Research Studies in Some African Countries Relating to Education Quality


Research Studies in Some African Countries Relating to Education
Various studies have been conducted in parts of Africa in relation to educational quality
in various contexts.
In Ethiopia studies in relation to education quality include basic education for school-age
children, female education, technical and vocational education and training, efficiency,
equity and access, and decentralization. A study on students’ participation, dropout and
achievement in primary schools and manpower in the Wereda zone reported in January
1977 found that the lifting of school fees and campaigns carried out to persuade parents
had improved participation and enrolment in the zone. Compared to boys, the
participation of girls was lower. There were variations in the rate of the school-going
population among regions. There had been a slight decline in female participation at
primary and junior secondary levels with an increase at senior secondary level. The
largest schools are in the urban areas. The pupil/teacher ratio was slightly below 50

Growth in enrolment was affected by a shortage of teachers, textbooks and lack of space
in existing schools.
Dropout was a serious problem and was caused by a preference for trading to attending
school. A difficult rural life, involvement in agricultural activities for boys, and early
marriage and fear of abduction of girls, were additional reasons. The quality of education
was affected by an inadequate supply of curricular materials and a shortage of
classrooms, desks, teachers, etc. There was no significant gender disparity in terms of
grade repetition but still boys performed better than girls. Wereda education office staff
lacked proper training and suffered from a high turnover (Studies of Education in
Ethiopia: An Inventory and Overview of Education Sector Studies in Ethiopia 1994 –
1997, UNESCO Working Group on Education Sector Analysis, 1999).
A number of similar studies have been conducted relating to educational quality. Specific
issues relating to quantity and quality such as school facilities, enrolment trends over a
period, teacher supply, incremental resource requirements, infrastructure, logistics,
internal and external efficiency, cost-effectiveness, learning outcomes, relevance and
equity issues were addressed in the studies. From a study titled “Indicators of the Quality
of Education: A National Study of Primary Schools in Zimbabwe”, the following
findings were made. Mean reading abilities of Grade 6 boys and girls were not
statistically different. Teachers considered classroom supplies as the single most
important factor to improve their job satisfaction. Personnel in the Ministry of Education
needed training in data management and data analysis skills to facilitate their operations. 

 Another study on “Education in Zimbabwe: Issues of quantity and quality” described
contextual and historical statistical information focusing on school facilities, enrolments,
teacher supply, incremental resource requirements, infrastructure, logistics, internal and
external efficiency, cost-effectiveness, relevance and equity issues. Principal findings
made were that Zimbabwean women continue to be under-represented in the modern
sector, in high-level jobs and in higher education despite improvements due to such
legislations as the Equal Pay Regulation of 1982, the Industrial Conciliation Act and the
Labour Relations Act of 1984. In education, 

the general pattern found was that girls were
competing favourably with boys in the lower levels of the system, but were outnumbered
at the higher levels. Those girls who survived through the system were generally lower
achievers than boys.
An evaluation of the effects of the country’s disadvantaged schools rehabilitation project
came out with a number of findings. For example, it was found that the rehabilitation
project provided essential physical facilities in rural marginalized schools by refurbishing
existing facilities and supplying furniture. The various rural communities responded
enthusiastically in support of all projects intended for the improvement of the quality of
teaching and learning physical environments in their schools. However, the project
implementation was constrained by inadequate to poor record keeping and financial
accounting, escalating costs of building materials and inadequate supervision of the
Similarly, a study undertaken to examine the factors affecting the education of women
and girls in commercial farming areas of Zimbabwe found that access to primary
education in commercial farming areas was limited. The impediments preventing
increased participation by girls and women in formal education were found to be sociocultural and socio-economic. Participation rates of girls in primary schools in the
commercial farming areas varied from 48.9 % at Grade 1 level to 41.2 % at Grade 7
level. The quality of education and quality of student achievement were found to below
(Review of Education Sector Analysis in Zimbabwe 1990 - 1996, UNESCO Working
Group on Education Sector Analysis, 1999).

Higher Education Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Association of
African Universities, Accra (2004)
ADEA’s Working Goup on Higher Education (WGHE) has a collection of successful
innovations and quality assurance practices of universities in Africa. 

The collections
include regional reports on innovations in Franchophone Africa, Eastern Africa, Southern
Africa and Ghana.
Review of Education Sector Analysis in Ghana, 1987-1998
Prepared by D.K.Agyemang, J.J.K., Baku, ., Gbadamosi, assisted by E. Addabor, K.
Addo-Adeku, M. Cudjoe, A.A. Essuman, E.E.K. Gala a,d C. Pomary, UNESCO (2000).
UNESCO’s Working Group on Education Sector Analysis has evaluated the successes of
34 international and national sponsored research projects and interventions related to
various aspects quality in education in Ghana. Their work provides a frame for
governments and their international partners to compare the similarities and differences
between related quality education initiatives carried out in various national contexts.
Bridging the Gap: Linking School and the World of Work
Prepared for the Department for International Development by P.J. Towers, J.
Anamuah-Mensah, P.S.D. Mushi and D.W. Kent, SACOST, University of Education,
Winneba (2005) 

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