HIV prevalence



HIV/AIDS The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in a growing number of developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, is a major factor influencing teacher quality, sometimes leading to high teaching-staff attrition rates. Deaths largely from HIV/AIDS contribute to teacher shortage. In Zambia, as an example, it is reported that ‘the number of primary school teachers that died in 2000, is equivalent to 45 percent of all teachers that were educated during that year’ (Nilsson, 2003:16), while about 30% of teachers in Malawi are reported infected (World Bank, 2002). In Ghana, there is no statistics on the effects of the disease on teachers; yet it is reported that about 3.5% of the entire adult population is HIV infected. In 2000, about 330,000 adults and 20,000 children were infected (National Aids/STI Control Programme, Ministry of Health, 2001)

. As summarised by the EFA Global Monitoring Report (2002), In a situation where the shortage of qualified and experienced teachers is a major obstacle to succeed and reach the EFA goals, HIV/AIDS have serious effects on the situation in schools. b) Educational facilities This is about school space and equipment. In countries that have reached high levels of education, this represents marginal investment. However, in countries that have significantly low enrolment ratios, this is one of the most important budgetary categories. Lack of facilities has been a major problem related to achieving quality in Ghana. This is reflected in Gyekye’s (2003) comments on 17 constraints that militate against improving the output and quality of postgraduate students’performance below: ‘Equipment in several of the labs of science departments is mostly obsolete. Chemicals and other inputs needed for scientific experiments are insufficient. In such circumstances, it will be difficult to … improve the quality of postgraduate output’ (p.25). 6. Studies in Ghana Relating to Education Quality Findings from a number of studies on quality-related issues in education between 1987 and 2005 suggest that quality of education is generally poor, especially in deprived rural areas. Examples such studies are listed below: 6.1 UNESCO’s Sponsored Project on Review of Ghana’s Education Sector Analysis (1987 –1998) Between 1987 and 1998, UNESCO’s Group on Education Sector Analysis evaluated various aspects of educational quality under the following four main themes: Study Theme Focus Improving management efficiency and management Management efficiency, decentralization and sustainability,

 funding of education; partnership between Educational Ministry and development partners; staff development and reform implementation. Improved access and equity Access, participation and equity; Access to and efficiency of tertiary education; Girls’ education; community participation. Improved quality education Educational quality; curriculum improvement; teacher education and efficiency; educational assessment Others Relevance of education to national needs; NGO participation; Education and health; Tertiary education; Functional literacy programme; Distance education. Source: Working Group on Education Sector Analysis, UNESCO, 2000, p. 

23 The analysis found the quality of education ‘generally low, lower in rural schools than in urban ones, and lower in public than in private schools’ (p.25). Absence of efficient and effective leadership and management, inadequate qualified teachers, lack of 18 management information systems, teaching and professional competence, irrelevant school curriculum and poor enrolment of girls were some identified hindrances to achieving quality education. 6.2 USAID Commissioned Study into School Performance (2003) A 2003 comparative study carried out by the Educational Assessment and Research Centre (EARC), on behalf of USAID, into the academic performance of public and private school pupils in Southern Ghana found pupil performance private schools higher than public schools. The difference was attributed to the quality of Supervision of instruction in private schools. This finding confirm Opare’s (1999) observation that ‘monitoring and supervision of teacher’s work was more regular in private schools than in public junior secondary schools in Accra and SekondiTakoradi

. A most recent study by Owusu-Ansah (2005) on time management in schools also found that ‘while both private and public schools misused instructional time, the private schools better managed instructional time than the public schools’. 6.3 Department for International Development (DfID) Funded Project on Linking School and the World of Work Indigenous education in Ghana, and for that matter Africa, was considered ‘practical, relevant and work oriented, aimed at making everyone productive’ and establishing a link between social life and culture of the people. Quality education, in the indigenous Ghanaian sense therefore is that which prepare recipients for the world of work. To what extent does the school system create an awareness of, and prepare students to enter the world of work? Finding answers to this question was the main thrust of a 2005 DfIDfunded project carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Education, Winneba. The major finding in their study suggests that the link between school and the world of work is weak. As an example, 62% of teacher trainers in the study ‘thought that schools were not preparing pupils for employment arguing that the curriculum was too academic, whereas 65.2% and 37.65 administrators and employers maintained that teachers fostered negative attitudes to the world of work’ (p.113). For quality education to be achieved, young people and children must be given the tools to deal with the different tasks they will need to perform in their adulthood. Education must help the 19 recipients to develop themselves as persons. They must learn the necessary skills and achieve the essential knowledge that will make it possible for them to play an active part in economic life. As citizens they must learn to be critical and responsible. In today’s world there is also a need to prepare young people and children to participate in and understand activities at the international level. 6

.4 Netherlands Universities Fund for International Collaboration (NUFFIC) funded project on leadership and management. An explorative study of polytechnics in Ghana in 2004 by a consortium of Dutch researchers identified ineffective leadership and inefficient management as a major factor militating against quality delivery of polytechnic education in Ghana. Similarly, Oduro’s (2003) study of the professional development of primary headteachers found that heads of rural school lack competences in health administration, instructional supervision, record keeping, financial administration and other fundamental qualities. Prior to these studies, Atakpa and Ankomah (1998) reported on a baseline study carried out by the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) on the state of school management throughout Ghana, which purposed to examine methodology for promoting quality teaching and learning in the schools. From the study various factors relating to school management effectiveness were found lacking in some schools. These include, among others, instructional leadership skills of the school head, time management, school vision and mission, tradition of performance, learning environment, and school and community relations.

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