R&P Entries

Monographs

Tamanja, E. M. J., (2014). Child migration and educational progression in the Savannah regions of Ghana: Implications for planning and development. Dissertation, Dortmund, http://hdl.handle.net/2003/33608 or https://eldorado.tu-dortmund.de/handle/2003/33608. ISBN:

Abstract
Child migration in Ghana has moved beyond the concerns of individual child migrants and their families, to one of national development concerns. Streets, pavements and other public spaces in the cities and towns - especially Accra - are flooded with children engaged in various activities. These children are not only a nuisance to road users and city authorities, but exert pressure on social amenities as well as threat to security. However, little is known about the education of children when they migrate. This requires research attention, to shed light on the phenomenon. In this study, I explore the motivations for migration of children from Bongo district to Accra in Ghana and examine how migration influences their pursuit of basic education. The study employed a mixed methods design involving observation, interviews with 35 child migrants, community discussions, interviews with experts and schedule officers of government and non-governmental organisations working on issues of child migration. Furthermore, questionnares were administred to 490 (250 migrant and 240 non-migrant) children in 10 schools in the district and their academic performance data obtained and analysed, using MannWhitney U Test, to find differences in their performance. Poverty, peer influence and pursuit of education emerged as major motivational factors, while non-migrant school children performed relatively better than their migrant counterparts. Nevertheless, the overall effects of migration on education was found to be mixed. Whereas it was negative or positive for some, others pursued apprenticeship as an alternative. I conclude that children in deprived regions migrate to escape unfavourable living conditions and to accumulate wealth in urban areas. However, involvement in migration has negative effects on performance in class with the likelihood of stalling progress in education. Furthermore, I recommend affirmative action by national and local government actors, in order to reduce poverty in rural areas while confronting the daunting challenges in rural schools to improve access and quality.

 

Ananga, E. D., Tamanja, E. M. J. and Amos, P., (2015). Effects of teachers’ participation in distance education on Basic Education: A case study of Central Region in Ghana. Report on a Commissioned project by Plan Ghana (Research monograph)., . ISBN:

Abstract

 

Ananga, E. D., Tamanja, E. M. J. and Amos, P., (2015). Effects of teachers’ participation in distance education on Basic Education: A case study of Central Region in Ghana. Report on a Commissioned project by Plan Ghana (Research monograph)., . ISBN:

Abstract
Executive Summary This report commissioned by Plan Ghana, investigates the effects of Basic School Teacher’s participation in Distance Education (DE) on teacher absenteeism, teaching time on task and instructional time lost in the Central region of Ghana. This paper premised on reports that about 15,000 Certificate ‘A’ teachers leave the classroom each year for further studies, creating vacancies in the classroom that are difficult to fill. It is further rooted in the claim that the introduction of DE programme by some public universities in Ghana has aggravated the situation which affects effective teaching and learning. Given that this mass departure of teachers from the classroom for upgrading is in response to the Ministry of Education’s directive that the minimum qualification for teaching in Ghanaian basic schools by the year 2005 should be at least Diploma instead of a Certificate, this study is interested in finding out the repercussions of this policy on teacher time on task in Ghana. The study is based on a review of the empirical research literature and a cross-sectional survey using both qualitative and quantitative approach to research conducted in Ghana in 2015. The literature review covers a number of evaluations on DE programme and Teacher Time on Task. These provide suggestive rather than empirical or firm evidence and fail to address issues which have contributed to the rapid increase in the number of teachers who wants to upgrade themselves with its consequent teaching time lost when such teachers leave the classroom for upgrading. This is due to the fact that such studies were conducted in developed countries and do not take into consideration challenges facing African public and private higher institutions in their quest to increase enrolment, which result to the turn away of several prospective students due to institutional capacity and limited available resources such as lecture halls. Thus such reports were based on recall data rather than separate baseline and surveys. There is evidence in some studies on the main rationale for DE which has been to expand access to education and training, since its flexible scheduling structure lessens the effects of the many time-constraints imposed by personal responsibilities and commitments. With its rapid growing number in enrolment and centres across Ghana, DE courses offer flexibility in learning and help to provide opportunities that may otherwise have been denied in a regular face-to-face education system which is crucial to the Ghanaian situation. In respect to teacher professional development, Distance Education programmes offer opportunities for teachers to continue their development while remaining in the classroom even though it has its own demerits. Despite some literature which point signals to teacher absenteeism and classroom time on task, there is little empirical analysis of teacher time-on-task in Ghana. Similarly, there is little analysis in linking teacher time on task to service teacher participation in DE programmes in Ghana. This has spark off the need to explore the linkages and generate knowledge that can inform policy decisions on DE for teachers. The primary field work in Ghana focused on Central region. There were seven targeted populations for the study. It involved participants from institutional level - District Education Officers – Circuit supervisors, Ministry of Education/GES representatives and Officials of universities running the DE programme. Also, school level - pupils whose teachers are enrolled on the DE programme; and teachers who are enrolled on the programmes as well as Head teachers of the schools from which teachers on the DE programme are teaching. In total, 1,588 teachers enrolled on the DE programme participated in this study. The study revealed that instructional time of teachers on the Sandwich Teacher Education (STE) programme is greatly affected since they leave their duty posts and move to the universities – UCC and UEW during the Sandwich sessions. Even though majority of teachers who are on the Distance Teacher Education (DTE) programme reside close to their programme centres their teaching time on tasks is affected by their participation in the programme, especially during periods of examinations. It was noticed that teachers on the DTE programme attempted concealing the negative effects of DE on time on task fearing it could lead to policy change which may prevent them from upgrading themselves through DE. It is interesting to note that, majority of the teachers enrolled on the DE disagreed that by participating in the DTE and STE programmes; the effectiveness of their teaching is negatively affected. Nonetheless, the following are some of the key findings of the study;  the number of instructional hours lost was more with teachers on the STE programme than their counterpart on the DTE programme.  the STE calendar conflicts with the third and first terms of the basic school calendar. As a result, teachers on the STE leave 6-8 weeks prior to the end of the basic school term.  participating in the DTE and STE learning activities do not only affect the academic engagement with learners, but it also has a lot of influence on the commitment and participation of teachers in family activities, their social activities, health as well as their extracurricular activities.  teachers participation in the STE and DTE programmes had significant negative impact on effective teaching and learning, pupils academic progress, monitoring and assessment, effective classroom interactions or delivery, teachers prior preparation before, during and after lesson, teachers personal career and development as well as general school administration. The report concludes that the impact of teaching time lost as result of teachers’ participation in the DTE and STE programme remains a significant issue which needs to be addressed by policy makers and all stakeholders in education. Losing instructional time through DE has both short and long term impact on pupils’ academic performance, social and career growth and development. It argues for drastic measures to be implemented in the DE in the flowing ways;  the institutions - universities offering the DE programme should make adjustments in the STE programme calendar to suit basic schools academic calendar. This would prevent teachers from leaving the classroom to upgrade at the expense of the pupils in the classroom.  The content of the course modules and materials taught on the DE should be made relevant to the level teachers are teaching.  MoE/GES should dialogue with the universities to find a more suitable solution to the perennial problem of teaching leaving the classroom daily.