Impact Evaluation of Basic Education in Ghana

he main questions addressed in this Operations Evaluation Department (OED) study are: (1) what has happened to educational outputs (school attendance and learning); (2) what are the main determinants of those outputs; (3) which educational interventions have the largest and most cost effective impact on educational outputs; (4) to what extent have Bank-supported activities promoted interventions that support improved educational outputs; and (5) how do improved educational outputs support better welfare outcomes? These questions were addressed through a variety of means, including a nationwide survey carried out by OED in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The survey followed up on a living standards survey conducted in 1988 that included data on test score outcomes and school quality. The study is thus in a unique position to analyze school-level changes over the 15 year period, 1988-2003. The lessons drawn from this study are: 1) Increasing the availability and quality of classrooms and instructional materials directly contributes to both educational attainment and achievement. 2) Supervision of teachers by the head teacher and circuit supervisor matter, as do the teaching methods adopted by the teacher, including the language used as the medium of instruction, so efforts should also be made to retain trained teachers, to improve teacher morale, and to expand in-service training. 3) A class of schools in poorer communities are very poorly resourced, so resources should be directed to the neediest schools to overcome the bias that results from community-based financing. 4) The private sector has been neglected, although it is of growing importance; attention needs to be paid to it in both government strategy and Bank support. read more