Types of schools in the community
Ghana’s educational system can be categorised into the basic level, second cycle level and the tertiary level. The field data gives the various types of educational institutions in the country. These are nursery/day care/primary schools, junior secondary/technical/vocational schools, tertiary institutions/universities/polytechnics/training colleges.
A vast majority of the respondents representing 80% indicated that all the above-mentioned types of schools exist in their communities. Respondents who indicated that only nursery/day care/primary schools exist in their community constituted 5%, 7% indicated that there are only junior secondary schools, 2% indicated only senior secondary/technical vocational schools, 3% indicated only tertiary institutions/universities/
Analyses 69 polytechnics/training colleges and 3% did not respond to any of the options given. The available data shows that all types of schools exist in the Western Region. On the other hand, secondary data obtained from the Tarkwa Nsuaem municipality revealed a rather pyramid nature of the number of schools in the municipality and the entire Western Region. From the field data, the municipality has 67 kindergartens, 68 primary schools, 56 junior high schools, three senior high schools and one tertiary institution. There are more schools at the basic education levels with very few schools at the second cycle and tertiary levels. This trend, however, is not different from what exists in other non-mining regions of Ghana. This is because most education policy interventions in the past have focused on increasing access to the basic education to the neglect of the tertiary level.
Sources of funding schools in the community
Funding plays a critical role in the access, affordability and overall quality of education. The sources of funding for schools can vary depending on the ownership of the school and the purpose of its establishment, among other factors. The one who funds these educational institutions has a key stake in its running.
In Ghana, the sources of funding include public sources (government), private individuals, mining companies (in the case of mining communities) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The field data gives the distribution of the various sources of funding for the schools in the mining communities. Out of the 100 respondents, 96 of them responded to this question.
The field data gives a narrow majority of the respondents constituting 54% indicating that schools in their communities are funded by all four above-mentioned sources. The proportion of respondents who indicated that the sources of funding for schools come from public (government) only constituted 18%, 13% indicated private individuals only, 7% indicated the mining companies only, 5% NGOs only.
School enrolment in the Western Region
Basic education in Ghana generally consists of two years of kindergarten, six years of primary school and three years of junior high school. In each of the levels of education, respondents were asked to indicate the enrolment of students by ranking on the scale of very high, high, low and very low. The field data shows the distribution of their responses. Out of the 100 responses, 98 responded to this question.
The field data shows that a vast majority of the respondents constituting 83% indicated that enrolment at the basic level is high, 12% indicated that enrolment at this level is very high, 2% indicated that enrolment at this level is low and 1% indicated that enrolment is very low at this level. Generally, enrolment is high at the basic level of education.
Similarly, respondents were made to rank the enrolment at the second cycle level (which includes senior secondary school, technical schools and vocational schools). The secondary school level is made up of four years of schooling. The field data shows the distribution of the responses of the selected heads of households. Out of the 100 respondents, 97 responded to this question.
The field data shows that 79% of the respondents, representing a majority, opined that enrolment at the second cycle level is high, 11% indicated that enrolment at this level is very high, 7% indicated that the enrolment is low with nobody indicating that it is very low. Secondary data obtained from Tarkwa Nsuaem, however, reveals that for a population of 59,341 being between 0-24 years, there are three secondary schools with no vocational or technical school in the municipality. Critics have, however, argued that this is not different from other parts of Ghana, and can be explained as a legacy of the colonial educational system.
On the enrolment at the tertiary level (which includes universities, polytechnics, teacher training colleges, nursing and health colleges), the field data shows that a majority of the respondents, constituting 74%, stated that enrolment at the tertiary level is high, 5% indicated that enrolment at this level is very high, 18% indicated that it’s low but nobody opined that it is very low. The Western Region can boast of few tertiary institutions since nationally there are not many institutions in relation to the population. However, unlike the basic and secondary education, many students travel outside their towns and home regions to access tertiary education especially in Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast, which have the nation’s prestigious tertiary institutions. Furthermore, one other reason that could account for the high rate of tertiary education despite the very low number of institutions could be the introduction of the distance learning, sandwich (summer schools) and evening programmes, which help to increase access at this level.