An assessment of the management of population and family life education: a case study of in-school adolescents in Sekyere East and Kwabre Districts

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Meeting the reproductive health needs of adolescents has become an issue of great concern and priority on the agenda of most governments. Various international conferences on population and development seek to promote Reproductive Health information and services to empower adolescents who have become increasingly vulnerable due to ignorance, inaccurate information and youthful adventurism, among others, especially in developing countries. In Ghana, Population and Family Life Education (POP/FLE) was introduced into the basic education system between 1973 and 1979 on a pilot basis for two reasons: to expose the youth early to sexual and reproductive health and population related issues, and to help achieve the national population policy. The project was reactivated in 1987 and again in 1994, but to date the project has been unable to achieve its objective of nation-wide coverage of the entire educational system. The study assessed the management of the in-school POP/FLE project among adolescents in two districts in Ashanti Region, Sekyere East and Kwabre. The study districts were randomly selected. Six groups of stakeholders were identified. Census interview was done for POP/FLE trained teachers in the pilot schools, staff of the District Education offices and the project co-ordinator. Purposive sampling technique was used to select parents/guardians of wards in pilot schools and staff of the District Health Management Team, while simple random sampling technique was used to select pupils/students at the pilot schools. Analysis of the data was done based on the functions of management in terms of planning, organising, co-ordinating and controlling. Findings revealed, among others, that supervision of teachers trained to teach POP/FLE issues was poor because head teachers responsible for that role had not been trained to know what POP/FLE is. Moreover, monitoring mechanism was weak, as such could not provide any substantive feedback. In addition, instructional and learning materials had not been provided to the schools to ensure effective teaching and learning. Recommendations made, based on the management functions, called on project staff to organise intensive sensitisation workshops for stakeholders, design and execute more effective monitoring mechanisms and comprehensive check-list and disseminate monitoring results to stakeholders. In addition, production of teaching and learning materials should be expedited and delivered to implementing schools. These, among others, will bring massive improvement to the project and ensure the achievement of project objective.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of in Health Services Planning and Management, 2001