A comparative study of public and private schools in the provision of quality education at the basic level in urban centres in Ghana

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In spite of the considerable state funding and donor support to public basic schools in Ghana, trends in academic performances indicate a low level of performance in public schools. Private schools with little or no assistance from the state performed better academically than the public schools between 1996 and 2000. The study compared the private schools with the public schools with the view of finding the factors that contribute to the poor academic performances in public schools. The educational process was analyzed as a system composed of educational inputs, process, and output. Eight public and five private schools selected from two urban centres namely Sunyani and Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region were compared. The results of the study indicated that parents’ investments and support in their children’s education were higher in the private schools than the public schools. The study also found that the parents’ investments and support were influenced by the socio-economic background of parents namely income, education, occupation and status. The physical infrastructure of the public schools especially the buildings and classrooms had deteriorated due to neglect and lack of maintenance. Teaching and learning materials in the public schools were inadequate because they depended on government free supplies. The private schools, on the other hand, had adequate textbooks and stationery as well as the teaching materials and equipment. This was due to the fact that parents bought the textbooks and stationery for their children. The proprietors also bought teaching materials and equipment for their schools In conclusion, the study suggested among other things that awareness be created for parents, chiefs and their elders, Churches, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the general public to support the public schools in the provision of their needs. Pupils, in public schools should be supplied with textbooks and be allowed to send them home for use The instructional time for students must be increased by increasing the length of the school term. The public school buildings should be rehabilitated to make them attractive. Parent- Teacher Association should be strengthened in the public schools to ensure parents support for the schools development.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning