education

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EFFECTS OF A FEEDING PROGRAMME ON PRIMARY SCHOOL

The government of Ghana has recognized basic education as a fundamental building block of the economy. This step is in line with goal two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which seeks to achieving a universal primary education by the year 2015 (Ghana MDG Report, 2009). Also, in congruence with GPRS II (GPRS, 2006), Article 38 of the 1992 constitution enjoins government to provide access to Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (fCUBE) to all children of school going age (Constitution of Ghana, 1992). In pursuance of this requirement, a number of plans and programmes have been launched with the government embarking upon several educational reforms and instituting new policy measures toward making education more accessible to all. These include the fCUBE programme, education strategic plan, the capitation grant; which makes basic school free from any form of school fees and the NEPAD School Feeding Programme (SFP) (ESP, 2003).

It is important to note that access to education is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The end results of the education process is that it should translate into quality human capital/resource for the state as the GPRSII envisions, hence, the zeal of governments to invest in the education of their people.

The capitation grant generally should result in higher enrolment and retention in schools. The school feeding program complements this by providing for the pupils nutritional needs and enhancing their learning capabilities. All these should translate into higher performance by pupils and for that matter, the production of quality human resource required for state development.

It should be noted that, before the introduction of the governments’ school feeding programme, the Catholic Relief Service (CRS,) had already instituted the policy of feeding school children in the district. This aside, the institution of the Northern Scholarship Scheme had also been in place in the district since the late 1950s, taking care of the feeding cost of students in Senior High Schools in the district. These had made significant impact on education of the area. In fact, many professors and educated elites in the district owe their current status to these schemes (Nadowli District, 2008)

THE PROBLEM STATEMENT

The introduction of the government school feeding programme was to supplement other interventions such as free school uniform and capitation grants. It has since played a crucial role alongside the other interventions in improving both Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) in schools in Ghana. The Upper West Region in general, recorded GER increase of 74.1% from 1991/199 – 2002/2003, 77.3% from 2002/2003 – 2004/2005 and 81.1% 2004/2005 – 2005/2006 (RSER-UWR, 2006).

Despite the increases in the enrolment figures, deprived areas in Ghana continue to encounter serious difficulties in attracting trained teachers; classroom accommodation continues to be a problem with access to teaching and learning materials remaining a headache to stakeholders. These negatively affect the quality of education in these areas including the Nadowli District.

The rise in enrolment figures with no corresponding increase in the number of teachers usually lead to disproportionate Pupils-Teacher Ratio (PTR). Overcrowding in classrooms also becomes phenomenal of such situations with increased enrolment with little attention to the construction classrooms in response to the increasing numbers which does not only sometimes lead to the outbreak of diseases but also affects quality of teaching adversely. The study therefore seeks to investigate how the increasing enrolment figures affect the quality of primary education in the Nadowli District.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Main Question

How has the school feeding programme affected primary school education in the Nadowli District?

Sub-questions

How has the SFP influenced primary school enrolment in the district?

How has the SFP influenced pupil retention in schools in the district?

What are the implications of the SFP on PTR?

How has SFP affected classrooms activity and TLM?

Are there lessons for policy formulations?

Main objective

To examine the effects of the school feeding programme on primary school education in Nadowli District

Sub-objectives

To determine how the SFP has influenced primary school enrolment in the district

To assess the influence of SFP on pupils retention in school

To examine the implications of the SFP on PTR

To examine the effects of SFP on classrooms activity and TLMs

To draw lessons from the study for policy formulation

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Data collection tools

Both probability and non probability data collection tools will be employed in the collection of primary data in the study. Specifically, I will use surveys, semi-structured interviews and observations. The surveys will be used to solicit general information from the respondents on their views on the topic such as on the effects of the SFP on the rate of enrolment. The surveys will also yield quantitative data.

The interviews will be used to generate qualitative, specific and in-depth facts about the study. The observation will be used gain first hand information on the study.

Sources of data

The study will collect data from teachers, parents, pupils, caterers of the programme, and staff from the district directorate of education and suppliers of food these schools.

Secondary sources of data such as newspapers, article and internet sources will be made use of. Records of enrolment before and during the SFP will also be used for comparisons.

Sampling techniques and sampling units

I will use purposive sampling to collect data from officials of the district education directorate (the district director, the officer in charge of statistics, the planning officer, director of human resource and a circuit supervisor), caterers, head teachers, school prefects, PTA chairpersons, and suppliers of food to the schools.

Sampling size

A sample size of 38 will be surveyed. This will be made of: 8 head teachers, 8 school prefects, 8 PTA chairpersons, 8 caterers, 5 officials of the district education directorate and 1 supplier of food to the schools in the district.

Data analysis and presentation

Qualitative data collected will be summarized into themes, analyzed and interpreted by the use of descriptive techniques. Quantitative data analysis will be done using computer programmes like the SPSS.

Tables, charts and graphs would be used to illustrate and present findings for easier understanding and interpretation.

RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY

Through findings of the study, stakeholders will be well informed of the relevance or otherwise of the SFP on primary education in the district. Positive outcome will get them committed to success and sustainace of the programme. Also, negative effects of the programme if found will also be addressed.

Aside serving as base data for further research work on the topic, findings of the study will help in policy formulation on the programme.

ORGANIZATION OF THE RESEARCH REPORT

The study report will be organized into six chapters as follows for clear presentation.

The general introduction of the study as well as the problem statement and the research questions will go into chapter one. This chapter will also contain the research objectives, justification of the study and a brief profile of the study area.

Chapter two is the review of literature on the topic. It will try conceptualizing and defining issues that relate to the study and put them in perspective. It will try to explore and fill gaps in existing literature available on the study.

Chapter three will examine the methodology employed in the study for the collection of data. How data collected is analyzed and presented will also be made clear in this chapter.

Findings of the study and the discussions on it will be presented in chapter four of the report. This will also take care of secondary data analysis on the study. Illustrations with tables, figures charts and diagrams will be made for easier understanding and interpretation of findings.

Summaries of findings, conclusion and recommendations will be presented in the fifth and last chapter of the report.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The literature review aims at exploring for areas of agreements and disagreements on the topic. From this, exiting gaps will be identified and efforts made to fill them.

The review will cover areas like: impact of education related interventions in Ghana, the history of school feeding in Ghana, Ghana education policy framework, recent education related interventions in Ghana and the SFP (arguments and against). See a sample review below.

Impact of education related interventions in Ghana

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have been exploring ways of improving their education systems in order to achieve their commitment to education for all. Ensuring that children have access to free, compulsory and good quality primary education is receiving considerable attention from governments and aid agencies alike as is given a consideration in the (GPRS II, 2006). Two main systems through which certain governments are using to achieve this aim are the abolition of school fees and the School Feeding Programme. Studies have proven that these interventions are making significant impact in the area of education in the country (ISSER, 2009).

The history of school feeding in Ghana

The issue of school feeding dates back to the 1950s when the CPP government instituted the Northern Scholarship Scheme to cater for the feeding cost of students in the northern part of the country. The Catholic Relief Services also introduced a feeding scheme in basic schools in the north. Both schemes were meant to motivate students to get educated. The most recent of these schemes is the SFP which is being piloted in all districts in the country.

Education Policy Framework in Ghana

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana under Article 25 (1) guarantees the right of all

persons to equal educational opportunities and facilities by ensuring free, compulsory and universal basic education. Functional literacy is also ensured under the constitution and provision is made for resourcing schools at all levels with adequate facilities. Aside the constitutional provisions, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II recognizes education as the key to moving the country towards a middle income status by 2015 and as a result identifies the development of human capital as one the three thematic areas of the plan. Aside aiming to meet goal 2 of the MDGs, the GPRS II also aims to strengthen the quality of education especially at the basic level, improve the quality and efficiency in the delivery of education services and bridge the gender gap in terms of education access in the country. In 2003, the Education Strategic plan (ESP) based on the Poverty Reduction Strategy came into force and it covered the period 2003-2005. The Strategic Plan operated within the framework of a sector wide approach (SWAp) for education and this was situated partly within the multi-donor budgetary support (MDBS) framework (ISSER, 2009). The ESP which provided the framework or roadmap for achieving the education related MDGs was based on four key areas: equitable access, education management and Science and technology and Vocational education. There were ten policy goals to the ESP and this covered increasing access to and participation in education and training, improving the quality of teaching and learning for enhanced pupil/student (ISSER, 2009). The SFP is one of the interventions that is considered under the policy framework.

Recent Education Related Interventions in Ghana

Ghana has been able to make some strides in its education system through certain policy initiatives. These initiatives have goals that have been expressed in policy frameworks and

reports like the GPRS I & II and the Education Strategic Plan (ESP). The government’s commitment towards achieving the educational goal is reflected in these policy frameworks. In accordance with these frameworks, certain policy strategies like the capitation grant and the school feeding program, early childhood development and gender parity have been adopted (ISSER, 2009).

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter examines the methodology that will be employed in the study for the collection of data. Data analysis techniques and the mode of presentation of findings are both treated here.

Data collection tools

Both probability and non probability data collection tools will be employed in the collection of primary data in the study. Specifically, I will use surveys, semi-structured interviews and observations. The surveys will be used to solicit general information from the respondents on their views on the topic such as on the effects of the SFP on the rate of enrolment. The surveys will also yield quantitative data.

The interviews will be used to generate qualitative, specific and in-depth facts about the study. The observation will be used gain first hand information on the study.

Sources of data

The study will collect data from teachers, parents, pupils, caterers of the programme, and staff from the district directorate of education.

Secondary sources of data such as newspapers, article and internet sources will be made use of. Records of enrolment before and during the SFP will also be used for comparisons.

Sampling techniques

The simple random sampling technique will be applied to the list of the primary schools in the district to select seven of them for the study. This technique will ensure that biases are minimized as much as possible in the selection of the schools. The same technique will be used for the selection of teachers and pupils for the study. Questionnaires of the surveys will be administered to 100 teachers, 20 pupils and 30 parents in the district.

I will also use purposive sampling to collect data from five officials of the district education directorate (the district director, the officer in charge of statistics, the planning officer, director of human resource and a circuit supervisor). Seven caterers will also be surveyed. In all, 162 questionnaires will be administered.

The education officials, caterers and some of the teacher will also be interviewed after the surveys.

Data analysis and presentation

Qualitative data collected will be summarized into themes, analyzed and interpreted by the use of descriptive techniques. Quantitative data analysis will be done using computer programmes like the SPSS.

Tables, charts and graphs would be used to illustrate and present findings for easier understanding and interpretation.

TIME FRAME

A maximum of 11 months will be used for the entire research work as indicated in the table below.

ACTIVITY

TIME PERIOD

Literature review

July and August, 2010

Designing questionnaires

September,2010

Data collection

October to December, 2010

Data analysis

January and February, 2011

Report writing

March and April, 2011

Binding and submission

May, 2011

BUDGET

An estimated amount of One Thousand, One Hundred Ghana Cedis will be required for the research activity. See breakdown in the table below.

ACTIVITY

COST (GH₵)

Using the internet and buying of relevant materials for literature review

60.00

Typing and printing questionnaire

20.00

Data collection

50.00

Transportation

100.00

Communication

50.00

Printing and binding of report

820.00

TOTAL

1,100.00


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