Education Project Topics

Impact of Free SHS Policy on the Girl Child Education

Impact of Free SHS Policy on the Girl Child Education

Impact of Free SHS Policy on the Girl Child Education

Chapter One

Research Objectives

General Objective

The main objective of the study was to examine the extent to which Fee Free Secondary Education Strengthens Girls’ Education in Public Secondary Schools in Kumasi District

Specific Objectives

  1. To assess enrollment rate of girls in public secondary schools after introduction of free SHS.
  2. To assess girls’ retention rate in public secondary schools after the introduction of free SHS.
  3. To analyze girls’ academic performance in public secondary schools after the introduction of free SHS.

Chapter Two


Definition of Key Terms

Girl Child

The girl is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen (18) years of age. This is the age before one becomes young adult. This period covers the nursery or early childhood (0 – 5 years), primary (6 – 12 years) and secondary school (12 – 18 years).At this age, the young child is totally under the care of the adult (Doreen, 2015).

During this period, the girl-child is malleable, builds and develops her personality and character. She is very dependent to others, those on whom she models her behaviour, through observation, repetition and imitation. Her physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional developments start and progress to get to the peak at the young adult stage (Ottaway, 2000).In most cases, a girl child has her own ambition of what they want to become, so in the cause of accomplishing that is where modeling depends much on those adult around her and need to be more careful handled in order to reach their ambitions.

Basic education

Basic education means the minimum level of education which has been designed to address basic learning requirement needed in a country, the level proposed will enable their citizen to bring awareness to an individual (UNESCO,2007). In the study, this basic education refers from standard one to form four which enable children to acquire basing learning requirement that will bring awareness to people who access it

Free SHS

Fee means of all forms of cost to be involved in acquiring knowledge and this might be direct or indirect contributions. Free SHS is the process whereby learners (students) are trained to improve their existing knowledge without any amount of money or cost involved for that particular service within a given time; this involves all the direct costs paid to institution not indirect costs. However, free SHS excludes text books; uniforms transport fee and food (URT, 2014).

In Ghanaian context the new education policy of fee free consider only school fees and other direct contributions from parents for schooling, but other indirect cost involves still under parents’ responsibilities.

Theoretical Stances of the Study

This study is guided with feminist theory and authors’ views on the subject matter.

Feminist Theory

Feminist theories initially developed as early as 1794 targets in a justification of the rights of girls by and changing girls’ status by addressing the problem of having limited rights due to men’s unsound view of girls (Navajo (2005). Feminist theory analyzes inequalities, discriminations, objectification and oppression that have contributed to lower female societal roles and responsibilities, experiences, interests and access in all human development aspects including education. Due to this perception of in equalities between them, male dominated in most of areas and took most of the responsibilities than female. However, in the changing world female are now aware of the importance of education in their personal and society development as result in different educational institutions number of female students’ increases day to day.

From a feminist perspective, one of the key roles of education has been to eliminate gender inequality by cultural norms that limit income, educational and job opportunities for women (Pasque, 2011). However, for a longtime different initiatives deployed to increase education equality linking ideas to action has been very low deterring push for change towards gender education equality. However, it might be more than cultural norms that creates in equality between male and female, because sometimes there are communities who support female in different perspectives but still seem to be unequal. Also, individuals might be educated but still protect cultural norms and avoid to even being leaders because they’re afraid to lead men, so education by itself might not help rather more empowerment lessons too.

Feminist theory assists the study to apprehend the mechanisms and roots of gender inequality in access to education and societal consequences among male and female. Similar to numerous institutions of society in most cases educational systems are featured by imbalanced treatments and opportunities for women. This is largely contributed by high associated education cost which is not affordable to many girls’ poor households which is finally increases illiteracy among girls. For example, in 2007 nearly two-thirds of the world’s 862 million illiterate people were women; (World Bank 2007). According to feminist perspectives high education cost (fees and other indirect costs) have been limiting opportunities for them accessing to equal education opportunities. This means, Free SHS support feminist theory in struggles for promoting women’s rights to equal access to education and its subsequent benefits across the world. Although it is free to all children regardless of gender or ethnicity. Recent move in promoting women access to education is centered on eradication of education fees to increase access to enrollment in schools (Pasque & Errington, 2011).

The two authors World Bank (2007) & Pasque and Errington (2011) have different ideas on feminist perspective towards access to education. World Bank believes there is imbalance in education opportunities between the two genders as structure itself that limit female gets same opportunity in the access of education while the second author base on cost of schooling is the cause of all the problems. In researchers’ perspectives there might be more factors which lead into limited access of education to girls like value of education in some communities is still unknown so boys or girls will not see the usefulness on it in the lives. Apart from that lack of motivation to girls from different people around them it might be from school itself not having rewarding programs which has general for all students and aside for girls in particular among boys’ denomination.

Weakness of feminist theory, it does not explain clearly that education might help to reduce inequality between male and female in the society, since in real context there are female who are educated but still not getting equal opportunities like male continue to be a day dream due to female leadership in male domination is a problem. Also, mentality among female themselves that some of work should be done by male than female even if their knowledgeable and capable of doing it.

From authors who support the theory like World Bank did not provide directions on the issue of imbalance opportunities between girls and boys in the access of education so as to combat the problem. Also in the idea of cultural discrimination to that equality in education, job and other opportunity, what about that to make female get same treatment and opportunities as male.

Fee-Free in Secondary Education in Ghana

Currently the government of Ghana is implementing the new Education and Training Policy (ETP) of 2014 that is based much on commitment on the provision of “Fee Free Basic Education from nursery school to lower secondary school”. This policy stress much on free provision of education to all students selected to join public secondary school. However, in 2001 the government of Ghana introduced free primary education, despite the fact that it was regarded as free but still parental contributions were compulsory to meet other school running costs like payment for school guards and the like (URT,2014).

These contributions made by parents as running costs was not a common amount set rather depend on school requirement, so every school decided on the set of amount to be paid by all students that will cutter the cost set that particular school. While at secondary school level day scholar, students were initially charged a fee of 40,000 per year, the amount were used to cut all the cost of schooling but also other parents contributions were required in the year 2004. The cost of schooling was covered by different education funding programs like SEDP and those in boarding school paid 70,000 per year (URT, 2005).

The new education policy of 2014 had been implemented basing on three different circulars, that tried to explain the idea of free SHS as per government perspective in those circulars made clarification on the new education policy as follows:

Education Circular No 5 of 2015indicated the government formalization and the commitment in provision of education, this was through instructing public bodies to make sure that education provided from primary school to secondary school is free (URT: 2014) as  it  reads:

“Education provided should be free in essence that pupils or students will not pay any fees or other contributions so as to get.”

Soon after circular was released of the government provide money as capitation grants to cover the new directives that covered by parents. However, there has been mixed understanding of the concept of free basic education policy at the beginning of the year 2016 when the policy was started to be implemented. The lack of clarity on the circular no. 5contradicts the implementers, as they have wrong interpretation hence made confusion. Thereafter the government came with another circular to make clarification of the previous circular.

The second was Circular No. 6 of 2015 that explained clearly on what is termed as free in regarding to education there are costs involved when acquiring education. In this regard it is the school board and parents’ agreement on what to contribute so as they children get lunch at school. It also described in the circular that expenses such as medical is not within the policy rather what the school provides will be first aid medications. Also parents and students and for those who will join boarding school need to purchase all the stuff needed to accommodate boarding scholar.

Benefits of free SHS

Kattan (2006) found that “countries such as Malaysia, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka, combined the school fees policy and interventions to achieve their mission on Education for All” and the following results were noted: “The government had the primary responsibility for education, there was high allocation of government budget to primary education, the government adopted cost-effectiveness measures, there was an automatic promotion and double-shifting in schools which increased the internal efficiency and cost saving, direct tuition fees were eliminated, teaching and learning employed the mother tongue as well as introduction of school feeding programs”.



Chapter Three


Research Design

This study will engage case study design because of the quest of the study in a systematic and in-depth examination in order to get clear picture of the extent does Free SHS Strengthening Girls’ Education in Kumasi District, also the study triangulated the data collected from the field through fully uses the potential of multiple methods (Kumar, 2002).

A case study design will help to get clear picture of the study through respondents’ reaction on the subject matter; this will be drawn in by the use of different data collection methods. As in this study researcher used interview, documentary review and focus group discussions

Respondents’ Sampling Techniques

The study will use the following sampling techniques;

Purposive Sampling Techniques

Kothari and Garg (2008) defined purposive sampling procedures as the procedures that are used during study to select respondents purposely from a given population to amount a sample size. The research will employ purposive sampling method to select two District Secondary Education Officers, Academic Teachers and four School heads from public schools that had rich information regarding to Free SHS in term of enrollment rate, retention rate of girl students and their performances before and after accomplishment of Education and Training Policy.

The advantageous of using purposive sampling is to get respondents who are rich of information about the topic studied in order to get responses of the research questions which are so accurate due to reliable source.


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