Analysis of Technical Efficiency of Public Primary Schools in Ghana: A Case Study of Ashanti Region

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MAY, 2016
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Education is undoubtedly an effective and catalytic tool for economic development of a country. This is the reason why Ghana has invested substantial proportion of her limited resources in the basic education to provide a strong foundation to the education system in the country. However, this investment does not appear to translate into a clear improvement of pupil performance. Most people expect that after investing over 25% of the national budget in education, it will naturally translate into impressive results. The standardized test scores of the primary schools as reported by National Education Assessment (NEA) in 2014 have been disappointing with increasing number of failures. This study applies the stochastic frontier approach to measure the technical efficiency and its determinants for forty sampled public primary schools in Ashanti Region of Ghana. Findings revealed that pupil-teacher ratio and teacher’s experience are associated with standardized test score of pupils. Results from the maximum likelihood estimate of the stochastic frontier showed that on average, public primary schools were 0.869 technically efficient; suggesting that about 13.1% of learning outcome could not be realized due to inefficiency. The study also showed that poverty and geographical location of a school are significant determinants of technical efficiencies of the public primary schools. The return to scale that explains the productivity level of schools was less than one, implying a decreasing return to scale. To improve performance and technical efficiency in public primary schools, the study recommends stakeholders and policy makers to adopt measures to lower pupil-teacher ratio and improve teaching skills of teachers. Additionally, the government should take steps to reduce poverty levels in the rural areas and improve instructional materials in the rural primary schools.
A thesis presented to the Department of Economics, College of Arts and Social Sciences In partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Economics,