortunately the paper confirms the expectation and generally held view that urban school pupils perform better than rural school pupils, and concluded that the cycle of poverty in deprived areas will continue unless a concerted effort is made to improve the quality of rural education.
Wumbee, J. (2008). The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment in Ghana, Meta Analysis Paper 5. Associates for Change.
This is an empirical study that assesses the effect of household wealth on educational attainment of children from different socio-economic backgrounds in Ghana using the Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire 2003 (CWIQ, GSS). The study seeks to compare key educational indicators such as enrolment, dropout and attainment to determine whether there is any difference between socio-economic groupings, males and females, and urban and rural children. It also seeks to determine whether there is a relationship between household wealth, level of education of the household head and the household size with the wards’ attainment level. Furthermore, it attempts to predict the mean educational level of a child (aged 15 – 19) based on the knowledge of age, sex, locality, household head educational level, region of origin and the household size and wealth status.
The study found that there are two distinct poverty zones in Ghana, the South and the North, with the bias heavily against the North. For the cohort (15 – 19 years of age), the enrolment of children from affluent homes was greater than those from either the average or the poor homes. As they progress in years this gap widens. By the completion of JSS 3, the children from each economic grouping become more distinct, with the poor having a significantly lower proportion of children reaching higher levels of education compared to the higher wealth quintiles. The educational wealth gap between the poor and the affluent vary from region to region with the southern sector having a relatively smaller wealth gap, with the northern sector having larger wealth gap.
Arnot, M., L. Casely-Hayford, D. A. Dovie, F. Chege and P. K. Wainaina (2007). Conceptualising the Relationship between Youth Citizenship and Poverty Alleviation: East and West African approaches to the education of a new generation. Paper presented at the Symposium on Improving Educational Outcomes for Pro-Poor Development: UKFIET conference Going for Growth? School, Community, Economy, Nation, Oxford, 11th-14th September 2007.
The paper explores some of the tensions in Western African and East African settings. It aims to establish the ways in which the participating countries in the RECOUP study (in this case Kenya and Ghana) understand the purposes and intended outcomes of education. The issues discussed are not simple ones, given the complex nature of the concept of citizenship, especially within African settings in which traditional civic roles in communities have been challenged, transformed, relocated and reworked, not just in light of turbulence national histories, but also by international political and economic agendas.
The paper, the first in a planned series on youth citizenship, focuses on the African setting. It has three main sections. The first section, explores the contrasting agendas around educating for citizenship and the critical interpretations offered by a range of contemporary African social scientists. The second section explores, from a Kenyan and a Ghanaian perspective, the task of educating youth to engage with national education goals. The diverse nature of the ‘civic virtues’ which are encouraged in the young as well as the pressures on these two governments to develop more democratic forms of governance immediately indicate just how much work has gone into establishing the education of its citizens as well as the considerable difficulties which Kenya and Ghana have had in defining their own versions of citizenship, away from the pressures associated with the import of the liberal democratic project and the construction of a neo-liberal state in the shape of post welfare European societies.
Wumbee, J. and R. Akabzaa (2008). Descriptive Analysis of La Sample Population. Associates for Change
This is an analysis of census data collected from 330 households covering 1284 people in a part of La town, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. The paper has four main sections. The first section analyses demographic data including sex composition, marital status, education attainment, literacy levels, vocational and technical training, occupation, etc of household members. The second section assesses the household assets and amenities such as ownership of dwelling, number of rooms used by households, nature and type of housing, source of drinking water, availability of toilet facilities, fuel for cooking and lighting, among others. The third analyses focuses on the wellbeing of the residents by looking at household expenditure patterns, the households’ ability to meet five basic needs and the households’ perception of poverty.
Wumbee, J. and R. Akabzaa (2008). Descriptive Analysis of the Nakpanzoo/Nabogu Sample Population. Associates for Change
This is an analysis of census data collected from 249 households covering 1,828 people in Nakpanzoo and Nabogu communities in the Northern Region. The paper has four main sections. The first section analyses demographic data including sex composition, marital status, education attainment, literacy levels, vocational and technical training, occupation, etc of household members. The second section assesses household assets and amenities such as ownership of dwelling, number of rooms used by households, nature and type of housing, source of drinking water, availability of toilet facilities, fuel for cooking and lighting, among others. The third section analyses the wellbeing of the residents by looking at household expenditure patterns, the households’ ability to meet five basic needs, and the households’ perception of poverty.
Wumbee, J. and R. Akabzaa (2008). Descriptive Analysis of the Obeyeyie Sample Population. Associates for Change.
This is an analysis of census data collected from about 270 households in Obeyeyie community in the Ga West District, Greater Accra Region. The paper has four main sections. The first section presents the analyses of demographic data including sex composition, marital status, education attainment, literacy level, vocational and technical training, occupation, etc of household members. The second section assesses household assets and amenities such as ownership of dwelling, number of rooms used by households, nature and type of housing, source of drinking water, availability of toilet facilities, fuel for cooking and lighting, among others. The third section analyses the wellbeing of the residents by looking at the household expenditure patterns, the households’ ability to meet five basic needs, and the households’ perception of poverty.
Wumbee, J. and R. Akabzaa (2008). Descriptive Analysis of Savelugu Sample Population. Associates for Change.
This is an analysis of census data collected from 213 households in Savelugu town in the Northern Region. The paper has four main sections. The first section presents demographic data including sex composition, marital status, education attainment, literacy levels, vocational and technical training, occupation, etc of household members. The second section of the paper assesses household assets and amenities such as ownership of the dwelling, number of rooms used by households, nature and type of housing, source of drinking water, availability of toilet facilities, fuel for cooking and lighting, among others. The third section of the paper analyses the wellbeing of the residents by looking at household expenditure patterns, the households’ ability to meet five basic needs, and the households’ perception of poverty. The last section is a summary and conclusion.
Casely-Hayford, L. (2007). Gendered Experiences of Teaching in Poor Rural Areas of Ghana, RECOUP Working Paper No. 8
This paper investigates the reasons why the majority of female Ghanaian teachers avoid –if they can- posting to rural deprived areas and why girls in particular are not entering the teaching profession. The author used a primarily quanlitative approach to explore the perceptions of key stakeholders involved in basic education, including female teachers living in deprived rural areas, girls at upper primary and secondary levels of education and community members. The study divided the country into three zones- northern, southern and middle zones- and selected two districts with the lowest percentage of female pupil enrolment ratio, and the lowest number of female teachers teaching at basic education level.
The study found that the current status of teachers is low, that several teachers dissuade their children from entering the teaching profession. The study also found that women are particularly vulnerable to the low status of teaching since they already occupy a low social status in Ghana. Other factors include: low entrance and retention of women in teacher training institutions; low enrolment and high drop out among girls in upper primary and JSS levels; lack of parental interest in female education despite campaigns for girls’ education; and frustration among parents concerning the poor performance of teachers in their schools compared to urban areas. The paper concluded that the supply and retention of female teachers in poor rural areas is dependent on the improvement of the status of teachers in general. Therefore the status of teachers should be enhanced with teachers being oriented and informed about the context and needs of children in rural areas of the country. They should be motivated to serve and make a difference in these areas.
Ghana Thematic Bibliography for Social and Human Strand.
This is a compilation of some of the most important analytical work identified for the RECOUP project. The bibliography attempts to provide some of the background literature and helps the study teams identify other important studies conducted in the education system in Ghana over the last 30 years from a broader perspective. The bibliography covers:
- General Education
- Gender and Education
- Social Equity, and Social Mobility
- Health, Fertility and HIV/AIDS
- Citizenship and Democracy
- Market and Economic
- Sector Wide Reform, Aid and Partnerships
Market and Economic Strand
Palmer, R., Akabzaa, R., Janjua, S., King, K. and Noronha, C. (2010). Skill acquisition and its impact upon lives and livelihoods in Ghana, India, and Pakistan.
This is a book chapter that explores skill acquisition and its impact upon the lives and livelihoods of the poor in Ghana, India and Pakistan. Across all three countries the poorest sectors of society do not easily access technical and vocational skills training, whether formal or informal. Technical and vocational skills development is moving up the governments and donor agencies agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It is widely perceived to be relevant to debates about productivity and competitiveness, as well to providing a work-related option in the dramatic expansion of post-primary schooling. The three countries show different approaches to the provision of technical and vocational skills. This chapter examines the processes and pathways of skills acquisition available to poor communities and demonstrates the mixed labour market outcomes both within and between countries. It reviews the consequences of policy approaches adopted, and looks at the role of education in the acquisition and utilization of technical and vocational skills. It also argues that the presence of an enabling political, economic and social environment which encompasses schooling, training and livelihoods is critical to the realisation of these ambitions.
Korboe, D. (2007). Can Skills Training Help Break The Cycle Of Deprivation For The Poor?: Lessons From Northern Ghana. NORRAG News, 38, Jan 2007. This paper was also presented at the RECOUP Symposium, 'Going for Growth' UKFIET Conference on International Education and Development, 11-13 September 2007, Oxford.
The paper presents a summary of preliminary findings from a first round of field work with vocational training institutes in Northern Ghana. The research seeks a better understanding of the pathways for transitioning from skills to working life among the poor. The research findings suggest that the majority of people who enter skills training are youth who have been unsuccessful in making the transition from Junior Secondary School to Senior Secondary School. The large numbers of students who fail to enter senior secondary is a result of a combination of factors including household poverty and low quality of education particularly in the poverty zones under study.
Though the cost of training can deter the poor from enrolling in skills training, it is not the primary barrier to completion of skills training since most training institutions do not prevent defaulting students from completing. Students drop out when they perceive that they are not receiving meaningful training or the opportunity cost is too high. The major barrier for trainees transiting from training to the world of work is inadequate access to start-up capital.
Palmer, R., R. Akabzaa and L. Casely-Hayford (2009). Skills Pathways Out of Poverty; Technical and Vocational skills Development: Breaking the cycle of poverty for youth in Ghana?
The paper presents the preliminary findings of research on skills acquisition and utilization in Ghana. The study involved in-depth interviews with artisans (formally and informally trained), training institutions, key informants and policy makers in four RECOUP research sites; Obeyeyie in the Ga West district, La in the Accra Metropolis, Savelugu town and Nakpanzoo/Nabogu in the Northern Region.
The study found that there are three main modes of skills acquisition; traditional apprentices, formal vocational and technical training and NGOs sponsored programmes. Traditional apprenticeship is the most preferred or dominant option for skills acquisitions. The very poor are barred from acquiring skills by many factors including entry requirements, fees and payments, feeding etc. Formal training institutions are poorly resourced and provide inadequate practical training; their access especially by the poor tends to be impeded by academic requirements and relatively inflexible fee payment systems. However, certificates obtained from formal training institutions tend to be highly valued and recognized by employers.
There are limited employment avenues for those who acquired skills especially through the apprenticeship system. Self-employment is the most likely option for trainees after graduating but this is limited by lack of equipment, tools, land, and patronage
Monk, C., J. Sandefur and F. Teal (2008). Does Doing an Apprenticeship Pay Off? Evidence from Ghana, (RECOUP Working paper 12).
The paper uses a recent urban based household survey with detailed questions on the background, training and earning of workers in both wage and self-employment to ask whether apprenticeships pay off. The paper revealed that apprenticeship is by far the most important method of providing training and is undertaken by those with Junior Secondary School or lower levels of education. Also, the finding shows that those who have completed apprenticeships earn significantly less than those who have not, suggesting that selection into apprenticeship is quite important. When allowance is made for the selection into apprenticeship training, there is evidence that it does not lead to a substantial increase in earning, and the returns declines with education.
The paper concluded that even though private investment in apprenticeship is rational, the fact remains that apprentices still experience lower than average earnings than other workers due to a combination of unobserved market place conditions and unobserved individual characteristics.
Palmer, R. (2007). Education, Training and Labour Market Outcomes in Ghana: A Review of the Evidence: (RECOUP Working paper 9).
This literature review synthesizes what is known about the relationship between education, training and the labour market in Ghana. It focuses upon the returns to education and training in both formal and informal sectors of the economy. The implications of recent trends related to the private and social returns to education are discussed. Characteristics of the broader labour market environment in Ghana, and of pathways from education and skills training to employment, are identified. Priorities for research are indicated.
Aid and Partnership Strand
Casely-Hayford, L., King, K. and Akabzaa, R. (2010). Who is Playing to the Rules? : The impact of the new aid architecture on Ghana's Education Sector
Ghana’s Education sector has been characterized by a project support mode of assistance since the early 1980’s. There were attempts to bring active Development Partners (DPs) under one cohesive aid umbrella using a sector wide approach (SWAP) in the late 1990’s followed by a progressive shift towards multi donor budgetary support (MDBS). Despite the Paris Declaration and more recently the Accra Agenda for Action (2009) along with the Government of Ghana’s Aid Policy, Development Partners have made few adjustments in their approach to create a cohesive and collaborative framework of partnership within the education sector, limiting their ability to streamline aid modalities and the transaction costs of doing business. The study findings suggest that international and national aid policies have had little impact on the structural changes needed to coordinate DPs programmes nor to the manner international agencies in the education sector partner with Government. This article explores some of the reasons why donors have opted to maintain different aid modalities and the effect this had had on the education sector and its outcomes.
Akabzaa, R. and Hettey, M. (2010). Preliminary Analysis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Research in Ghana's Education System. RECOUP Ghana Policy Brief. Associates for Change.
Tremendous efforts were made after Ghana’s 1987 Education reform which focussed on creating and supporting a broader range of partnerships in the provision and financing of education. During the late 1980’s there was a paradigm shift from the established notion that education is a public good that should be provided by only the state– towards a new thinking that Government cannot do it alone and therefore needs partnerships between state and non-state actors in the delivery of education (Fennel, 2007).
The brief explores how the outcomes of education are affected by different partnership arrangements. The research addressed whether the rising number of non-state initiatives to provide education is a response to the inadequacy or absence of state provision of education; and if so, what are the outcomes of the increasing numbers and types of providers on the education sector outcomes. This policy brief examines the different partnership arrangements that exit and how such partnerships are contributing to education development in Ghana from educational outcomes perspective using the concept of exit, voice and loyalty.
Casely-Hayford, L. and R. Palmer with C. Ayamdoo and N. M. Thompson (2007). Aid and Donor Partnerships’ in Ghana’s Education Sector, 1987-2007: a Critical Review of the Literature and Progress, Associates for Change,
This literature review provides an insight into the historic relationships of donor partnerships within Ghana’s basic education and skills development sub-sectors. The review looks at the evolution of these partnerships over the years and the various mechanisms and types of development assistance.
The review revealed that the Ghana Government white paper on educational reforms diverge remarkably from the existing educational policy framework, the ESP, and largely advocates for an increased focus on the post-basic education and skills training levels. Hence, tensions exist over education and training priorities between donor agencies (who have their sights on international targets set by the MDGs) and the government.
The review demonstrates that the relationship between Development Partners (DPs) and the Government of Ghana (GoG) on the one hand, and the partnership amongst DPs on the other, has fluctuated since the mid-1980s. The paper also reviews the challenges and problems, ranging from lack of coordination in key programme areas such as assessment approaches, and quality improvement programmes to the reluctance of some donors to participate in sector wide programing. The review has also shown that despite substantial increases in donor resources for education reforms, system wide and child centred educational outcomes in the sector remain much lower than expected.
Thompson, N. M. and Casely-Hayford, L. (2007). Financing and Outcomes of Education in Ghana. Paper presented at the RECOUP Symposium, 'Going for Growth' UKFIET Conference on International Education and Development, 11-13 September 2007, Oxford. (also RECOUP Working Paper 16)
The paper presents a statistical summary of the most important expenditure trends and educational outcomes that have accompanied resource flows since 1990; it provides a descriptive and analytic account of the major trends and characteristics, which emerge from the statistical summary; and compares trends in educational outcomes with financial inputs by governments, international agencies, and households. It uses a desk review of data from various sources, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, donor agencies, and more general policy documents. Among the data sets used for the study were the Fourth Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS4), Education Management Information System (EMIS), and the Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire survey (CWIQ, 2003).
The study found that there had been a steady, although erratic rises in funding from all sources, both domestic and external over the period (1980 to 2006). However, donor resources for education channelled through the central government showed a downward trend. This was partly as a result of sanctions imposed by some donors on the government for not meeting certain conditionalities. This downward trend could also have been as a result of HIPC financing which triggered a reduction in some donor financing.
With regard to sector-specific spending, primary schools continued to consume the largest share of the GES’s budget. In terms of outcomes, such as the performance of students, there has been marginal improvement, leaving large segments of the basic education student population struggling to attain competency in Mathematics and English.