Background to the Study
Ghana, a West African English speaking Republic covers an area of approximately 238,540 km2. It is bordered on the north and north-west by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the west by Côte d’Ivoire. Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957 and thus became the first independent majority-ruled nation in sub-Saharan Africa. Its education system in the first one and half decades after independence had been described as one of the best in Africa (World Bank 2004). But by the mid-70s, the education system had begun to slip slowly into decline prompting several commissions of inquiry, notably the Dzobo Education Review to be set up to determine the causes and way forward for recovery. Finally, in 1987 Ghana embarked upon what could well be described as one of the most ambitious programmes of educational reforms in sub-Saharan Africa based largely on the recommendations of the Dzobo commission. The education reforms were part of a national economic recovery plan which began with a restructuring of the school system, a process validated and accelerated by the global agenda of Education for All following the Jomtien Conference in 1990. Prior to the reforms, basic education had been affected by a crippling economic decline with devastating consequences on the quality and efficiency of education provision and delivery. The proportion of GDP devoted to education had declined from 6.4% in 1976 to about 1.0% in 1983 and 1.7% in 1985 (World Bank, 1996). Schools were lacking the very basic and essential inputs such as textbooks and stationary, with school buildings, furniture and equipment in dilapidated state, and statistics needed for planning no longer collected (Yeboah, 1990). Worse still, a large scale exodus of qualified teachers fled the poor conditions at home with the majority heading for Nigeria where new found oil wealth was funding a rapid expansion of basic education. Consequently, untrained teachers filled the places of those who left. Meanwhile, population growth led first to a rise in class sizes and then to a steady fall in gross enrolment ratios – from 80 in 1980 to 70 in 1987, (Lewin, 1993). These factors and conditions all contributed to a general demoralization within the education system affecting school management, teacher morale and quality of primary education (World Bank 2004). But, the most persistent criticism of the education system at the time was its structure, totaling 17 years of pre-tertiary education and considered inefficient, highly selective and which generally marginalized participation of the poor in education However, Whole School Development (WSD) has been a key element in the improvement of educational curricula in the world of education (Lewin, 1993). Achieving quality tuition and excellent results require the understanding of educational authorities and stakeholders concern, the understanding of how they can effectively play their role in contributing to the growth of the school in all aspect.
According to Schmuck (1982), WSD involves “a planned and sustained effort at school self-study and improvement, focusing explicitly on change in both formal and informal norms, structures and procedures”. It is aimed at developing the school, in all its aspects as an organization, so that it forms a context that supports and encourages the provision of quality and innovative education. It is clear that the ability to ensure the growth of a school in all spheres demands from head teachers, staff, pupils and stakeholders such as the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) a high sense of good leadership function to attain the agenda set for the growth of the school. The researcher, as the head teacher of Apedwa S.D.A Basic School once embarked on taking an inventory of the state of affairs in the school. To his amazement, the researcher discovered that pupils’ academic performance over the previous years had been...
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