An Assessment Of The Internal Efficiency Of Basic Education In The Wa Municipality Of The Upper West Region

Master's Thesis, 2010

82 Pages, Grade: A



Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Significance of the Study
Delimitation of the Study
Definition of Terms
Organization of the Thesis

The Concept of Efficiency
School Efficiency
School Wastage
Indicators of Coverage and Internal Efficiency
The Concept of Internal Efficiency
School Enrolment
Gross Enrolment
Net Enrolment
Repetition and Dropout
Pupil – Teacher Ratio
Teacher Population
Primary School Completion Rate
Teacher Quantity and Quality
Summary of Chapter Two

The Research Design
The Population
Sample and Sampling Procedure
The Research Instruments
Pilot Test
Data Collection Procedure
Data Analysis



Summary of Findings
Suggestion for Further Research




The purpose of the study was to determine the internal efficiency of basic education in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region. The objectives of the study were to find: the enrolment ratio and growth rate, the repetition and dropout rate, the pupil-teacher ratio as compared to the national norm, as well as to determine the completion rate of pupils in public basic schools in the Wa Municipality.

The apparent cohort method was used to determine the internal efficiency of basic education in the Wa municipality based on the foregoing indicators of internal efficiency. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 18 primary schools and 18 junior high schools giving a sample size of 36. Questionnaires were used to collect the data after pilot testing to establish Cronbach’s Alpha Co-efficient of reliability which was .97.

Data were collected from such school records as enrolment, dropout, promotion, transfers and death records. The data collection instrument was questionnaires. It was found that repetition and drop-out rates were generally low in the Municipality.Additionally , the completion rate was also low which requires further investigation. The researcher recommends that parents, teachers and Educational Authorities should collaborate to increase the enrolment of the girl-child to the level of boys by improving on the teaching learning conditions in order to increase the completion rate to at least 60%.


The completion of this thesis would not have been possible without the support, cooperation and invaluable contributions of some key individuals. There is an adage that, ‘‘when we express gratitude for what we have, we will have more to express gratitude for.’’

I therefore express my utmost gratitude to the following for supporting me to enable me to complete the thesis: my principal supervisor, Dr A. L Dare and co-supervisor, Mr J.M Dzinyela. Special thanks also go to the following for their effort during the collection and processing, especially all head teachers whose schools were covered in the sample. Mention also needs to be made of Mr Kaatore Adams and Mrs Hamid Barata at the data processing unit in the Wa Municipal Education Directorate.

I would like also to extend special appreciation to the regional director and staff of Ghana Statistical Service for their cooperation when they were contacted for projected figures on school age population. I would like to acknowledge with appreciation the support of staff of the Director’s Office at the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, particularly Mr Robert Appiah and Madam Victoria Amosah-Mensah. Most importantly, my utmost gratitude goes to the Almighty God for protecting and directing me to achieve this feat. Lastly, while the author is thankful for the support from all quarters, he assumes full responsibility for the findings and opinions expressed in the thesis.


This thesis is dedicated to my late step-father, Alhaj Mohammad Alhassan for his support which enabled me to attain the current height in education



Background to the Study

In the early 1960s, national strategies in almost all African countries were largely to ensure a linear and quantitative expansion of the existing education system. Linear expansion means that the development of the education system was based on earlier evolution, without qualitative aspects such as types, levels and structures that were affected. For example the Addis Ababa Conference of African states on the development of education, held in 1961, made recommendations to include qualitative aspects for the period, 1961–1980 and two of such recommendations were: First level education should be universal, compulsory and free. Education provision must aim at the qualitative improvement of education at all levels (UNESCO, 1961 as cited in Forojalla 1993), (p.25).

A number of laws have been passed and policy documents and reports produced in order to help meet Ghana’s educational needs and aspirations since independence. A number of such initiatives are: The education Act of 1961 (Antwi, 1992), the Dzobo Report of 1973 – which recommended the JSS concept (Antwi, 1992), the Implementation Committee Report on the 1987 education reform chaired by Evans Anfom. All the foregoing policies, laws and initiatives were geared towards improving the quality of education delivery in the country, (Republic of Ghana, 2002). One way of ensuring quality of education is to improve internal efficiency of education. Internal efficiency of education is an aspect of quality of education. The indicators of internal efficiency of education are used to measure the impact and performance of a particular type or level of education. Indicators of internal efficiency of the education system include such issues as pupil–teacher ratio, repetition rate, dropout rate, average attendance, examination passed rates, pupils cost of education, average instructional space (classroom per student) and adequate teaching and learning materials. In 2007, the pupil–teacher ratio of Wa Municipality was 43: 1 (Annual School census of Upper West, 2007), which was slightly more than the recommended ratio of 35:1 (MOE, 2002). There is no evidence that this recommended ratio has changed.

Basic education as contained in the 2007 Education Reform launched by the president of the Republic of Ghana on 12th of April, 2007 as reported in the Daily Graphic comprises kindergarten, primary and junior secondary school or junior high school (Charles, 2007). Republic of Ghana (2002) identified a number of factors that hampered quality basic education in Ghana and they included: lack of infrastructure facilities; lack of equipment; inadequate instructional materials such as text books stationery, teaching/ learning materials and equipment; insufficient qualified teachers resulting in poor quality teaching and learning; high pupil − teacher ratio especially in rural and sub − urban areas; ineffective use of contact hours and mass promotion.

The impact and performance of the education system on society do not always immediately seem obvious to people. It is therefore desirable to develop indicators which combine information on performance and impact in a condensed and qualitative form. Some of the indicators that could be useful to educational planning are: Indicators of population covered by educational services, indicators of internal efficiency of education, indicators of external efficiency of education and indicators of quality of educational opportunity.

The success of a reformed structure and content of education, in large measure, will depend on improving the quality of services at the basic level. This will influence the perceived attractiveness of school attendance as well as the learning achievement of students.

The construction and rehabilitation of primary and junior secondary schools are some of the important ways of improving quality of basic education, but there is also the need to make equipment and textbooks available and to improve the quality of school infrastructure. There should be some conscious effort to lower the ratio of pupils to textbooks through increase production and distribution. There is the need for the government and all stakeholders in education to continue to explore various ways of improving the quality of basic education in Ghana. One way of measuring the quality of basic education is to evaluate the indicators of internal efficiency which depends on not only teacher quantity but also teacher quality which is said to be the most important school – related factor influencing students’ achievement (Jennifer, 2003 cited in content. Retrieved on 20/11/08).

The effects of the future school population or enrolment and the staffing standards of the school system on the internal efficiency of education cannot be over-emphasized. These are two factors which can also help to explain such indicators of internal efficiency of education as pupil–teacher ratio, instructional space–class size and class contact or staffs load (Forojalla, 1993).

Primary education in Wa Municipality started in 1917 with 42 pupils while Wa was still under the Northern Protectorate (GES, 2007). Wa as a district under the Upper Region also benefited from the post independence expansion of educational facilities to most children of school going age.

Indicators as explained by Wako (2003) are a guide for educational planners and decision makers. He added that, indicators point something out with more or less exactness, but may not constitute an exact measurement of that thing. Wako further stated that, indicators make general comments and express quantity (Johnstone, 1976, cited in Wako 2003, p.). Wako explained that indicators of coverage such as gross and net enrolment are used to measure the extent of children of school age who have the chance to go to school (Wako, 2003). The internal efficiency of basic education in the Wa Municipality can as well be assessed in terms of the enrolment ratio, pupil–teacher ratio, repetition and dropout rates, completion rates and average instructional space as well as adequate instructional materials.

Statement of the Problem

Since the passage of the 1961 Education Act (Act 506), a lot has been done not just to expand access to basic education, but also to improve the quality of basic education. Some of the measures that have been taken to improve quality of basic education include the implementation of Whole School Development Programme (WSD), Quality Improvement in Primary Schools (QUIPS), Child School Community Process in Education (CHILDSCOPE), and District Planning Teams (DEPTs). The contribution of such Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), cannot be over- emphasized in ensuring quality basic education.

The WSD was sponsored by DFID, while QUIPS which was sponsored by USAID. CHILDSCOPE was supported by UNESCO and DEPTS. All these initiatives were meant to facilitate the implementation of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme by the Ministry of Education. These efforts were aimed at meeting the constitutional requirement as indicated in Article 38 clause (2) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which provides that:

The Government shall within two years after parliament first meets after the coming into force of this constitution, draw up a programme for the implementation within the following ten years, for the provision of free, compulsory and universal basic education (Republic of Ghana, 1992, p.35).

All the foregoing interventions, helped in improving the quality of education. However, the extent to which the foregoing policies, initiatives and laws have improved the education system remains unanswered. One of the objectives of FCUBE was to ensure that children of school going age have access and participate in education. Yet it is unclear whether an adequate number of pupils completes the basic level successfully without repeating or dropping out. Furthermore, it is not known what the pupil-teacher ratio in the Wa Municipality is. It is in the light of the foregoing concerns that the researcher set out to assess the internal efficiency of basic education in the Wa Municipality in respect of the pupil-teacher ratio, repetition and dropout rates and completion rates using the apparent cohort method.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to assess the internal efficiency in public basic schools in the Wa Municipality. The specific objectives of the study were to find out: the gross enrolment ratio; the enrolment growth rate; repetition and dropout rate from 1998 to 2007; the pupil-teacher ratio and the gross enrolment rate with particular attention to gender; and the extent to which the pupil-teacher ratio compared with the norms laid down by the Ghana Education Service.

Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to guide the study:

1 What is the gross enrolment ratio in the Wa Municipality?
2 What is the growth rate of enrolment?
3. What is the repetition rate of pupils in the Wa Municipality?
4. What is the dropout rate of pupils in the Wa Municipality.?
5. To what extent does the pupil teacher ratio of Wa Municipality compare with the norm laid down by the Ghana Education Service?
6. What is the completion rate of pupils in the Wa Municipality?
7 How internally efficient are schools in the Wa municipality?

Significance of the Study

Assessing the internal efficiency of basic education in the Wa Municipality involved the evaluation of the balance between pedagogy and economy. The computation of the indicators of internal efficiency of basic education will provide relevant data necessary for the formulation of policies that will go a long way in helping to achieve the millennium development goals on basic education in the study area.

The results of the study such as efficiency indicators, namely, repetition rates, dropout rates, pupil-teacher ratios may be useful to policy makers, educational planners and administrators.

Finally, the findings of the study are a contribution to the literature on internal efficiency of basic education particularly in the study area. These findings may provide a basis for further research on internal efficiency of basic education in the Upper West Region.

Delimitation of the Study

The research focused on some selected public basic schools in the Wa Municipality. The purpose of the study was to assess the internal efficiency of selected public basic schools in the Municipality. The researcher chose the Wa Municipality because of its cosmopolitan nature. Some schools in the municipality share the characteristics of other schools and other districts within Upper West Region. So, it was assumed that the study would provide results that would be similar to other districts. Indicators of coverage and internal efficiency which were covered in the study were gross enrolment and enrolment growth rate as well as dropout, repetition and completion rates.

The study did not include measurements of levels of numeracy and literacy because the researcher focused on indicators of coverage and internal efficiency of basic education. Moreover, the study covered only public basic schools because most interventions to improve education have been directed at only basic schools. The study area covered schools in schools in all six circuits in the Wa municipality. The study area spread from Nyagli in the Kperisi circuit; through Busa in Busa circuit; Sing; Piisi; in Wa north and south circuits to Charia in the Wa municipality. This is shown in Appendix B.


A representative proportion of the population included selected public schools in the Municipality. It is possible that some of the head teachers provided either relatively higher or lower figures in order to hide certain information that they felt would not be in the interest of their schools. Such tendencies threatened the validity of the study. However, the researcher used some official sources to triangulate the data in order to minimize the adverse effects of inaccurate data from head teachers. Also, because the researcher was himself a teacher, his personal biases could also have affected the results in some way, even though efforts were made to be as objective as possible.

Definition of Terms

Operational definitions of terms used in this work are as follows:

Basic Education refers to nine years of first cycle education comprising six years primary and three year junior high school education.

Internal Efficiency refers to the optimal relationship between input and output. Educational input is determined by the number of school years which measures the number of years a pupil may spend to complete basic nine

Gross Enrolment Rate refers to the number of children of school age in a given cycle as a proportion of related school age. Mathematically, Gross Enrolment (GER) = number of pupils in a given cycle÷ total population of related school age.

Enrolment Growth Rate refers to the rate of change of enrolment in relation to a Base year. Enrolment Growth Rate= En−E0÷ E0

Where En= Enrolment in period n, i.e., target enrolment and Eo=Enrolment in period o.

Cohort refers to is a group of pupils who jointly experience series of specific events over a period of time.

Promotion Rate refers to the proportion of pupils enrolled in a given grade in a given school–year that will at the beginning of the following school year be enrolled in the next higher grade. i.e

PR= 1- RR-DR

Where PR= Promotion Rate

RR= Repetition Rate and

DR= Dropout Rate

Repetition Rate refers to the proportion of pupils enrolled in a given school year who are unable to enroll in the next higher grade in the following school–year but remain in the same grade. That is:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Where PR = Repetition rate

g = Grade g,

y = Year y.

Dropout Rate refers to the proportion of pupils leaving school without completing a given cycle in a given school year. That is:

DR = 1- RR- PR

Where DR = Dropout Rate

RR = Repetition Rate

PR = Promotion Rate

Organization of the Thesis

The thesis is organized into five chapters. The first chapter deals with the introduction of the study, background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, and significance of the study, delimitation, limitation and definition of terms. Chapter Two focused on related literature. Included in this chapter are review of literature on concept of efficiency, internal efficiency, school enrolment, repetition rates, drop-out rates, quantity and quality of teachers, pupil-teacher ratio and summary of the chapter.

Chapter Three describes the methodology of the study. This consists of the design of the study, population, sample and sampling procedure, instruments, data collection procedure and data analysis plan. Chapter Four presents the findings of the study and discusses them, while Chapter Five contains a summary, conclusions drawn from the findings and recommendations, based on the findings. Areas for further research are also suggested.



The literature review is organized under the following headings: the concept of efficiency; the concept of internal efficiency; school enrolment; repetition rates; dropout rates; pupil teacher ratio; quantity and quality of teachers; and completion rate. Issues emerging from the review are then summarized, pointing out how these issues are related to the objectives of the study.

The Concept of Efficiency

Schipper (2008) explained efficiency as a concept which is widely used by economists, engineers, organization theorists, consultants, politicians, managers and others. Schipper also explained that, efficiency had been embraced by some people, while others were highly critical of the concept. According to him, Frederick Taylor advocated for efficiency in 1911, soon after John Dewey made critical remarks on scientific management. Taylor, however, considered efficiency as a ‘servant of freedom’. Some other critics of efficiency Schipper mentioned included an organization theorist, Mintzberg, who considered efficiency as a ‘dirty word’ and the economist Helbroner who claimed that, the ‘worship of efficiency’ was one of the faults of economists. One other person Schipper mentioned as praising the concept was Flint, who wrote on the philosophy auditing and indicated to managers that they were obliged to be efficient (Flint, 1911).

Schipper (2008) further explained efficiency as a qualitative value-neutral or quantitative characterization of processes, machines or practices. Schipper added that, if efficiency was used quantitatively, then the measurement would be based on mathematical definitions, which were assumed to be widely applicable (Charnes, 1981).

Schipper (2008) further stated that, efficiency can also be used in a normative sense to evaluate situations and processes. In relation to this latter use, Herbert Simon explained efficiency by stating that in its broadest sense, ‘‘to be efficient simply means to take the shortest path, cheapest means, toward the attainment of the desired goals’’ (Simon, 1976, p.14).

According to Schipper (2008) Philosophers like Bacon and Hobbes used the word efficient to mean anything that produces an effect. The foregoing meaning dates back medieval thought and Aristotle’s theory of causation; consisting of the formal cause, the moving cause and the final cause.Schipper referred to Hobbes opinion that, any cause which produces some effect is said to an efficient one.

Schipper (2008) again made reference to a British philosopher, by name Jeremy Bentham who explained that something is said to be ‘efficient’ if it functions as a predicate for anything that is capable of producing a desired effect. Schipper also pointed out that, the concept of efficiency shows a significant relationship between costs and outcomes and that any decision about such costs must be in relation to other sacrifices made. These sacrifices include; energy, time, and money.

Dewey (cited in Schipper, 2008), supported the views held by Schipper when he connected efficiency with such words as ‘technical,’ and ‘social’. Dewey explained technical in relation to issues on division of labour and social efficiency in relation to making our experiences more valuable to each other. Schipper was of the view that, we equally need to take note of the differentiated contexts (technical, social, medicine care, business) involved in use of efficiency. He added that, when in practice we talk about school’s efficiency, then the technical meaning will be applicable. Schipper indicated that, when exclusive attention is paid to technical efficiency in education and administration, by using the methods of measurement and standardization, the existing methods and systems will improve.

Cooze (1991) explained efficiency as a relationship between inputs and output, where economic efficiency is increased by a gain in units of output per unit of input. He elaborated that efficiency means, holding output constant with a decrease in input or deriving greater production from the same level of output. Cooze further explained efficiency in relation to education, by considering the educational outcomes that can result from a variety of different combinations of inputs such as teachers, buildings, and class size. He, however, pointed out that, the problem here will be how to mix the inputs in the right proportions to achieve the most efficient outcome.

Sheenan (1973) was concerned about measuring educational output. He maintained that, it was difficult to measure educational efficiency in terms of a specific unit of output. He argued that, ‘‘because educational systems so often in practice have no single well defined function, so also they have no single well defined indicator of output’’(p.2). Cooze, however, stated that, from a theoretical standpoint, it appeared to be intuitively plausible to expect that when students are exposed to school-based resources for a long time they will attain greater achievement.

Thomas, and Kemmerer (1983) in regard to the relationship between ‘learning group’ size and student achievement, indicated that there was evidence to show that the former affects the latter. According to Cooze(1991) some research findings suggested that, there was also a relationship between teacher characteristics and student achievement. Moreover, the findings seemed to suggest that, verbal aptitude, quality of university programmes and experiences were associated with gains in student learning outcomes (Hanushek, 1981 Levin, 1969 Summers and Wolfe, 1977), as cited in Cooze (1991).

Campbell (1965) showed from a study on size of school versus cost that students in smaller schools were reported as participating more in school activities and their performance scores were higher than those in large schools. Cooze further pointed out that, there appeared to be enough evidence to suggest that, schools just like firms are able to achieve economies of scale. He explained this to mean, that as schools become larger, the cost per pupil drops. Sheenan (1973) however, expressed a contrary view when he pointed out that, the application of economies of scale to the types and levels of education could tells us nothing about efficiency, and that its main use was in budgeting and finance.

It can be concluded that the relationship between costs and size, type and level of education is still a contentious one. So there is the need for others to contribute to the debate by further investigating the issue.

School Efficiency

Abagi and Odipo (1997) reviewed the findings of a study carried out in Kenya and the findings were presented in four parts. These included reconceptualisation of efficiency in education and a review of perceptions of and studies on school efficiency. The presentation of Abagi and Odipo also discussed the efficiency of primary education: completion, repetition and drop-out rates as well as pupil-teacher ratios. The final component of presentation was on wastage in primary education of Kenya.

According to Abagi and Odipo (1997) an understanding of the difference between ‘‘efficiency’’ and ‘‘effectiveness’’ was crucial due to the need to synchronise education policy with out of schooling and the demand of such products. Abagi and Odipo explained that ‘‘School efficiency or efficiency in education features highly in debates on education. However, the term is imprecise and like governance or democracy it is frequently used but never unequivocally defined,’’ (p.11). Abagi and Odipo further explained that school efficiency was usually measured by assessing examination passed rates. They pointed out that in connection with the ‘‘unpacking’’ of the term the study had been based on a closed system model of analysis which dealt with matching inputs such as textbooks with output (number of pupils completing, examination scores) in education. Moreover, Abagi and Odipo discussed models such as policy analysis ( Anderson, 1975; and Dror, 1968 cited in Abagi and Odipo, 1997 ) and product-function analysis (Blaug, 1980; Psacharapoulos, 1981, 1982 as cited in Abagi and Odipo 1997). Abagi and Odipo indicated that those policies had captured the processes under which school inputs were processed in order to produce educational output. They however, pointed out that since ‘‘efficiency’’ implies maximizing the use of inputs in an endeavour to produce optimum goods and services, the processes for which such inputs were allocated and used equally crucial. Owino (1977b as cited in Abagi and Odipo, 1997) explained that in a service sector like education, the processes that were involved processing inputs to obtain output themselves formed part of the inputs.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) indicated from the findings they reviewed that the analysis on efficiency of education had generally been explained against the backdrop of the cost at which the output was optimized. They cited the example of two schools: I and II in a situation where both schools their students’ achieving a mean score of an A in a national examination in which case school I achieved the score at high cost than school II, they concluded that the latter was more efficient than the former. Abagi and Odipo were however, quick to contrast the foregoing conclusion by indicating that the analysis were only suited for closed analysis model, taking cognisance of ‘‘extra and intra-school inputs, that is, processes such as (official policies, attitudes towards education, classroom management, utilization of teaching-learning time and pupils’ motivation), which are also important in assessing school efficiency, would not be explained,’’ (p.12) .

Abagi and Odipo (1997) further explained that efficiency of education had been ‘‘camouflaged’’ by the desire to promote access to education by increasing education opportunities to school-age population. They further stated that Kenya was faced with a trade-off between enhancing the efficiency of the education sector and increasing primary, secondary and tertiary education. Abagi and Odipo pointed out that ‘‘our knowledge about what education/school efficiency entails is limited,’’ (p.12). This meant that little was known about the efficiency of education with which many schools raised pupils learning and achievement in Kenya.

According to Abagi and Odipo (1997), knowledge about efficiency in education could not be limited to only examination results but should include rates of repetition, dropout, and completion. The foregoing also means that examination pass rate is only one of the many indicators of efficiency of education. For example, a high rate of repetition and drop-out as well as a low completion rate point to low internal efficiency of education.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) categorized the divergent views of various scholars and stakeholders of education on school efficiency. Mainly, the categories included the views of international scholars, the position of donors and that of the World Bank, the position of Ministry of Education of Kenya and the ‘‘ideal’’ view of Abagi and Odipo. Each of the foregoing categories considered what efficiency of education entailed.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) indicated that a number of scholars had written extensively on the usage and meaning of the terms; quality, efficiency and effectiveness of education (Adams, 1993; Fuller, 1987; Makau 1986; Motala, 1993; World Bank, 1988 ). Abagi and Odipo pointed that it was clear from the discourse that the terms, ‘‘school quality,’’ ‘‘quality of education,’’ ‘‘school efficiency’’ and ‘‘school effectiveness’’ were often used interchangeably and associated with students level of academic achievement in examinations. This was explained to mean that if the achievement of students was low as was the case of some schools with low test scores for students in national examination, such a school was said to be of low quality and therefore inefficient. This then implies that if a school’s test score was high, it was deemed to be of high quality and by extension more efficient.

Abagi and Odipo (1997), pointed out that the donor community tended to equate quality with efficiency. In relation this, Abagi and Odipo stated that, World Bank-based studies usually focused on pupils’ academic or cognitive achievement ( Heyneman & Loxley, 1968; Fuller, 1985; Psacharapoulos, 1985; Simons & Alexander, 1980). They indicated that the studies mentioned above identified the factors which did and which did not raise pupils’ achievement. They also indicated that although little information was available on how these inputs promoted efficiency and ultimately raised pupils’ achievement. World Bank review document (1966) raised two important issues with regard to the debate on efficiency in education and the misallocation of resources. Significant among the two was the fact that there was an inefficient mix of inputs such as the instructional material and staff.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) discussed the local teachers’ conceptualization of school efficiency in education. They indicated that ‘‘school efficiency is a controversial subject’’ (p.14). Abagi and Odipo pointed out that teachers’ in Kenya emphasized on the examination results as index of school efficiency.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) were of the view that there was no gain saying that the use of time in school, classroom management and school heads managerial behaviour could have direct impact on school efficiency. This was explained to arise from the fact that they could affect how learn from and perform in examinations. Abagi and Odipo added that their thesis on the forgoing discussion was that the conceptualization of the term school or education efficiency in a developing country like Kenya should take a process perspective as opposed to an outcome perspective.

Furthermore, Abagi and Odipo (1997) the indicators of efficiency in education should include ‘resource allocation to both levels of education and different inputs such as textbooks and fees; pupil-teacher ratios and teachers’ (p.15) inputs in schools; classroom management and teaching-learning contact hours; utilization of school facilities such textbooks, classrooms and desks; transparency and accountability on school management and resource utilization and performance in national examinations. However, a critical consideration of indicators enumerated above by Abagi and Odipo served more or less as indicators of access rather than efficiency.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) focused on the efficiency of primary schools as they related to completion rates, pupil-teacher ratios and teaching-learning time.They did not use conventional statistical models such as the ‘production function model (inputs vs. output) in order to measure efficiency levels in education. They pointed out that they were rather guided by the process perspective, which involved analysis based on such school processes as classroom management, learning time management and pupil-teacher ratios. Abagi and Odipo pointed out that many studies on efficiency in education had not focused on the process perspective as explained above.

Education economists defined internal efficiency as consisting ‘‘the amount of learning achieved during school age attendance-, compared to the resources provided,…the percentage of entering students who complete the school is often used as (its) measure’’ (Wolf, 1984 as cited in Abagi and Odipo, 1997, p.18 ). Abagi and Odipo regretted that it was difficult to obtain data on rates of completion, dropout and repletion at the individual school levels due the fact that the Ministry of Education did not officially support repetition. Data were however, available at the national level on the aforementioned rates. Abagi and Odipo explained that they had to use secondary data from the ministry and central bureau of statistics to analyse children’s’ participation in primary schools in a Kenya.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) also explained that internal efficiency of education system was revealed by the promotion, repetition and drop-out rates. The report also showed that the 1996 data on national gross enrolment in primary education to 77.7% from 95% in 1989. The report further showed that there were glaring disparities from the regions in Kenya. For example, participation rates were very low in arid and semi-arid regions, adding that in the North Eastern province primary school gross enrolment was 19.7% (12.7% girls and 25.9% boys). From the foregoing report, it can be seen that the gender disparity in enrolment ratio was also quite wide.

Also the same data showed that the internal efficiency of primary education in Kenya was low high wastage due to low completion and high repetition rates. The report also showed that the dropout rate was 21% for boys and 5% for girls. This means that dropout rate was higher than for boys than for girls.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) also indicated that from the data was collected from 10500 schools which participated in the 1993 Central Bureau Statistics survey, the average repetition rate was 15.4%: with a rate of 15.3% for girls and 15.6% for boys. This also means that boys were repeated more than girls. The report further showed that less than 50% of pupils who started school could not complete. Abagi and Odipo equally pointed out that arid semi-arid area recorded the lowest completion rates. Moreover, completion rates for boys and girls in 1998 were 43% and 42% respectively, while it was 45% 43% in 1996 for boys and girls respectively. The foregoing discussion on completion rate showed that the rate was higher for boys than that of girls. One important issue in the report was the fact that enrolment ratio of boys was higher than that of girls, while the drop-out and repetition rates of boys were lower than that of girls, at the same time the completion rate of boys was higher than the completion rate of girls.

Abagi and Odipi (1997) further indicated that the factors behind internal efficiency of education were; low completion rate, high dropout rate especially in standard 6, 7 and 8 and high repetition rates. The other factor which was found to be behind low internal efficiency was high pupil-teacher ratio. Abagi and Odipo also pointed out that both teachers and the public believed a low pupil-teacher ratio and high teacher qualification resulted in better performance in school. They also indicated that many policy interventions and research studies considered a 40:1 ratio reasonable in developing countries. In the light of the foregoing with respect to pupil-teacher ratio, the Anamuah-Mensah Committee recommended 35:1 ratio in Ghanaian schools (Republic of Ghana, 2002). The report further pointed out that the national pupil-teacher ratio in Kenyan primary schools was about 30:1. This implies that the average pupil-teacher ratio in Kenya fell below the recommended figure for developing countries.

Abagi and Odipo (1997) explained that a low and very high pupil-teacher ratio would lead to inefficiency. They justified their position by stating that low enrolment in a class would lead to under utilization of resources, the teacher included. On the other hand, they argued that when classes became large it was not easy for teachers to handle students. Thus they recommended a pupil-teacher ratio of between 38:1 and 45:1 bearing in mind the limitation of resources in Kenya.

With regard to teacher qualification and the efficiency of teachers, Abagi and Odipo(1997) maintained that education researchers and planners believed that professionally trained teachers were more efficient and effective than untrained ones.They further explained that due to low internal low completions, low pupil-teacher ratios and utilization of teaching and learning time, primary schools in Kenya wasted a lot of resources. They pointed out that if this wastage could be reduced, the efficiency would have been enhanced and learning improved. Abagi and Odipo further indicated that a lot of wastage occurred in Kenya due to low completion rates, pointing out that more 50% of pupils who enrolled in primary education failed to complete the education cycle, when in fact education consumed 55% of government of Kenya’s recurrent expenditure.

UNESCO (1981) report explains a number of things under the efficiency of education service. According to the report, the most commonly used indicators for measuring the efficiency of the education system are promotion, repetition and dropout rates. The UNESCO report added that the three indicators are not only closely inter-related but also inform us about pupils’ progress through the school system to which they have been admitted. The report indicated some of the difficulties involved in using these rates to determine school efficiency. It was of the view that the difficulty lies in two areas: one is the fact that the data are normally available and secondly the methods applied do not usually totally ‘dissipate ambiguity’ (p.42) in calculating the promotion, repetition and dropout rates. The report added that the three rates are normally deduced by comparing total enrolments for two consecutive years and taking the number of repeaters into account. The third problem the UNESCO (1981) report identified was migration phenomena which was said to be more complicated than the others. What this means is that, note has to be taken of leakages and injections into the system.

UNESCO (1998) report also explained the concept of efficiency similar to the discussion of the Government of lndia (2009) report. The UNESCO report indicated that, measuring the efficiency of the education system is problematic due to difficulties in defining and measuring educational output as well as quantifying the relationship between inputs and outputs. The report explained that, an education system is considered to be efficient, if it produces at a minimum cost the desired output in terms of a maximum number of young people who have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills prescribed by society (P .13). This is to say that an education system is seen to be efficient if any given input of resource (human, financial and material) it maximizes the desired output both in quantity and quality. The foregoing approach to measuring school efficiency corroborates the approach used by the Government of lndia (2009) report which however, pointed out that the approach is simplistic as it has an unrealistic assumption of homogeneity.

Tonello (2009) waded into the discussion on the efficiency of school systems by pointing that, a common starting point in defining efficiency on schooling systems is that output should be maximized for the given amount of resources (Adnett & Davies, 2002) but in the view of Tonello, this is quite a narrow definition. While Tonello describes the approach as narrow, the Government of lndia (2009) report described it as an unrealistic assumption.

Hoxby was of the opinion that, the definition of efficiency and equity in education needs to take into account a number of things. Hoxby argued that, the ultimate function of an education system is to create an environment that induces decision (P.10) hoxby added that allocative efficiency concerns the standard, type and amount of schooling provided, whereas productive efficiency concerns minimizing the costs of that provision. It is obvious from the various views expressed on school efficiency that, there may be differences on what constitute it, but there is need for school efficiency. ( Hoxby, 1986 as cited in Tonello, 2009)


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An Assessment Of The Internal Efficiency Of Basic Education In The Wa Municipality Of The Upper West Region
University of Cape Coast  (Institute of Educational Planning and Administration)
Educational Planning
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assessment, internal, efficiency, basic, education, municipality, upper, west, region
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Dr. Munawaru Issahaque (Author), 2010, An Assessment Of The Internal Efficiency Of Basic Education In The Wa Municipality Of The Upper West Region, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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