Comparative Evaluation of Basic Education Programmes in Central Region, Ghana and South-West, Nigeria
Basic education is introduced in Ghana and Nigeria to ensure unfettered access to nine years of formal education as well as reduce the incidence of drop out from the school system. However, many children are still excluded while those enrolled do not stay long enough to complete the 9-year basic education. The strength of cross national comparisons allow one to see variation and similarities in educational practices and procedures in a wider context. Thus, this study evaluated Basic education program, in Central Religion of Ghana and South- West, Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design involving both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods to examine funding, school facilities, Inservice teachers’ training as components of Basic education. A multi stage sampling procedure was used to select 920 Basic 8 Pupils, 275 Basic school teachers and 117 Heads of Schools and their assistants to respond to questionnaire while purposive sampling was used to select 20 Ministry of Education officers, 22 drop-out students for interviews. In addition, 48 Basic 8 Pupils, who were part of those that responded to questionnaire, participated in Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) which helped in authenticating pupils’ written responses. In all, 1354 participants comprising 632 samples from four educational circuits of Effutu and Cape Coast in Central Region of Ghana and 722 samples from four Local Government Education Authorities (LGEA) in Lagos and Ogun in South-Western Nigeria. Three research instruments titled: Basic School Pupils’ Questionnaire (BSPQ r= 0.87), Basic School Teachers Questionnaire (BSTQ r= 0.71) and Head of School Questionnaire (HSQ r= 0.73) were used to collect quantitative data while interview schedule, FGDs and documentary evidence were used to generate qualitative data. In order to achieve the objective of the study, six research questions and hypotheses guided the study. Hypotheses 1, 2, 5 and 6 were tested using t-test, while hypotheses 3 and 4 were tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) at 0.05 level of significance. Qualitative data were analyzed in narrative form and verbatim reports of emerging themes in the two countries. Findings revealed that there is no significant difference in the provision of adequate school facilities and funding system. There is also no significant gender difference in students’ civic disposition in Ghana and Nigeria, whereas there are significant differences in teachers’ participation in in-service training due to educational qualification, Also, significant difference was found in academic leadership provided by heads of schools based on years of experience. Furthermore, there were variations in reasons why students drop out of basic education in the two countries. The result showed that the provision of school facilities in the two countries is far from being adequate and drop-out rate is on the increase. The study therefore recommends that there should be periodic seminar and refreshers’ programmes for basic school teachers and heads of schools especially the new entrants to enhance their productivity. It also recommends that government at all levels should encourage publication of relevant textbooks for basic schools especially in value laden subjects like civic education; social studies and religious studies.