ASSESSING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN IMPROVING BASIC EDUCATION DELIVERY IN THE GOMOA EAST DISTRICT, CENTRAL REGION GHANA

ABSTRACT
The main aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which communities in the Gomoa East District participate in improving basic education delivery. Specifically, the study looked at the activities that communities perform and the extent to which they engage in those activities to improve access, infrastructure development and academic performance, as well as ensuring effective monitoring and supervision. The sampled respondents consisted of basic school heads and teachers, School Management Committee, Parent Teacher Association and Unit Committee executives. Respondents were selected using the random sampling approach and questionnaire used as instrument for primary data collection. The study showed that community members were aware of the need to participate in the provision of basic education and saw their participation as very significant to improving education delivery. However, they had little knowledge on the specific roles they needed to play in the school to improve education delivery. The study also revealed that lack of understanding of educational issues, poor communication and lack of resources and time on the part of parents and community members in general were major setbacks to participation in education delivery in the area. This study also notes that the top three ways of improving education delivery were using local language at meetings, informing community members about positive things happening in the school and ensuring effective communication between the school and the community by involving community members in decision making about the school.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Education is generally considered a key factor in the economic, political and social development of any nation. Over the years, it has become apparent that basic education generates substantial positive benefits to the pupils and the society in general (Abdinoor, 2008). It enhances the reasoning ability of the individual, increases the number of skilled human resource, national productivity and fosters good governance, which will ultimately lead to the overall economic growth of a country. Education in Ghana at the different levels namely, basic, secondary and the tertiary gives attention to human capital development; clearly this tends to result in economic development.

Basic education is not only compulsory in Ghana, but a right for all citizens in the country, and it is the responsibility of the parent as well as the community as a whole to make sure that children of school going age attend school to acquire the basic skills, knowledge, values and attitude which will shape them for life. Even though the school lays the foundation for the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes to be acquired, and talents to be nurtured for the development of the nation, this can only be achieved through effective collaboration between the state, parents, the community as well as the teachers.

Investing in people’s education is becoming more important for future economic growth. It also helps a nation to depend less on its depleting natural resources by promoting individual development, which in turn gives people the ability to escape hunger and poverty (Abdinoor, 2008).

It is without doubt that, any country, which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national development, will be unable to develop anything else. This is because improving the capacity of people through education enable them to exploit and utilize other resources effectively and efficiently; thus, helps to end hunger and poverty through the reduction of unemployment and acceleration of economic growth. Therefore, there is the need for community schools stakeholders to understand the relevance of education and collaborate with the government and other relevant agencies for the education of the younger generation (Namphande, 2007). Consequently, the provision of quality education to children cannot be overemphasized.

This need has resulted in making educators, policymakers and others involved in education to seek ways for the efficient utilization of limited resources, and to identify and solve problems in the education sector. Their efforts have contributed to realizing the significance and benefits of community participation in education, and have recognized community participation as one of the strategies to improve educational access, infrastructure, management, supervision and performance (Uemura, 1999a).

There is growing interest to improve education delivery in developing countries through community participation (Stiglitz. 2002; Mansuri & Rao, 2012). Many countries have created local institutions, such as school committees and Parent Teacher Associations to coordinate this. However, it has been recently revealed that some of these institutions fail to live up to their mandate (Duflo, Dupas, & Kremer, 2012). They pointed out that community participation is not something new in the delivery of education neither is it a panacea to solve complex education related problems. In fact, not all communities, in the past, have played a passive role in children’s education, the authors stressed. Backing this assertion, Williams (1994) stresses that, until the middle of the last century, responsibility for educating children rested with communities. Although there are still places where communities organize themselves to operate schools for their children today, community participation in education delivery according to Ahwoi, (2010) has not fully gain root in several communities.

Article 7 of the World Declaration on Education for All that emerged from the World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA), which was held in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990, states that “national, regional and local educational authorities have a unique obligation to provide basic education for all, but they cannot be expected to supply every human, financial or organizational requirement for this task” (World Conference on Education for All [WCEFA], 1990). New and revitalized partnerships at all levels will be necessary: partnerships among all sub-sectors and forms of education; partnerships between government and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, local communities, religious groups and families (WCEFA, 1990).

Because basic learning needs are complex and diverse, meeting them require multi-sectorial strategies and actions which are integral to overall development efforts. Many partners must join with the education authorities.....

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Item Type: Ghanaian Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 111 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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