ERNWACA News Issue 4th / ERNWACA
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Titre :ERNWACA News Issue 4th
Type de document : texte imprimé
Auteurs : ERNWACA , Auteur
Langues :Anglais (eng)
Résumé : ERNWACA News No. 4 October 2003

1. National Activities – Ghana

2. Regional Activities – Action-research handbook; Education for All in East Africa

3. Research and reports – Improving science teaching; review of education sector analyses

4. ERNWACA Member Profile – Professor Dominic Koffi Agyeman

5. General information

Welcome back from vacation. This issue of ERNWACA News, designed to inform members and partners of recent ERNWACA activities and education research in the region, focuses on GHANA. ERNWACA is a bilingual network of 250 education researchers and practitioners in a dozen countries and brings to national educational systems an independent voice and critical look. Please send your events and research reports with abstracts for inclusion in future issues. THE EDITOR.


1. National Activities – Ghana

• Equity in Education, Reflections from the Secretary General of ERNWACA-Ghana

Long before the World Education Forum in 2000, Ghana was committed to equal educational opportunities for all, and the 1987 education reforms were introduced in that spirit. By 1994, it was clear that the reforms for universal access to quality education were not on track. Facilities were inadequate and teacher quality, morale and commitment had dwindled. Government could not cope alone. Private schools have emerged to complement efforts and, despite the high fees they charge, expanded significantly. Private school enrollment represented 1.5% of total primary school enrollment in 1987 and 9.6% 10 years later. The continuing popularity of private schools may be explained in terms of the quality of education provided, despite overall lower professional qualifications of staff. However, not all parents can afford to send their children to private schools that can help students access the best senior secondary schools, where they are then advantageously positioned to do well on the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations. Children of the relatively well-to-do in society, who patronize the private schools, eventually proceed to universities in greater numbers than those of their less fortunate colleagues. A big social issue facing Ghana is whether private schools are rendering useful service to the country or gradually building up a future class-society. By Johsua J.K. Baku

• Research priorities – Along with other ERNWACA member countries, ERNWACA-Ghana takes part in transnational projects: impact of HIV/AIDS on education, see Clearinghouse; use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education, see background paper on ICT and education in Ghana at; quality of education; and action research methodologies. At the national level, ERNWACA-Ghana is also concerned with the privatization of education and teaching training.

• 2003-2006 Officers – Steering and Coordinating Committee: Alhaji Gbadamosi, National Coordinator (registrar at the Islamic University of Ghana); Current Director General of Ghana Education Services (GES), alternate National Coordinator; Dominic Agyeman, President of Scientific Committee (Cape Coast University); Joshua Baku, General Secretary (Head of Research Department, West African Examinations Council, Accra); John Atta Quayson (retired from GES); Mme Ruby Avotri (Deputy General Secretary, Curriculum and Research Development Division, GES). Scientific Committee: Pr. D.Agyeman, J.Baku, Pr. Anamuah Mensah (University of Education, Winneba), Pr. J.K.A. Boakye (retired from Cape Coast University), Pr. E.K. Tamakloe (Cape Coast University), Dr. Ruby Avotri, Pr. Kofi Awusabo-Asare (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cape Coast University).

• Contact – ERNWACA, PO Box 125, Accra, Ghana, tel. (233) 21 23 24 86 / 20 81 56 804, fax (233) 21 22 29 05, E-mail: or


2. Regional Activities

• 2nd workshop to develop action research handbook, Bamako, Mali, 11-13 September 2003

In response to the need for research to better support qualitative educational change, ERNWACA is developing this handbook on action research, incorporating the experience of African researchers and practitioners. Researchers from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo participated in a recent "Writers Workshop" along with Brehima Tounkara of UEMOA, ERNWACA’s regional coordinator, and a representative from ERNWACA-Mali. Thanks to Internet, Prof. Agyeman (ERNWACA-Ghana) and colleagues at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) were able to contribute virtually. Emile Bih (ERNWACA-Cote d’Ivoire) was asked to coordinate the activities of the group so as to complete the first draft of the manual this month. Send now your concrete examples of action research in education in Africa for potential inclusion in the handbook to To comment on the seven chapters in progress (two are in English), register at

• Critical Perspectives on Education in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 14-15 July 2003

Mr. Joshua J.K. Baku, General Secretary of ERNWACA-Ghana and member of ERNWACA’s regional steering committee, represented the regional coordinator at this meeting organized by the Network for Policy Research Review and Advice on Education and Training (NORRAG). Participants examined the relevance for East Africa of two publications – The EFA Global Monitoring Report: Is the world on track? (UNESCO, 2002) and Skills development in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank, 2003) – and used them as a basis for reviewing national policies on technical and vocational skills development and progress toward EFA goals. NORRAG and the Aga Khan Foundation financed the meeting. Mr. Baku presented a paper on the participation of private schools in basic education provision in Ghana; for a copy, send an email to To access the 30 papers presented at the meeting, register and consult NORRAG News, No. 32, August 2003, searchable by theme, at Access to NORRAG News is free.


3. Research and reports

• Development of simple aids for teaching science in basic schools, Wisdom Harrison Kofi HORDZI and Julius Kofi AGBEKO with Dr. B.A. MENSAH (Cape Coast University) as project advisor, ERNWACA, Feb. 2003, 37p.

The two young researchers, from the Institute for Educational Development and Extension of the University College of Education of Winneba, asked themselves why students were so little interested in scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry and physics. What difficulties do teachers of these subjects face? In a context stigmatized by poverty and lack of laboratories and appropriate didactic materials, what is to be done? For the young researchers, part of the solution resides in the development of simple teaching aids, using low-cost, sometimes free, and locally available materials. The researchers developed some aids themselves, to demonstrate for example the circulatory system (see photo), nerve cells, molecules, and the solar system. The models were piloted in three junior secondary schools in Ghana. One group of students was taught using the aids and a control group without. Common questions tested students’ comprehension of the topics covered. Students that benefited from the use of the models performed better on the evaluation. Among 62 science teachers surveyed, 95% responded that the models were easy to work with and made teaching easier; 94% recommended wider use of them. The teachers also suggested how to improve the models. The authors recommend bigger, similar projects funded by national and school authorities and discussions with toy manufacturers in the region regarding the development and distribution of such models on a wider scale. This research was conducted in the context of the ERNWACA Small Grants Program for Education Research, Year 2002 Competition, financed by IDRC and also supported by SARA/AED/USAID. This project was retained for funding among others proposed by young Ghanaian researchers because of the emphasis on improving teaching, a priority research area for ERNWACA. Study available at :

• Review of Education Sector Analysis in Ghana, 1987-1998, D.K.Agyeman, J.J.K.Baku, R.Gbadamosi et al., ERNWACA for WGESA, 2000, 148p.

Education sector analysis is usually undertaken to develop a better knowledge of the functioning of the education system in a given country and uses and builds national capacity, human and institutional. It provides information and mechanisms for national dialogue on the formulation of policy, strategies and action plans and their implementation. A highly participatory review of education sector studies in Ghana was conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, coordinated by ERNWACA-Ghana, and supported by the ADEA Working Group on Education Sector Analysis (WGESA). An interdisciplinary team, including researchers and practitioners representing national and international partners, identified 153 sector studies conducted during a period of very active reforms to improve the quality of teaching and learning, the management efficiency of the sector, and access to and participation in basic education. Of the 153 studies, 34 were analyzed in-depth. The work revealed that development partners played a predominant role in the initiation of the studies reviewed but did not interfere with the processes or outcomes; the issues addressed reflect government priorities; the government is not investing adequately in research; 65% of the studies were conducted by local Ghanaian researchers; computer skills are low among the researchers, confirming the need to build ICT capacity; women authored only 18% of the studies, confirming the under representation of women in the sector analysis processes; and the studies were of excellent quality, but linkages between policymakers/implementers and researchers need to be innovated to ensure greater use of sector analysis processes and findings to improve policy and programs. A concrete outcome of the review was the creation of a documentation center. Consult the study summaries, their synthesis, and the recommendations of the authors of the review at :


4. ERNWACA Member Profile: Professor Dominic Kofi Agyeman, advocate for viable education in Africa
Professor Dominic Agyeman received his PhD in 1973 in the sociology of education and development from the German university Ludwig-Maximillian. Former dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Cape Coast University in Ghana, he is a founding member of ERNWACA and traveled in the early 1990s to assist other countries in the region in creating their national coordinations. He constitutes an important source of institutional memory and inspiration for the network. He is also an unconditional advocate for education in Ghana and Africa, having written on education and served on education Senate committees and academic advisory boards since the 1970s. An active member of ERNWACA-Ghana and President of its Scientific Committee, he is also part of the transnational team developing a manual on action research in education. He participated as well in the review of education sector analysis in Ghana (see above). Professor Agyeman is fluent in English and German, speaks several languages of Ghana and can read and understand French. Born in 1940, he is married with children. The Professor’s publication list is rich and varied. He has written for example on education and nation building in Ghana, the social and political outlook of Nkrumah, and the Africanization of formal education in middle Africa. He has also extensively explored questions of ethnicity in relation to the following: social class and education, democracy, conflict and conflict resolution, politics and school language. Upcoming publications include a critique of cultural revivalism in Africa as well as work on fertility behavior and schooling in Ghana. In 2000, he was published with Marc R. Montgomery, Peter B. Aglobitse and Frank Heiland on « New elements of the cost of children: supplementary schooling in Ghana » for the Population Council Policy Project. Available at To consult other publications of the Professor, click

NOTE: Above information extracted from test version of ERNWACA Researcher Profiles database available at[in=c:/ibisutil/wwwisis/rocare/]/. Search by research area for education consultants from West and Central Africa.


5. General Information

• Schools open, but where are the children asks UNICEF

The 2003-2004 academic year is beginning, but UNICEF says recent household surveys show that some 123 million children worldwide are left out. UNICEF said that in sub-Saharan Africa, 46 million school-aged children have never stepped foot in a school, a figure that has risen steadily every year since 1990. Further details:

• Seminar on Child Labour and Education in Africa, Benin

The Family and Schooling in Africa network (FASAF) of the Union for African Population Study (UAPS) is organizing a seminar on Child Labour and Education in Africa from 3-5 november 2003, in Cotonou. Contact Mr. Jean-François KOBIANE at or Mr. Marc PILON at

• ADEA Biennale, Mauritius

This important meeting of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa will be held 3-6 December 2003. Papers from a continent-wide study on the quality of education will be discussed. By invitation only.

• Colloquium on teacher training and ICTs, Burkina Faso

Paper abstracts now being accepted for the International Colloquium on EFA, teacher training and information and communication technologies (ICT), to be held 4-5 March 2004 at Ecole Normale Superieure of Koudougou, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Contact Mr. Mathias KYELEM at or (226) 44 01 22. (all information in French)

• CIES 2004, USA

The Comparative International Education Society 48th Annual Conference on "Development as freedom : the role of education" will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from 9-12 March 2004. Submit paper abstracts by December 1, 2003. For further information, contact the program chair at or click and follow the links or and register directly.

• Links for information on education in Ghana, official portal for education in Ghana, for information on primary education in Ghana, invest in education and training in Ghana, University of Cape Coast, Sociology Dep’t, CARE Int’l study, education for under-served Ghanaian populations, In Ghana, African universities discuss falling academic standards, shoestring budgets, and pressure to admit more students.


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