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The Effective Utilization of the Capitation Grant; Its Effects on Enrolment and Infrastructure Development of Basic Schools in Savelugu in the Northern Region of Ghana

By nabuocis Apr 06, 2011 10003 Words
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
It is a well-known fact that education is the most important key for any nation to achieve the needed development. Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. (Chesterton, 1874). However it is established that about two-third of the world’s population live in stark illiteracy and the majority of them come from the third world. (Education for All, 2000). Ghana as a nation is not an exception of high illiteracy rate in the sub-region. Not only is the high illiteracy rate the problem but most importantly the regional disparities in the provision of educational services. It took over fifty years for education to be extended from the south to the northern part of Ghana. (Vincent, 2000).

Various governments from independence have made efforts to promote and improve the quality of education in Ghana. The Convention People’s Party led by the first president of the republic of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah enacted the education act in 1961 and this act formally introduced the Free Compulsory and Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) in Ghana (Bening, 1990). This act was to compel all parents to send all children of school going age to school. However, this and many policies that were formulated by the Nkrumah’s government could not see the light after his overthrow in 1966. (Vincent, 2000).

One of the main reasons that children in Ghana do not attend school is that their parents simply cannot afford to pay the levies charged by the schools. Despite the policy of fee-free tuition in the basic schools, many districts charge levies as a means of raising funds, for example, for school repairs, and cultural and sporting activities; this has the effects of deterring many families, particularly the poorest, from sending their children to school. (GES, 2006)

The government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has therefore set up a Capitation Grant Scheme, which commenced in the 2003/2004 academic year, whereby every basic school receives an amount of GH¢ 2.50 per male pupil enrolled and GH¢ 3.50 per female pupil enrolled. This should serve to remove the financial barrier created by these levies, yet more than compensate the schools for any lost of revenue they face as a result. (Ibid)

The utilization of the Capitation Grant has been designed to empower the school to effectively use financial resources to plan and carry out quality improvement activities. The process of planning activities should be participatory and transparent. The grant is therefore expected to serve as an opportunity to help build school level capacity to effectively implement fiscal decentralization – which is a long term goal of the government of Ghana. (GES, 2006)

1.2 Problem Statement.
It is estimated that about 70 percent of Ghanaians live in rural areas of Ghana and are very poor. A larger proportion of the rural population is self employed and operates largely in the informal sector. Incomes of people in this category are unstable, irregular and often low (GPRS, 2004). This situation invariably has an adverse effect on the lives of the people of Ghana, culminating in the inability of parents to send their wards to school. This also affects the physical and mental development of children due to malnutrition, hunger and disease. Any nation that is bedevilled with these calamities must adopt measures to arrest the situation or remain dependent on other developed economies for survival.

Education is therefore the bedrock for the development of the human resource of any nation to compliment the physical power of its labour force. The use of the physical power by the labour force without complimenting it with the intellectual capabilities in a germane psychological environment will certainly lock out societal development in a primitive state. That is why the human resource development efforts cannot be over emphasized.

The government of Ghana implemented policies to help develop her human resource base at the expense of the tax payer. The Capitation Grant Scheme is a policy implemented to provide for the Ghanaian children of school going age the cost of basic education free of charge. This is to make basic education more accessible and attractive to everybody in the country. However, for the programme to realise its intended impact, it must be sustainable. Not only are the implementing and allocation of resources very crucial here but its sustainability depends largely on its effective utilisation. The research therefore seeks to find out the effects of the Capitation Grant on enrolment which appears a controversial issue between some politicians and some civil society groups. The Committee for Joint Action (CJA) for instance severally made counter pronouncements to claims by some politicians that the Capitation Grant policy has led to over sixty percent increase in enrolment at basic schools. This study therefore seeks to assess how effective the Capitation Grant is put to use, the effects of the Grant on enrolment level and infrastructure development of basic schools in Savelugu.

1.3 Research Questions
1. How effective is the Capitation Grant being utilised by schools in Savelugu? 2. Do schools still demand payments from parents?
3. What has been the effect of the Capitation Grant on enrolment levels of beneficiary schools in Savelugu? 4. What is the effect of the Capitation Grant policy on infrastructure development of basic schools in Savelugu.

1.4 Objectives of the Study
1.4.1 General Objective
To assess the use of the Capitation Grant and its effects on enrolment and infrastructure development of schools in Savelugu.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives
1. To asses how effective the Capitation Grant is been utilised by schools in Savelugu. 2. To determine whether schools still demand other payment from parents 3. To ascertain the effect of the Capitation Grant on enrolment levels of beneficiary schools in Savelugu. 4. To establish the effects of the Capitation Grant policy on infrastructure development of basic schools in Savelugu

1.5 Justification and Relevance of the Study.
A research of this type will provide the appropriate facts and figures on the dynamics in the disbursement of the Capitation Grant by schools in Savelugu.

In addition, it will provide policy makers with the challenges and successes of the Capitation Grant Scheme.

The study will serve as a source of knowledge for academic purposes and base line information for further and future studies.

1.6 Scope of the Study.
The parameters within which the study was conducted are as follows: Area of the study: the study area covers Savelugu in the Savelugu Nanton District with specific attention on basic schools in Savelugu. Content of the study: this is basically to assess the use of the Capitation Grant and its effects on enrolment and infrastructure development of basic schools in Savelugu.

Time of the study: the study period stretches from September 2007 to June 2008.

1.7 Methodology of the Study.
In order to realise the objectives of the study, appropriate methods of data collection, sampling techniques as well as data analysis and presentation were considered.

1.7.1 Sampling Techniques
In many cases sampling is the only way to determine something about the population. Some of the major reasons why sampling is necessary are: the destructive nature of certain test, the physical impossibility of checking all items in the population, the cost of studying all items in the population is often prohibitive; the adequacy of sampling results and to contact the whole population would often be time consuming. Appropriate sampling techniques were therefore used to select our respondents for the study.

The Simple Random Sampling Technique: this technique was used to select parents/guardians from all the ten basic schools interviewed. This gave all parents/guardians the equal chance of being selected. All parents/guardians were identified through the registers of schools in the study area, listed and wrapped in pieces of papers in a basket. These were mixed-up and sample units were picked one after the other till we reached the sample size of fifty parents/guardians. This was to ensure that the element of bias was eliminated in the selection of respondents.

Purposive sampling technique was used by the team to select head teachers and the administrators of the Capitation Grant as part of our respondents. This technique was meant to help us get directly to persons with the required information on the disbursement and monitoring mechanisms involved in the Capitation Grant policy. This enabled us gather in-depth information from the selected key informants on the disbursement process of the Capitation Grant and the monitoring mechanisms put in place to prevent the abuse of the grant.

1.7.2 Methods of Data Collection
Interview: this is a commonly used method of collecting information. Any person-to-person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific purpose in mind is called an interview. Both structured and unstructured interview were used to collect information from respondents in the study.

In a structured interview, the team asks a pre-determined set of questions using the same wording and order of question as specified in the interview schedule which could either be close or open ended. This method was used because not all the study population can read and write; for instance pupil at the lower level and some SMCs and parents.

Questionnaire was also employed to acquire information from the respondents. A questionnaire is a written list of questions, the answers to which are recorded by respondents. Questionnaire were designed and administered to head teachers all schools because respondents are literate.

1.7.3 Sources of Data
Primary data: the team sourced ‘first hand’ information from key informants and sampled respondents through interviews and the use of questionnaires.

Secondary data: the research group also depended on secondary data for information. That is any ‘second hand’ information acquired from previous data. Secondary data collected included information on enrolment figures, the profile of the study area and literature review.

1.7.4 Data Analysis and Presentation
Data analysis is simply the process of making meaning out of the raw data collected. Data was analysed with the support of computer software programme thus Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS).

Manually, data was edited to identify and minimise as far as possible, errors, incompleteness, misclassification and gaps in the information obtained from the respondents. Having cleaned the data, the next step was to code it considering the way a variable has been measured in our research instrument and the way we wanted to communicate our findings across. The coded data were then fed into the Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) software programme in the computer to give us the quantitative analysis of the information. The data was presented in the form of tables, charts and diagrams.

1.8 Chapter Organisation
The research is organized into five chapters with the first chapter consisting of the background, problem statement, research questions, objectives, justification, scope, methodology and organization of the report. Chapter two follows with the profile of the study area. Literature review on the subject area follows the second chapter as chapter three. Date is analysed and presented in chapter four. Chapter five concludes the report on the major findings, conclusion and recommendations.

CHAPTER TWO
PROFILE OF SAVELUGU
2.1 Physical Resource Base
2.1.1 Location and Size
Savelugu Nanton district is one of the eighteen (18) administrative districts in the Northern region of Ghana. Savelugu, the capital of the district as our study area, shares boundaries with pong Tamale in the north, Zoggu to the east, Kanshegu in the south and Moglaa to the west. Savelugu is about 25km away from Tamale the regional capital.

2.1.2 Topography and Geology
Savelugu is generally flat with gentle and undulating low relief. The altitude ranges between 400ft to 800ft above sea level with slightly hilly within the town and gentle sloping towards pong tamale.

The upper voltaian sedimentary formation characterises the geology of Savelugu and consist of shale and mudstone. This makes borehole drilling in the town less successful.

2.1.3 Climate and Rainfall Pattern
Savelugu falls under the guinea savanna climatic zone. The area receives an annual rainfall averaging 600mm, considered enough for a single farming season. The annual rainfall pattern is erratic at the beginning of the rainy season starting in April intensifying as the season advances raising the average from 600mm to 1000mm. Temperatures are usually high, averaging 34°c. The maximum temperature can rise to as high as 42°c and the minimum as low as 16°c. The low temperatures are experienced from December to late February, during which the North-East trade winds (hamattan) greatly influence the town resulting in higher rates of evaporation and transpiration leading to water deficiencies.

2.1.4 Drainage and Vegetation
There is no natural water body in the area. Rain water runs through gutters constructed along the main roads.

Savelugu finds itself in the interior (Guinea) savanna wood land which can sustain large scale livestock farming as well as cultivation of staples like rice, groundnuts, yam, cassava, maize, cowpea and sorghum. The trees found in the area are drought resistant and hardly shed their leaves completely during the long dry season. Most of these are of economic value and serve as an important means of livelihood especially for women. Notable among these are shea trees (the nuts of which is used for making shea butter) and dawadawa that provides seeds for condimental purpose.

2.2 Demographic Characteristics
2.2.1 Population Size
According to the 2000 population and housing census, savelugu’s population stood at 24,937. Males are made up of 12,213, representing 48.97% and 12724 of females representing 51.03% of the total population.

2.2.2 Household Characteristics
Households are predominantly male-headed. The average household size is about 5.6 with the smallest household comprising one member and the largest having 47 members.

2.2.3 Human Settlement Pattern
Savelugu has an urban/town council with 2,097 of houses. The settlement pattern in the central business district (CBD) is linear and nucleated with the outskirts of the town being disperse.

2.3 Socio-Economic Characteristics
2.3.1 Micro Economy
Savelugu is a subsistent agricultural based economy. Cash crop production is very minimal and includes shea nut, soya beans, cotton and cashew. Agro processing is generally done by traditional methods and on very small scale basis.

2.3.2 Income Levels and Distribution
Income levels are generally low. This is due to the fact that majority of the populace depend on rain fed agriculture. Income levels are low for women than for men.

2.4 Socio-Political Organisation
Savelugu is one of the paramouncies in the Dagbon kingdom comprising of Dagombas. It is been ruled by a chief with sub-divisional chiefs under him. The chief of Savelugu (Yonaa) is the number one in terms of traditional authority. Information flow is through household heads to the sub-chief and to the chief and then vice versa.

In the modern political system, information is channeled through members of the community to unit committee members, assembly men to the district chief executive who is the highest political authority through the district assembly.

2.5 Human Resource Development and Basic Service
2.5.1 Education
The district is zoned into five educational circuits for administrative purposes of which Savelugu is one with 14 primary schools, 5 J.H.S and a senior secondary school. There is also a school for the deaf in Savelugu.

2.5.2 Health
Savelugu as a district capital is blessed with a hospital which provides the health needs of the people. The community also has a number of traditional healers who supplement the efforts of the hospital in health care delivery.

2.5.3 Water and Sanitation
Savelugu has three dams, five hand-dug wells with pumps and 15 boreholes that serves the water needs of the people. The community also has about 20 KVIPs facilities distributed within the township with dust bins places at vantage positions for solid waste management.

2.5.4 Infrastructure
Savelugu has a first class road passing through it from Tamale through to Bolga and to Burkina Faso. It also has electricity, telecommunication services, and community centre among others.

CHAPTER THREE
LITERATURE REVIEW
3.1 Introduction
Literature review is an essential component of any scientific research since it provides the basis upon which the study will be built and streamlined. The literature review is presented based on Capitation fee, Grant, Capitation grant, and case studies of how capitation grant is practiced in Ireland and Ghana.

3.2 Capitation Fee
Capitation fee is something taken over and above what the institution needs by way of revenue and capital expenditure plus reasonable surplus (Nariman, 2005).

Capitation fee is also defined as any amount by what ever name called, whether in cash or in kind, paid or collected, received directly or indirectly in addition to the fees determined by the institution concerned (Kerala Professional Colleges, 2004)

The above definitions fail to state the criteria for payment (as to whether it is per head) of the fees and by whom and for what purpose. It is narrowed to the amount being paid or charged by the institutions concerned and also the surplus it accrues. We then consider the definition below to ascertain whether it answers the question the above definitions fail to do.

Capitation fee is the payment of a fee or grant to a doctor, school etc. the amount being determined by the number of patients or pupil etc. (Wikipedia encyclopedia, 2007).

Capitation fee can also be seen as a system of payment for each customer served rather than by service performed (Moffatt, 2002)

In addition to the above, capitation fee is defined as a method of payment to a provider of medical service according to the number of members in the health benefit plan that the provider contracts to treat (by head or per head). (Ibid)

The above definitions of capitation have suggested that the criteria for payment are based on the number served which is very limited in scope. However, other criteria such as level of deprivation and the worth of the service should have also been considered since it can also influence the success or failure of the programme. It also fail to capture whether the fee paid per head is uniform and does not specify any time and whether the fee is paid in advance or after the service delivery.

After a critical examination of the above definitions, it is safe to adopt the definition of capitation fee by Patrick C. Alguire, (1999) as a fixed amount of money per patient per unit of time paid in advance to the physician for the delivery of health care service.

Widening Alguire’s definition from the health perspective, capitation fee is the fixed amount of money per head per unit time, paid in advance to a service provider for a delivery of the required service. We coin this definition because the actual amount of money paid is determined by the ranges of services that are provided, the number of persons involved and the period of time during which the services are provided.

3.3 Grant
The definitions of a grant are various and vibrant depending on the context it is used. A grant could mean to bestow, especially officially; “grant a degree”; “give a divorce”; “this bill grants us new right”. It could also mean a transfer by deed; “grant land”. In another context a grant is to accord: allow to have; “grant a privilege”. To concede: give over; surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another is again a definition of a grant (Wikipedia encyclopedia, 2007).

Even though the above definitions are right in their various context of a grant, they have not fallen under the orbit of our concern. Grants are funds given to tax-exempt nonprofit organization or local government by foundations, corporations, governments, small business and individuals. Most grants are made to fund a specific project and require some level of reporting (Ibid)

Financial assistance awarded to students which does not have to be repaid, usually based on need (Catalog, 1999)

A grant therefore is a financial assistance in the form of money, or property or technical assistance in lieu of money awarded by a government agency or private organization (foundation or corporation) to an eligible applicant to accomplish some public purpose. Simply put a grant is a form of monetary aid that is like a ‘gift’ – it does not need to be repaid.

3.4 Capitation Grant.
From the above definitions of capitation fee and grant, Capitation Grant can be coined as a fixed amount of money per head per unit time paid in advance to a service provider for the delivery of the required service and the cost of which is borne by a government or corporate body in a form of aid. In the Ghanaian context, Capitation Grant is a fixed amount of money per head per unit time paid in instalments to public basic schools based on enrolment in place of school fees.

3.5 How Capitation Grant is practiced in Ireland.
Capitation grants are intended to be spent on the day-to-day running costs of the school, for example, heating, cleaning, lighting, maintenance of school premises and grounds and the provision of teaching materials and resources. The grant per pupil is paid at the prevailing rate in two instalments. The first instalments (70%) are paid on 31 January of the school year and the balance (30%) is paid on 30th June. The grant for each school year is determined by the number of pupils on roll on 30 September. In case of a newly established school the grant may be calculated by reference to the projected enrolment on 30 September of the following school year. This arrangement will apply for a period not exceeding the first three years of a school’s operation. (Department of Education and Science, Ireland, 2007)

In consultation with the principal teacher, each board is required to arrange annually the allocation of a sum of money for the provision of school requisites. Separate rates of grant are paid to national schools maintained by the Office of Public Works. In the case of smaller schools a specific grant known as a ‘minimum grant’ is paid. Separate rates of ‘minimum grant’ are payable to schools where a board of management has been established and to schools maintained by the Office of Public Works. (Department of Education and Science, Ireland, 2007)

Capitation grants are paid at the rate applicable at the time the grant is issued. In any year where an increase in the rate of payment comes into effect, the second instalment of the grant (issued in June) will reflect the new rate and will also include any arrears in respect of the instalment issued the previous January. (Department of Education and Science, Ireland, 2007)

3.5.1 Use of Capitation Grant
Boards of management are required to ensure that all monies provided to the school under this grant are made available for the purchase of appropriate resources and materials. Schools should also keep a record of all materials or resources purchased with this grant and receipts in respect of such purchases should be retained. These receipts/records may need to be produced at a later stage for inspection by officers of the department. (Department of Education and Science, Ireland, 2007)

3.5.2 Abolition of local contribution
There is an abolition of the requirement of primary schools to raise a local contribution towards their current operating costs. The effects of its abolition means that schools are no longer required returning forms to this Department certifying that the local contribution has been lodged to their school accounts. This means that the processing of the second instalment of the Capitation Grant will be automatically undertaken by the Department, provided schools have submitted their Annual Return for the school year to the statistical section of the Department. (Department of Education and Science, Ireland, 2007)

3.6. How Capitation Grant is practiced in Ghana.
The Ministry of Education has set up a Capitation Grant Scheme, commenced 2003/2004 academic year, where by every primary school receives an amount of GH¢2.50 per male pupil enrolled and GH¢3.50 per female pupil enrolled. This should serve to remove financial barriers created by levies, yet more than compensate the schools for lost of revenue they faced as a result. (GES, 2006)

The capitation grant has been designed to empower the schools to effectively use financial resources to plan and carry out school quality improvement activities. The process of planning activities should be participatory and transparent. (Ibid)

3.6.1 Selection of schools and number of pupils.
All registered public schools with the Ghana Education Service are automatic beneficiaries of the capitation grant. The maximum number of pupils per school allowable for each year is to be determined in advance due to audit purposes. It is advisable that the actual enrolment at the end of the third term for the previous year is used as the base and projected by an expected gross enrolment to get the estimated number of pupils to be used for budget purposes. Enrolment numbers for actual disbursement, however, should be based on actual figures. (GES, 2006)

3.6.2 Management of the grant
Key players in the management of the capitation grant are: District Directors of Education, Assistant Director Supervision, Circuit Supervisor, District Accountant, SMCs, and the Head teacher. (Ibid)

The capitation grants are to be used to support the implementation of School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP). Some of the key activities to be undertaken are; provision of teaching and learning materials, school management (including transportation and telecommunication and stationary), community and school relationship, support to the needy pupils, school and cluster based in service training, minor repairs and payments of sports and culture levis (to be approved nationally). (GES, 2006)

The District Education Office would open a special account into which funds for the capitation grants would be lodged. The signatories to this account are the District Director of Education and the District Accountant. To ensure smooth implementation of the schools programme, separate bank accounts would also be opened by the District for each school. The signatories to the school’s account are the Head teacher and his assistant. (Ibid)

3.6.3 Release of funds and disbursement process
A project estimate of enrolment levels in each school is made at the beginning of each academic year. This estimate is the bases for the transfer of fifty per cent of funds to the schools at the beginning of the first term. Subsequently transfers for the first term are dependent on the submission of adequate returns on the actual enrolment for the school in the course of the term. For the second and third terms, based on the enrolment levels established in the first term, funds are to be transferred to schools at the beginning of term. Efforts should, however, be made to confirm this enrolment figures due to attritions. (GES, 2006)

An executer of an activity applies to the head teacher and cash is withdrawn and given to the executor to be used for the purpose. After completion the executor accounts to the headmaster with relevant documentations. At the school level, request for the funds are to be endorsed by both the SMC chairman and the head teacher. The school is to maintain financial records which reports all Capitation Grants received and disbursed with all documentation required. (Ibid)

3.6.4 Monitoring and evaluation.
The circuit supervisor is to visit each school twice a term and will report to the district education office on the following: abolition of all forms of levies in the school, implementation status of the SPIP and submission of all reports on timely basis. The district directors as well as the District Teacher Support Team (DTST) and district head teacher advisor are to pay regular visit to each school to review progress on implementation of activities at each school. (GES, 2006)

3.6.5 Auditing
The GES internal auditors will monitor the school’s accounts, and will conduct at least one audit of the utilisation of the capitation grant half yearly and will submit copies of their report to the School Management Committee, District Director of Education and Regional Director of Education. (Ibid)

Having seen how Capitation Grant is practiced in both Ireland and Ghana, it is pertinent to reveal the gaps found in both practices especially that of Ghana and how Ghana can draw wisdom from some aspects of the practices of the capitation grant in Ireland.

It is worth noting that release of the capitation grant should have specific dates in Ghana like that of Ireland in order to avoid unnecessary hold-ups of the fund.

A close look at the practice of capitation grant in Ghana and Ireland reveals differences in the appropriation of the fund. Whiles that of Ireland is based on special needs (able and disable schools), Ghana’s is based on sex (females GH¢2.50 and males GH¢3.50). We are of the view that the differences should rather be based on rural urban. After all female pupils were not paying more fees than males before the introduction of the capitation grant. The rural urban seems preferable as the former is more deprived of facilities like libraries for instance, relative to the later who have more educational opportunities.

Though prices of commodities have never been static, what is missing in the literature is how adjustments to the grant will be done to commensurate with general price increase in the economy.

3.7 Enrolment
The capitation grant increased enrolments by about 40 percent across Ghana. As enrolments of pupil accentuates, the number of teachers to cater for these new numbers remained as before or even decreased. Government obviously added more burden to the already over worked teachers without a commensurate reward or incentive. This scenario has the negative implication of robbing quality education in place of making political meal (Monah, 2006)

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has said that currently Ghana requires 75,000 teachers to be able to meet a teacher pupil ratio of 1: 35, unfortunately the system has only 19,000 teachers. The apparent deficit is unacceptable and especially so when government deliberately put in place a policy aimed towards boosting enrolment (Ibid)

Gross enrolment rates for primary schools in the deprived districts rose from 76% in 2003/2004 to 80% in 2004/2005. The scheme also partly accounted for sustained rise in enrolment across the country (Monah, 2006).

The trade off between increased enrolment obtained from surprisingly rapid implementation of the capitation scheme and quality of service should be of great concern for policy. Implementation of the Capitation Scheme across Ghana led to many children going back to school or starting school at the recommended age but has also, in tandem with other existing problems, contributed to the already slow progress and sometimes even retrogression in improving the quality of service, for example, efforts to increase the number of teachers in the three northern regions and primary schools in the upper East region where pupil-teacher ratio improved, children in other parts of the Northern Regions suffered deterioration in service quality. A similar situation was also observed for basic schools through out Ghana (ISSER, 2005)

To lessen the imbalance, the National Service Secretariat posted 18,000 service personnel as teachers to schools in rural areas, including 1,200 volunteers from the National Volunteers Service Programme. This development even though a usual practice for the secretariat to support basic schools has significantly improved the distribution of teachers to remote areas in the country.

In contrast to 2004, when many school children lacked access to core text books due to supply and administrative bottlenecks, the ministry fully implemented in 2005 its policy of providing text books to basic schools and address the supply problems by allocating GH¢39,500,000 for printing text books. This led to a 1:1 pupil-text book ratio for core subjects of English, mathematics, and Science at the primary schools level by the end of 2005, ahead of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Target of 1/1.3 (Ibid).

In conclusion the literature reviewed reveals some basic difference in how the two countries practice the Capitation Grant. It is clear that all form of levies or local contribution is abolished in Ireland, in Ghana the Capitation Grant has only replaced the school fees. Also the funds are released on instalment bases in both Ghana and Ireland, but the percentage differs. The first instalment in Ireland is 70 percent while it is 50 percent in Ghana. It is therefore clear that the system in Ireland seems more effective than that of Ghana. More lessens can therefore be learned from the Irish practice in trying to make education more accessible to all.

CHAPTER 4
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
4.1 Introduction
This chapter is devoted to the analysis and presentation of the data gathered from the field. The data is presented through charts and tables. Data is presented and discussed on, the utilisation of the capitation grant by schools in the Savelugu, parents' response to payments of special levies following the introduction of the Capitation Grant, effects of the capitation grant on enrolment levels and the effects of the Capitation Grant on infrastructure development of schools in Savelugu.

4.2 The Utilisation of the Capitation Grant by Schools in Savelugu. 4.2.1 Capitation Grant Expenditures
According to the Head teachers of basic schools interviewed in Savelugu, basic schools are expected to prepare School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP) as part of the disbursement process. The School Performance Improvement Plan indicates which activities and materials the Capitation Grant is intended to be used for. According to the schools, the expenditures involved are the provision of teaching and learning materials, payment of sports and cultural levies, school management, improving access on enrolment and support to needy children, school community relationship and school facilities.

From the group's survey it was revealed that 5 out of the 10 basic schools interviewed, use much of the Capitation Grant in purchasing teaching and learning materials. 3 schools reported that they use much of the Capitation Grant in improving access on enrolment and support to needy children. 2 schools indicated they use much of the Capitation Grant in sport and cultural development. Non of the schools identify school management, school community relationships and facilities as areas they spend much of the Capitation Grant on.

Interaction with the Head teachers has also revealed that the Capitation Grant is often used to purchase and carry out all activities in the School Performance Improvement Plan after all the relevant forms and accounting procedures are completed by the executor of an activity. This is to ensure the efficient and effective utilization of the capitation grant. Even though the amount or proportion of grant spent on any activity differ from school to school, provision of teaching and learning materials emerged as the most demanding activity, hence consuming most of the grant.

The Regional Education Office disburses the grant to the accounts of various Metropolitan and District Education Offices based on enrolment figures within those areas. The District Office in-turns disburse the funds to the various basic schools within the District based on enrolment levels of the schools. Schools in Savelugu receive their funds at Bonzali Rural Bank where all the schools are supposed to open a Capitation Grant account. Each student in the basic schools is entitled to an amount of GH¢3.00, but upon receiving the grant, the money is divided into three to cater for the first, second, and third terms in basic schools. This means that a total of GH¢1.00 is paid by the government of Ghana for each pupil per term under the Capitation Grant Scheme. Out of the GH¢1.00 per term, the various categories of expenditure will be deducted for activities based on the School Performance Improvement Plan.

Also, during the interview with the Head teachers it was realised that the executor of an activity within the School Performance Improvement Plan applies to the head teacher for funds with a request form. Cash equivalent to that activity is withdrawn from the bank, an advance form is completed and money is given to the executor to be used for the purpose as indicated on the request form. After completion of the activity the executor submits the relevant documents (receipts, honour certificates and activity reports) to his/her head teacher and complete an accounting for advance form to end the process.

This implies that the money is spent on the purpose for which it was meant for by the basic schools.
4.2.1 Management Control.
According to the Head teachers, request for funds at the school level are to be endorsed by both the SMC chairman and the Head teacher. The persons are jointly responsible for the utilisation of the funds towards the attainment of the targets as set in the School Performance Improvement Plan.

4.2.2 Record Keeping.
The school is to maintain a financial record (capitation grant cash book) which contains all Capitation Grant received and disbursed with all appropriate receipt and documentation required. These records are to be made available for the review of the School Management Committee, the District Education Office and the audit.

4.2.3 Monitoring
To ensure effective utilisation of the grant, the District Budget Officer prepares a plan upon receiving the grant from the central government. According to the District Budget Officer a monitoring team is then sent to monitor and ascertain whether the enrolment figures given by the various schools actually conform to the numbers in those schools. This is mostly done before the disbursement of the funds to the individual schools to ensure effective monitoring and transparency in the disbursement and utilisation process. After this, grants are disbursed to the various basic schools. However, head teachers can not access or make use of the grant until they prepare School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP) which is often prepared by head teachers and their staff and given to the School Management Committees (SMC) chairman for his/her approval after which it goes to the District Education Office for review and approval. The District Education follows the thematic areas of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) which often takes into consideration the following; quality education, access and participation, educational management and science, technical, vocational and educational training (TVEC). Schools that satisfy all these thematic areas then receive funds. At this stage, monitoring is taken charge of by Head teachers, Assistant Head teachers and Circuit Supervisors. The District Education Office also carries out impact assessment at the various schools to determine how the grant is used. At the district level monitoring often takes place in three phases after funds are released to basic schools. The first phase comprises of the District Director, Budget Officer and the District Accountant carrying out monitoring to ensure that schools successfully implement the School Performance Improvement Plan prepared. According to the District Budget Officer the second phase of the monitoring is made up of nine member team who are members of the District Teacher Support Team. They also monitor the implementation of the School Performance Improvement Plan and report their finding to the District Director of Education. The final phase is carried out by the Circuit Supervisor who carries out monitoring to ensure that people do not pay any form of levies which is otherwise catered for by the capitation grant, ensure the smooth implementation of the School Performance Improvement Plan and finally ensure that schools submit their monthly report of the Capitation Grant to the District Office.

4.2.4 Challenges Schools Face
Bureaucracy in accessing the grants, Most of the schools visited by the research team complained of the cumbersome and bureaucratic processes they have to pass through before they access the grant. According to the head teachers and teachers, the time spent in the preparation of the School Performance Improvement Plan, sending each for printing and vetting, preparing detailed costing sheets for each activity and filling of other forms in the offices and banks in order to get access to the grant are frustrating and tiresome.

There is inadequate teaching staff and infrastructure in the schools to take care of enrolment which is as a result of the introduction of the Capitation Grant.

Schools are not able to take care of all their expenses under the capitation grant as the grant given to the school per child basis is not enough.

Schools find it difficult to prepare the School Performance Improvement Plan since much training is not given to them.

Delay in the implementation of school activities outlined in the School Performance Improvement Plan which end up affecting school management and administration. These according to the schools authorities are as a result of the delay of the grant to them to undertake their term activities.

4.3 Parents Response to Other Payments Aside School Fees.
This section consists of two sub sections; the profile of parents and whether parents are asked to make other payments and their responses.

4.3.1 Respondents' Profile
The sex and age distribution of parents, occupational distribution and their educational status are essential here as these can influence understanding of government policies, attitude towards payments of educational bills and the ability to afford payments of educational bills. 4.3.2 Age and Sex Distribution

Table 4.1: Age and Sex Distribution of the 50 Respondents
Age group of respondentSexTotal% of Age groups
malefemale
18 - 391361938
40 - 592252754
60+4048
Total391150100
% of Sex7822100
Source: Field survey 2008
From Table 4.1, out of the fifty parents interviewed, 39 (78%) represent male and the remaining 11 (22%) are female. The active labour force that is age 18 to 39 totalling 19 (38%) and age 40 to 59 made up of 27 (54%) sums up to 46 (92%). The aged, that is people of 60 and above of age who constitute dependents are 4 (8%) of our respondents.

Since majority of the respondents fall within the working class, it implies that they will be able to cater for their children's educational needs.

4.3.3 Occupational Status and Distribution.
Figure 4.1: Occupational Status and Distribution.
Source: Field Survey 2008

Figure 4.1 illustrates the occupational status and distribution of the fifty respondents. It indicates that 48 respondent representing 96.0 percent are employed, while 2, representing 4.0 percent are unemployed.

Also out of the 48 respondents that are employed, 20 (40%) of them are farmers, 14(28%) traders, 6(12%) teachers, 5(10%) are masons, 1(2%) is a carpenter and 2(4%) are employed under other occupations.

Majority of the respondents are employed in various sectors. This implies that they can bear the responsibilities of educating the children at their basic schools

4.3.4 Educational Status.
Education is a necessary condition for the development of any society. Figure 4.2 below depicts the educational status of respondents.
Source: Field Survey. 2008

Analysis from the figure 4.2 implies that illiteracy rate in the study area is quite high and has the tendency to influence parents understanding of the capitation grant policy and attitude towards educating their children negatively.

4.3.5 Parents Response to other Payments
From the field survey, it was realised that there are some expenditure that are not covered by the capitation grant. As a result schools devised other means of sourcing funds to carry out such projects. According to the schools, it is either the District Assembly or through PTA special levies that they get extra money to finance these expenditures. Table 4.1 indicates the responsibilities parents believe they are relieved of after the introduction of the Capitation Grant policy.

Table 4.2: Parents Perception about the Purpose of the Capitation Grant ResponsibilityFrequencyPercent
(1) school fees1632
(2) special PTA levy612
Both (1) & (2)2856
Total50100
Source: Field Survey 2008

From Table 4.2, out of the 50 parents interviewed, 16 (32%) respondents believe that they are only relieved of school fees 6(12%) think they are relieved of PTA special levy and 28(56%) believe that they are relieved of both school fees and PTA special levy.

Again from the field survey it was realised that 45 out of the 50 parents interviewed are aware of the policy.

From the analysis, community members (parents and individuals) made no contribution to the development of basic schools in the study area. Most of them are of the view that levies and all forms of payments to schools were sole responsibility of government and are therefore not willing to contribute in any way to supplement the government effort in providing quality basic education

With this mentality of the respondents, the government policy of providing quality basic education may be defeated since the state alone can not bear the cost of education.

4.4 Enrolment Levels Since 2001 to 2006
Table 4.3: Effects of capitation on basic school enrolment in Savelugu YearsPrimaryJHSGrand TotalGrand % Increase
MaleFemaleTotal%MaleFemaleTotal%
BEFORE200177153113024410466221668562970
20028236151438441215643185856329611
2003939656159545127471319875535829
AFTER2004906717162341141388122945939179
200510347171757401650966261660436711
2006114781119184018181084290260482010

Putting together all enrolment figures from basic schools visited, it was realised that there is an increase in enrolment as the years progress. Interestingly, the wide perception by people that the effect of the Capitation Grant policy on enrolment is an overwhelming increase is not the case in our findings. Table 4.3 reveals that the percentage changes in enrolment annually before the introduction of the Capitation Grant averaged 10 percent. It is important to note that the percentage changes in enrolment annually after the introduction of the Capitation Grant remains 10 percent average. Therefore the increase in enrolment can not be attributed solely to the Capitation Grant.

4.4.1 Factors that Motivate Parents to Enrol Children in School The group interviewed parents on why they send their children to school. The answers to this question are presented in table 4.4.

Table 4.4 : Why Enrol Children in School
ReasonsFrequencyPercent
parental responsibility1020
for the child's better future3264
because of capitation grant816
Total50100

From table 4.4, 64 percent of the respondents, even though very much aware of the Capitation Grant, indicates that they enrolled their children because they want the children's better future. 10 percent do so because they think it is their responsibility. Interestingly, only 16 percent representing 8 respondents sent their children to school because of the capitation grant.

Clearly, this view from the parents contradicts that of the head teachers, selected teachers of various schools and some SMC members who believe that the increase is as a result of the introduction of the capitation grant.

The above revelation suggests that respondents understand the importance and the need of educating their children. Also the Capitation Grant has influenced some parents to send their children to school and for that matter leads to increase in enrolment.

4.5 Effect of the capitation grant on infrastructure development. From the analysis so far it is quite clear that parents are reluctant in payment of other levies for infrastructure development in basic schools because of the notion that all forms of levies are catered for by government. This invariably impedes or impacts negatively on the infrastructural development of basic schools. This assertion is evidenced by a comprehensive response by all teachers interviewed that parents are reluctant in payments of other levies. By the teachers view the reluctance of parents to payments of other levies affects infrastructure development much. Table 4.5 indicates the degree to which parents' reluctance to payment of other levies impact on the infrastructure development of schools in Savelugu. Table 4.5: How parents' reluctance of payments of other levies affect infrastructure development Degree of ImpactFrequencyPercent

much660
very much330
not much110
Total10100

This attitude will undoubtedly put pressure on the existing infrastructure of basic schools in Savelugu, thus meaning a negative impact of the Capitation Grant on infrastructure development of basic schools.

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY OF MAJOR FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1Summary of Major Findings
The general objective of the study was to assess how effective the Capitation Grant is put to use, the effects of the Grant on enrolment level and infrastructure development of basic schools in Savelugu in the Northern Region. Our findings made known that there exist a criteria used in the disbursement of the grant to basic schools (based on enrolment of schools) and the monitoring system put in place to monitor how schools use the grant. The study further revealed that much of the grant is used for the provision of teaching and learning materials and 64 percent of parents even though very much aware of the Capitation Grant indicated that they enrol their children because they want their children's better future. 10 percent do so because they think it is their responsibility.16 percent representing 8 people sent their children to school because of the capitation grant scheme. It is important to note that the percentage changes in enrolment annually within the introduction of the Capitation Grant remain 10 percent average. Therefore the increase in enrolment can not be attributed solely to the Capitation Grant.

Also, the problems encountered by the schools in the face of the capitation grant were identified to include; inadequate infrastructure and teaching staff, cumbersome and bureaucratic processes in accessing the grant and difficulty in the preparation of the School Performance Improvement Plan. This in essence undermines the effectiveness of the usage of the Capitation Grant.

It was also quite clear that parents are reluctant in payment of other levies for infrastructure development in basic school because of the notion that all forms of levies are catered for by government. This invariably impedes or impacts negatively on the infrastructure development of basic schools. This assertion is evidenced by a comprehensive response by all teachers interviewed that parents are reluctant in payments of other levies. By the teachers view the reluctance of parents to payments of other levies affects infrastructure development much. Schools now only rely on District Assemblies for their infrastructure development needs.

Results of field discussions held with the head teachers, teachers, parents and the authorities concerned revealed that, to ensure the sustenance of the capitation grant the government, civil groups and charity organizations must all come together to give their support and commitment to this praiseworthy policy.

5.2 Conclusion
Generally, the utilisation of the grant can be said to be effective though not without bottlenecks. The contribution of capitation grant policy to enrolment can not be dismissed. It is however overstated by policy makers. Also, half-truths about Capitation Grant being 'free basic education' is adversely affecting infrastructure development as parents are reluctant in payment of other levies to supplement the government efforts towards infrastructure development.

5.2 Recommendations
With regards to the above findings, the following recommendations are made: More classrooms should be built by government to take care of the increasing numbers in the schools. Also more teachers should be trained and taken to the schools to cater for the increasing enrolment figures in the basic schools by the Ghana Education Service (G.E.S).

Attempts should also be made to reduce the administrative bottlenecks and bureaucratic procedures involved in the disbursement process of the capitation grant. The long administration procedures often leads to the delay in the releases of the funds and in most cases retards the smooth running of basic schools when it comes to carrying out development projects. This according to the parents, teachers and authorities concerned is essential to the effective utilisation of the capitation grant.

Again the District Education Office should organise Seminars and subsequent refresher programmes should be organised to educate teachers and head teachers in the preparation of the School Performance Improvement Plan and the processes involved in preparing the capitation grant documents since this also leads to the delay processes involved in the release of funds. This problem arises when the School Performance Improvement plan submitted by the basic schools do not conform to the laid down procedures and thus have to be returned to respective basic schools for the preparation of new School Performance Improvement Plan to be approved for funding.

The Capitation Grant should be released on time by the Ghana Education Service to the schools to enable them implement the activities they outline in their School Performance Improvement Plan. This will help the school authorities in the management and administration of the school.

The government should increase the Capitation Grant amount of GH¢3 given per child to the schools to about GH¢6 per pupil to help schools meet all their expenses. In addition to this, the amount should be reviewed yearly and the necessary increments made to reflect the increase in prices of goods and services.

Parents should be educated by Ghana Education Service in plain language that Capitation Grant has only replaced school fees and not other levies.

REFERENCES

1.Bening, R.B(1990) History of Education in Northern Ghana, Ghana University Press, Accra 2.The 1992 Republic Constitution of Ghana.
3.Ghana Education Service (2006). “Guidelines for the Distribution and Utilization of Capitation Grant to Primary Schools”. 4.Department of Education and Science Ireland (2007). ''A Report on the Appropriation of the Capitation Grant to Schools" 5.Ghana Statistical Service (2000). “Population and Housing Census”. 6.ISSER (2005). The State of the Ghanaian Economy in 2005, University of Ghana, Logon. 7.UNESCO (2000). “Education for All Assessment Report”

8.World Bank (1999). “Human Development Report”
9.Vincent (2000): Ghana, A historical Survey. Ghana University Press, Accra 10.Mofatt, mike(2002):Your Guide to Economics. Washington D.C, Island Press 11.Chesterton, G. K (1874) Education the Soul of Society. Rout Ledge London U.K

APPENDIX 1

INTERVIEW GUIDE TO PARENTS.
This project work is an essential component of the academic curriculum of the University for Development Studies towards the awards of Bachelor of Arts degree. The main objective of this study is to assess the effective utilisation of the capitation grant, its effects on enrolment and infrastructure development of schools in Savelugu.

This study is purely for academic purpose and information provided would be treated with confidentiality. We therefore urge you to give your genuine opinion on questions asked and hope to count on your corporation.

A.Profile of Respondents
1. Age group of respondent
1.  18 – 39
2.  40 – 593.  60+

2. Sex 1. male 2.  female

3. Religion
1.  Moslem 2. Traditionalist
3. Christian 4.  others, specify……………….

4. Marital status
1.  Married 2. Divorced
3.  Widowed 4. Single

5. Educational status
1. No-formal education 2. Arabic/ Non-formal education 3. Primary education 4. JSS / Middle 5.  Vocational / Technical education 6.  SSS 7.  Tertiary
6. Occupational status
1. Employed2. Unemployed

7. Occupation
1.  Farmer2.  Trader
3.  Fisherman4.  Teacher
5.  Manson6.  Carpenter
7.  Others, specify…………………………..

Households School Expenditure.

7. How many children are under your care? Male………. Female…………. Total………

8. How many of them are of school going age? Male……….Female……….. Total……...

9. Are all the children of school going age in school? 1. Yes 2. No

10. If no, how many of them are in school? Male………. Female………. Total………..

11. If no to question 9, why are the rest not in school?
1. Poverty
2. labour purpose
3. other. Specify………………………………………………………………..

12. Why do you send your children to school?
1. Parental responsibility
2. For a better future for the child
3. Because of the capitation grant
4. Others. (Specify).................................................................

13. What are your responsibilities in your children’s basic education? ﴾Tick appropriate option(s)﴿
1. School fees
2. Special PTA levy
3. School uniform
4. Books & Pens/pencils
5. Others. Specify ……………………………………………………………….

14. Which of these responsibilities do you NOT provide?
1. School fees
2. Special PTA levy
3. School uniform
4. Books & Pens/pencils
5. Others. Specify ……………………………………………………………….

15. Is there a change in the provision of these needs on you over the last five years? 1. Yes
2. No

16. If yes to question 15, provide information on the table below.

17. What are some of the challenges you face in educating your children? 1……………………………………………………………………….. 2……………………………………………………………………….. 3………………………………………………………………………..

18. Are you aware of any government policy in support of education? 1. Yes
2. No

19. If yes, name them
1……………………………..
2……………………………..
3……………………………..

20. Have you heard about Capitation Grant policy?
1. Yes
2. No

21. If yes to question 20, have you ever participated in a meeting or a workshop on Capitation Grant? 1. Yes
2. No

22. If yes to question 20, what were the issues discussed ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

23. What are some of the benefits of the Capitation Grant?
1………………………………..
2………………………………..
3……………………………….

24. What are the challenges or constraints to the success of the policy? 1………………………………..
2………………………………….
3………………………………….

APPENDIX 2

QUESTIONAIRE FOR STAFF OF BASIC SCHOOLS IN SAVELUGU

B: GRANT DISBURSERY

1. What are the categories of expenditure within a term?
1……………………………2………………………………. 3……………………………4………………………………. 5……………………………6……………………………….

2. What are the sources of money to finance these expenditures? 1……………………………2………………………………. 3……………………………4………………………………. 5……………………………6……………………………….

3. What is the quantum of Capitation Grant received by your school? ………………………………………………………………………..

4. Who determines the criteria for expenditure of the Capitation Grant? 1. Head teacher and staff 2. PTA
3. SMC4. Capitation Grant secretariat
5. Others. Specify ………………………

5. Provide information on the table below.

6. (a) Are there any expenditure(s) not covered by the grant? 1. Yes
2. No
(b )If yes, what are they?
1…………………………………………
2………………………………………….
3………………………………………….

7. Where do you get money to finance these expenditures? (multiple choices allowed) 1. Special levy on parents
2. School economic activities
3. Other (specify)…………………………………..

8. (a). Does the introduction of the Capitation Grant make parents reluctant in payments of special levies? 1. Yes 2. No
(b). If yes, does it affect infrastructure development

9. Who are those in charge of management of the grant in your school? 1. Head teacher and staff 2. PTA
3. SMC4. Others.(Specify) ………………………

10 what are the constraints or challenges faced by the school regarding: (a). accessing the fund (b). utilization of the grant. 1……………….. 1………………………… 2…………….. 2…………………………….. 3…………………. 3…………………………..

11. What are the benefits of the grant to your school? (Multiple choices is allowed) 1. Infrastructure/Repairs
2. Teacher motivation
3. Enrolment and retention
4. Culture and Sports
5. Science and technology
6. Sanitation7. Others (specify)

12. What are your suggestions about the Capitation Grant?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

13. What is the level of enrolment
Academic yearLevel SEXTOTAL
malefemale
2000/2001lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S
2001/02lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S
2002/03lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S
2003/04lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S
2004/05lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S
2005/06lower primary
upper primary
J.H.S

14. Are there changes in the enrolment level?
1. Yes 2. No

15. If yes, what is the change?
1. Increase 2. Decrease

16. What do you think are the reasons for the change? ........................................................................................................................................ ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................ ...................................…………………………………………………………………

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