Financing secondary education in Ghana: managing subsidies to promote equitable access and participation

Koramoah, Christian (2016) Financing secondary education in Ghana: managing subsidies to promote equitable access and participation. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Educational subsidies are becoming important mechanisms in promoting access to education among many countries. In Ghana, subsidy for Secondary Education is available to all students irrespective of their income backgrounds with the government granting only partial subsidies. Despite the strong political commitment to redress historical inequities in educational funding mechanisms, policy actions in relation to Secondary Education Financing in Ghana appear to fall short of achieving the desirable goals when viewed through a vertical equity philosophical perspective. It was against this background that this study sought to explore the management of educational subsidies in public Senior High Schools in Ghana and its implications for enhancing meaningful access and participation in Secondary Education.

Although the education financing field presents a landscape and proliferation of theories, this study employed the vertical equity theory as its theoretical foundation. The study employed the concurrent triangulation research strategy by incorporating both positivist and interpretivist paradigms (combining both qualitative and statistical analysis). This was necessary because of the wide range of data needed to draw the necessary conclusion on effective funding mechanism for Secondary Education. Heads of Senior High Schools, management of the Secondary Education Division of the Ghana Education Service and parents of students at the secondary school level participated in the study. Both primary and secondary data were collected. Interview guides were used in the collection of qualitative data while statistical data were collected from EMIS. Statistical data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel. The qualitative data from the interviews were thematically analysed using data transcription.

The study found out that, social accountability mechanisms to monitor how heads of schools utilised their allocated funds are highly ineffective due to lack of transparency. There were weak internal controls and monitoring systems. The releases of the subsidy have been unduly delayed due to government inability to release the funds on time. The subsidy as a mechanism of financing Secondary Education in Ghana is quite inequitable; giving students with different needs the same amounts of resources.

There is the need to verify the enrolment figures submitted by heads of schools for the subsidies before disbursement of funds are made while ensuring that the relevant stakeholders are involved in the management of the funds. Government alone cannot afford to provide secondary education hence a cost sharing policy seems to be the optimal choice in providing adequate funds to schools. However, it is essential to ensure that the poor who lack the ability to pay in a cost sharing system are targeted and their education paid for by the government. Again policies in relation to education financing must consider the principles of equity, affordability, adequacy and efficiency. The implication therefore is the formulation of an objective, targeting mechanism to cater for those who cannot pay.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2801 School administration and organisation
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education > LC0189 Educational sociology > LC0213 Educational equalisation. Right to education
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG401 Africa > LG480 West Africa > LG497 Ghana
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 10:21
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 10:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60122

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