Strategies for the provision and maintenance of school infrastructure - a case study of primary schools in the Ahanta West District of Ghana

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Education has greatly influenced the development of the great nations of the world. The development of human capital potential has helped nations to harness their natural and fiscal resources. The end result has been the attainment of “growth plus change” in their national economies. - In the 1960s, the developing world adopted a common goal of ensuring complete and total LITERACY for all adults and children in two decades. Massive programmes were therefore launched to ensure that they met their common target. However, with the turn of the Eighties, they were still far from achieving this common goal. Failure was due mainly to a decline of the global economy and the ambitious nature of the plan. The economic crises of the 1970s led to the failure of Ghana to achieve set targets just like other countries. The entire educational sector was on the verge of total collapse. As a response, the government of the Provisional National Defence Council launched the Education Reform Programme in 1987. The reform programme has brought some improvements to the education sector, but, one area that did not receive all the needed attention and total support was the provision and maintenance of basic infrastructure in schools. The government’s policy on this, has been to encourage communities, churches and local organisations to take up this responsibility. Communities however, have not been able to fulfil this task completely. The end result has been the complete deterioration of the basic infrastructure in schools across the country, with the primary level being most affected. iv This study therefore sought to i) assess the state of infrastructure in primary schools in the Ahanta West district. ii) determine the effects of poor infrastructure on the performance of both teachers and pupils in class, and iii) evolve strategies for mobilising community resources to support the development of this infrastructure in primary schools. The research revealed that i) many communities did provide in the past towards the development of basic infrastructure in schools in their localities. ii) There has, thereafter, been little or virtually no maintenance of the infrastructure in the schools resulting to the deterioration of buildings, facilities and equipment. iii) the support from Local Government Authorities (in this case the District Assemblies) to local authority schools in terms of buildings, equipment and furniture is no longer forthcoming. iv) performance of both the teacher and pupil has been adversely affected by the poor state of the infrastructure. v) dissatisfaction with the school system is a factor to the fall in enrolment with a corresponding increase in drop out rates. The aforestated notwithstanding, there is the potential to mobilise community resources to complement government efforts in tackling the problem.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Post-Graduate Studies, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Award of a Master of Science Degree in Development Planning and Management, 1993.