‘Kpandai pupils performing better in reading than arithmetic’

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

An assessment undertaken by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has revealed that pupils in basic schools in the Kpandai District of the Northern Region perform better in reading than arithmetic.

Choice-Ghana in collaboration with IBIS Ghana conducted a study in 20 schools in the district from November 2016 to April 2017 and this was presented at a stakeholders’ forum at Kpandai.

It revealed that 71 per cent of pupils from Primary Three to Primary Six are literate in reading whereas 29 per cent are weak in numeracy.

Choice-Ghana under its Strengthening Citizen Action for Learning and Employment (SCALE) project undertook the study meant to assess pupils’ acquisition of basic competency in literacy and numeracy forms, following the interventions of various NGOs and government to maximise enrolment and retention of pupils in schools.

Participants in the study comprised 20 enumeration areas, 384 households, 20 schools and 1,078 children at the household level between the ages of three to 15 years irrespective of whether they were in school or not.

Mr Bakari Ibrahim, Project Officer at Choice-Ghana, said the basic assessments were designed based on national curriculum and were conducted one-on-one in the households of participants.

Mr Ibrahim, who was speaking at a stakeholder information sharing session on the assessment, said per the schools registers’ enrolment assessment, out of the 20 schools surveyed, 2,289 students are enrolled at the kindergarten level as compared to 909 pupils at Primary Six, which  inferred a massive drop out of pupils by the time they reached Primary Six.

Mr Ibrahim’s presentation also showed that 72.42 per cent of pupils as compared to 70.41 per cent of teachers were present on the day of visit to the selected schools and this indicates a low turnout of teachers as compared to pupils in school.

The research also revealed that more boys within the ages of six to 15 are performing better than girls in both reading and numeracy in the Kpandai District.

During a plenary discussion among stakeholders comprising the Ghana Education Service (GES), School Management Committees, head teachers and representatives from the District Assembly and traditional leaders, they identified some of the factors that result in poor performance of pupils as absenteeism, inadequate teachers, poor infrastructure, poor knowledge of parents on the importance of education, ineffective monitoring, incompetence of teachers in some subjects and mass promotion of pupils.

The stakeholders pledged to ensure regular attendance of teachers in schools, sensitisation of parents on the need for education and the need to repeat pupils who performed badly in class if necessary.

GNA

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