A School Mapping Exercise carried out in the District in 2001 by the District Education Directorate revealed the situation of Education Development in the District as follows:
Access And Participation
Under this component of the school mapping exercise, the following areas were surveyed: number and distribution of schools (by circuit, management unit and council) enrolment (intake and rates), factors influencing access to school (physical access, means of going to school, economic access, Socio-cultural access) and participation by age.
The survey revealed the actual number of schools and their locations in the district in respect of circuits, Education Management Units, and in area and town councils. At the time of the survey in 2000/2001 academic years, Builsa District had a total of 113 educational institutions at the pre-tertiary level. This table reveals that Sandema circuit, which had a total of 29 schools, had the highest number of schools in the district. Fumbisi and Kanjarga circuits with 19 schools each were the lowest. Wiaga and Chuchuliga circuits had the highest number of primary schools, while Fumbisi with 10 schools has the smallest number of primary schools. Out of the 20 Junior Secondary Schools in the district, 6 are located in Sandema circuit, the district capital.
The Management of education in the district is the ultimate responsibility of the District Director of Education. Religious Organizations, however, have established Education Management Units to oversee the schools they have established. These units give the religious groups’ significant influence in the day-to-day operation of their schools. By this arrangement, schools under Education Management Units acquire some quasi-private status, as the religious bodies tend to have a bigger say in the definition of the operational guidelines of their schools.
These schools are, however, classified as public schools largely because they have been absorbed by Government, which consequently has the responsibility for the provision of most of the essential school materials as well as the payment of the salaries of the teaching staff. Under this structure, schools that do not belong to any religious group are classified as Local Authority Schools. These are the truly public schools in the district because they belong to the District Assembly. In the Builsa District 70% of the schools fall under the Local Authority, while the Catholic unit has 24.6%, followed by Islamic Unit 3.6%
A study of the geographical location of the schools reveals that whereas Sandema, Chuchuliga, Fumbisi and Kanjarga Town/Area Council have a fair proportion of primary schools, ranging from 14 Wiaga has only eight schools, because some of the sections or communities in Wiaga make up Kadema Area Council. Siniensi Area Council has 6 schools, and then Kadema and Chansa Area Council had only 4 and 2 primary schools respectively.
The Kadema and Chansa areas are sparsely populated. These areas too were not opened up to development until recently owing to their geographical situation.
The School Age Population
The table below illustrates the age distribution by level of schooling. At the Pre-school level boys out numbered girls and also the same at both the Primary and Junior Secondary school level.
In the academic year 2002/2001 the total primary school enrolment was 12,087, comprising 5,309 boys and 6,778 girls. With 14 primary schools each, Chuchuliga and Wiaga had the largest enrolment s of 2,603 (1,280 boys and 1,332 girls) and 2,664 (1,195 boys and 1,469 girls) respectively. Fumbisi circuit had the least number of primary schools and enrolment of 2,105 (873 boys and 1,232 girls)
A study of Table 1.6.7 reveals, however, that in the year of assessment, Fumbisi had the largest average school size of 211 followed by Sandema (200). Kanjarga, which had the second least enrolment, had the least average school size of 174. Wiaga circuit had the largest enrolment but the school size of 190.
It was noticed in the case of boys that since 1995/96 there have been an uneven increase in total enrolment from 3920 in 1995/96 to 5309 in 2000/001. The annual rate of increase in enrolment was higher for girls at 37.6% than for boys at 28.4%. It could be observed also that enrolment figures dwindled as one moved to higher grades on the whole, female pupils out numbered their male counter parts. In 2000/001, the gender composition of enrolment increase showed that 56.1% were girls. In p1 the proportion of girls was 28.2% while in p6 it dropped sharply to 8.4%.
From 1993/94 to 2000/001 there was a moderate increase in the proportion of girls in total enrolment in the primary school as shown in the tables 1.6.11 and 1.6.12 below. However 1994/95 and 1999/2000 recorded slight reduction in the proportion of girl’s enrolment.
Trends In Primary One Enrolment
Between 1997/98 and 2000/001, primary one enrollment increased by 20.9% for boys and 36.1% for girls. In 2000/001 3,478 children were enrolled into primary one of which 1566 were boys and 1912 were girls, representing 45% and 55% of the total enrolment respectively. Of the 3,478 who enrolled in primary one, in 2000/001, 819 or 23.5% were in Chuchuliga circuit, followed by the Kanjarga circuit 687 or 19.8%. Chuchuliga is a semi-urban circuit, but Kanjarga is a rural circuit.
The circuit with the least primary one enrolment was Fumbisi with 633 or 18.2%. The Sandema and Wiaga circuits recorded 674 and 665 respectively. A comparison with the average p1 class size for 2000/001, however, reveals that in spite of the large p1 enrollment figure for Chuchuliga, Fumbisi and Kanjarga circuits had the largest primary one class size of 49 and 43 respectively. This was due to the schools being few but thickly populated.
Primary One Net And Gross Enrolment Ratio
Every year a fair number of p1 children repeat for various reasons. Therefore in arriving at both the Apparent and Admission Rates, p1 enrollment, less the number of repeaters was used in the calculations. In 2000/001 the total number of six years-old in the District was 2,865 (1,466 boys and 1,399 girls). Total p1 intake (excluding repeaters was 2,794) (1,252 boys and 1,543 girls).
Apparent (Gross Admission Rates for 2000/001 therefore were 51.2% for boys, 48.8% for girls and 97.5% as the average for the district. The above enrollment figures however, include children of ages both below and above six. The Net Admission Rate or Net inclusion Rate is the number of new entrants to primary grade 1 who are of the official primary school-entrance age expressed as a percentage of the population of the same age. The Net Admission Rate for boys was 28%; for girls, it was 31.7% and for the district it was 29.8%
In comparison, the very low Net Admission Rates could be attributed to the large number of both above six and under-six pupils who were in p1. In fact the very low level of participation in education could be traced to any or a number of the following reasons.
- Ignorance about the importance of schooling. Moreover, even though some parents know that their children must attend school, yet they do not know that it is good to let the child enter primary grade one by age six.
- Where the nearest school is far away, it becomes impossible for these little ones to enter school. These states of affairs also reinforce the third reason.
- A school environment that is unattractive with truant teachers will only scare children.
- The absence of Early Childhood Development Centers. This situation especially in the rural areas, delays the onset of schooling. In the Builsa District, the circuit centres have Pre-schools, but the rural communities do not have pre-schools.
- One glaring manifestation of not having access to pre-school is the very strong urge of parents asking their children to assist them in their work such as farming; looking after animals and selling items in the market.
In the absence of demographic information at the circuit level, it was not possible to come by both Apparent (Gross) Admission Rates and Net Admission Rates for the various circuits. However, a study of the proportion of total primary grade one intake that happened to be 6 years old in 2000/001 revealed that 32.8% of p1 male admissions was 6 – years olds whilst 28.7% of the female admissions was 6 years old. This means that the proportion of intake that was below and above 6 years was as large as 67.2% for boys and 71.3% for girls. Due to the few pre-schools (3) in the Wiaga circuit, it recorded the least percentage (22.7%) of 6-year old children in P1.
Internal Efficiency Of The School System
A very important set of indicators for assessing the quality of teaching and learning include promotion rate, Repetition, rate, Dropout rate and Transition rate. Apart from these, the study also looked at the following: Retention and Completion rates, Performance Monitoring Test. (PMT), etc.
The repetition rate for the district was 9.3%. For boys it was 10.5% while it was 8.1% for girls. The circuits with the higher repetition rates were Sandema (12.05%) and Chuchuliga (12.55%) while Wiaga circuit recorded (6.5%) as the least. Repetition was rather higher in the town schools than the rural schools.
An average Dropout rate of 3.8% was recorded for the District; by gender; it was 4.9% for boys and 2.9% for girls. The circuit with the highest Dropout rate was Fumbisi with a rate of 7.6% Chuchuliga and Kanjarga circuits followed with a rate of 3.4% each. Dropout rates on the whole were higher in rural schools than in town schools where Sandema circuit, for instance recorded a dropout rate of only 1.8%. They were also higher in lower primary than upper primary. The reasons for these Dropout rates, in order of importance, could be:
- The problems of truancy among teachers and shortfalls in staff requirement, especially in rural schools, coupled with the unwillingness of teachers to accept posting to such schools.
- Economic considerations. Many parents withdraw their wards to help them on the farm, to look after animals or to do petty trading to augment the family income.
- Traditional beliefs and practices, such as early betrothal and fostering by aunties. Girls are often with drawn from school for these reasons in order to “maintain a closely-family”
- Other reasons include broken homes, death of a parent or guardian influence by peers and ignorance about the importance of education.
Promotion Rates were seen to be high in all the circuits. Wiaga circuit had the highest promotion rate 93%, while Chuchuliga circuit recorded the least rate of 87.5%. For the district as a whole, an average of 91.5% was recorded. Promotion rates were higher for girls (91.9%) than for boys (90.2%). It was also realized that promotion rates were slightly higher for upper primary 100% than for lower primary classes (96.1%).
The survey looked at what happened to the 1995/96 P1 cohorts as they completed P6 in 200/001. Some 2,532 children were in p1 in 1995/96. This comprised 1,302 boys and 1,230 girls. Of this number, 1,031, (566 girls and 465 boys) completed P6 in 2000/001. Expressed as a percentage, 40.7% of the pupils were able to complete P6. While 37.8% of boys completed, 43.5% of the girls were able to complete. The Transition rate which is the proportion of p6 pupils who enter JHS 1, expressed, as a percentage for the year 2000/001 was 73.8% for district. By gender, the rate was higher for boys at 83.1% than for girls at 66.5%.4.7
Literacy And Numeracy Rates
The performance Monitoring Test (PMT) is a national survey that is conducted, every two years, to assess the performance of pupils throughout Ghana in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. It is carried out in primary class two to class six. Two (PMT) tests have been conducted in the district since its inception in 1998. Boys scored a mean of 28.5% in Literacy as against 25% for girls. In Numeracy in the same year, boys scored 23.4% while girls scored 20.5%. The 2000/001 (the year of assessment) PMT scores showed an improvement upon the 1998 scores. In Literacy, the mean score for boys was 30% and that of girls was 27.5% (an average district mean of 28.6%). In Numeracy it was 31.5% for boys and 32.5% for girls (an average mean score of 32% for the District).
Teaching And Learning Environment
The Builsa District is greatly lacking teachers. This is due to the Unwillingness of trained teachers to accept posting to the district.
Those who come are unwilling to go to rural areas. As a result, there have always been a very high proportion of untrained teachers in the rural areas. The teacher situation since 1996/97 reveals that the proportion of untrained teachers has kept increasing from 4.97% in 1996/97 to 36.4% in 1999/2000; though it reduced slightly 27.2% in 2000/2001.
Profile Of Teachers
In 2000/001 there were 294 Basic School teachers in the District. Of these, 214, representing 72.8% were trained. The untrained teachers were also 80 (27.2%). All the 214 trained teachers, comprising 150 males and 63 females were certificated. Sandema circuit being the District capital had the highest number of trained teachers, 77, representing 36% of the total, followed by Chuchuliga circuit, 53 (24.8%). The circuit that had the least number of trained teachers was Fumbisi (19) 8.9%. Of the 64 female trained teachers, only seven were teaching outside Sandema and Wiaga circuits.
There was one teacher in the Basic schools with a qualification of a graduate. The rest are certificate”A” Posting Secondary, certificate “A” (4 year), Technical instructors and SSS leavers.
Pupil – Teacher Ratio
With a total primary enrollment of 12,087 and teacher population of 294 the Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) for the year 2000/001 was 41:1 The PTR in many rural schools remained relatively high because of the existence of multi-grade classes. Sandema circuit had the highest number of teachers, thus its pupil-teacher ratio of being 27:1. Kanjarga with the least number of teachers (31) 10.5% had pupil-teacher ratio 68:1.
Teacher In-Service Training
Teacher development programmes mainly comprise, in-service Training of teachers with emphasis on child and girl friendly approaches, training to enhance effective management and school-based supervision and the motivation of teachers through incentives and appropriate support to teachers. In 2000/001, 6 out-of-school training workshops were run to improve the quality of teaching and learning. There were also 25 and 21 cluster workshops, respectively, of Curriculum Leaders and J.SS Subject Teachers. There were 12 clusters and 6 subject groupings. School-Based INSET was also conducted in 75% of schools, at least once a week.
Two Management workshops for head teachers in Financial Administration and management practices were organized. School health was also targeted. These workshops on school health, HIV/AIDS and First Aid Volunteers were run. The next table shows the types of, frequency, subject or topics and participants of In-school Training for 2000/001.
Of the 294 teachers who were reported teaching in the basic school, 120 (40.8%) were teaching in the lower primary, while 87 (29.6%) were in the upper primary. Another 87 (29.6%) were teaching in the J.S.S. Some 201 of the teachers, representing 68.4% had received training with 93 representing (31.6%) not trained. More teachers were trained in the lower primary (45.8%) than at the upper primary (29.4%). In the lower primary, majority of the trained teachers were found in primary one. Distributed by class, at the upper primary level, p6 reported 23 trained teachers; p4 had 22 while p5 recorded the least number, 14.
Sandema and Chuchuliga Circuits recorded the highest proportion of trained teachers (31.8%) and 29.4%) respectively. Fumbisi circuit had only 19 trained teachers representing 8.9% of its total number of teachers in the District. The composition of teachers by gender, suggests that, at both the lower and upper primary levels, male teachers dominated by 136 (65.7%) as against a mere 71 (34.3%) females teachers. There were many more male teachers at the lower primary than the female teachers. In fact, the number of female teachers declined as one move from the lower primary to the JSS grades.
Teacher- Motivation And Priority Needs
Incentives to teachers are of two types, institutionalized incentives and community initiated incentives. For a number of years now, an annual Awards ceremony has been organized to reward both hard working teachers and also teachers who are working under trying conditions in the deprived areas. These are institutionalized awards. Apart from this many communities supported their teachers in order to let them feel comfortable and continue to stay with them. Communities usually provide free accommodation to teachers. They also provide food / foodstuffs. Many also provide farmland and farm labour to enable the teachers’ produce their own food.
Teacher absenteeism and truancy has become very rampant among rural teachers in the districts. To address the problem it is suggested that, the recruitment of pupil teachers be made in favour of volunteers who are already in the countryside and are willing to stay there after recruitment. Already, there are many such volunteer teachers in the district who, in spite of deficiencies in academic qualifications, are working harder than regular teachers who often absent themselves from school. With the assistance of Development Partners and the active collaboration of the Builsa District Assembly, these young volunteers can be recruited, paid some allowance and trained not only to up-grade their skills but also to enable them further their education in Teacher Training Colleges and elsewhere.
Since 1997 the proportion of untrained teachers in total teacher population in the district has increased from 17% to 21.2% in the 2000/2001 academic year. This trend is due to unwillingness of trained teachers to accept posting to the district. Those who accept posting to the district do not normally stay for more than two years, on the average. The lack of basic services accounts for the willingness of teachers to accept posting to the district. To attract trained teachers to the district the following may be considered:
- The District Assembly, in its annual budget, could make allocations to support communities that demonstrate their willingness to build houses for teachers.
- The provision of solar lamps to teachers, even if on hire-purchases, at subsidized prices could help attract teachers to the district.
- Action should be expedited on the proposal that trained teachers who stay beyond four years in the district be given rapid promotion.
- Many teachers leave every year to pursue further studies. To curb this trend, it is suggested that the District Assembly support teachers in the district who, instead of going away, agree to stay and enroll in distant learning programmes.
- Apart from the institutionalized incentive package by government, the D.A can mobilize incentives from various sources in order to expand the scheme to cover all categories of teachers and education staff.
Provision of Textbooks, Libraries and Teaching Materials
- Inadequacies in the supply of textbooks could be addressed by the DA through the mobilization of funds for the procurement of textbooks that are in short supply in the district.
- As a matter of urgency, the District Library in Sandema should be stocked with adequate library books in order to attract teachers who are interested in studies to stay there and read during their free periods.
- The establishment of a District Book Trust can also be considered.
- Action must be taken on the proposed Teachers’ Resource Centre. Support should be sought from Development Partners to see this project through.
- Teacher in-service training should be decentralized and intensified at both the Circuit and Cluster levels.
- To ensure efficient and effective supervision of schools, all Circuit Supervisors should be encouraged to stay in their Circuits.
- There should be a regular supply of logistics (e.g. fuel to enhance mobility of supervisors). The DA should supplement the GES supply of logistics to Circuit Supervisors.
- It is also recommended that a District Monitoring Team be constituted to pay periodic visits to school.
Teachers’ indiscipline, which manifests itself in absenteeism, truancy and ineffective preparation of lessons, is one phenomenon that keeps frustrating efforts at effective supervision and management. Even though the District Disciplinary Committee was reconstituted in June 2001, it has not been able to operate because of lack of allowances that they are entitled to anytime the committee meets. To get over this hurdle, it is proposed that at the Circuit level, Disciplinary Committees composed of representatives of SMCs, PTAs, and Unit Committees. Area Councils, Traditional Authority, the Youth and Women, as well as Circuit Supervisors, should be formed. This committee should be able to perform without remuneration. It will be accountable to the District Disciplinary Committee. Both committees should meet periodically with other stakeholders. Circuit Supervisors’ reports should be copied to these committees.
- One area in which communities can support their schools is the maintenance and repair of school infrastructure such as classrooms, furniture, books, etc. Apart from increased sensitization, a School Facilities Maintenance Schedule should be prepared by all SMCs and monitored by the DEOC.
- Currently, Head teachers control majority of PTAs and all they discuss in meetings are levies. This discourages many parents from participating in activities of these PTAs. To ensure that all PTAs meet regularly, a schedule of school-by-school meetings can be prepared by Circuit Supervisors who should attend such meetings and ensure that deliberations include no-levy issues.
- The DA should see the enhanced performance of SMCs, PTAs, Unit Committees and other community structures as its mandate and, therefore, team up with other organizations to train and support them to function effectively.
- The District Directorate of Education has interviewed and appointed new, trained and experienced Head teachers and posted them to rural areas. These Head teachers must be encouraged to stay.
- The establishment of school committees composed of teachers and pupils should be encouraged to be in charged of discipline, maintenance of furniture, books, school compound, etc. Also the formation of school clubs of various types gives pupils the opportunity to participate in school activities and ensure the maintenance of a perfect tone of the school.
Date Created : 11/20/2017 1:05:50 AM