IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE PROVISION IN BASIC SCHOOLS IN SHAI- OSUDOKU DISTRICT

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ABSTRACT

This study sought to assess the improvements generated in teaching and learning because of new facilities provided in some basic schools in Shai-Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region. These improvements and challenges were captured in the collective experiences shared by respondents- teachers and pupils reflect the gap between policy prescriptions for school resource provision and actual practices at school level. An exploratory and descriptive approach was adopted through the use of in-depth interview and questionnaires to collect data. (Qualitative and quantitative methods were used. In-depth interviews and questionnaires were administered on teachers, pupils and other key respondents). Results of the interviews and questionnaires from sampled schools (four schools) which were compared with controlled schools (three schools) that did not receive major facilities from 2009 to 2017 showed varied levels of improvement in teaching and learning environment. I discovered that schools that hitherto had to halt classroom activities because of rain or overcrowding in class have had marked infrastructure sufficiency. Thus, increasing contact hours for teaching and learning. Meanwhile, because the facilities provided did not include pre-school and JHS the schools are compelled to improvise in order to accommodate pre-school and JHS. Constant engagement with communities would increase a sense of ownership of schools which is necessary for infrastructure provision. It is also recommended that the power to allocative resources and interventions towards provision of basic education infrastructure be centralized at the district level so that district authorities can properly identify, plan and execute timeously the infrastructure needs of schools in Shai-Osudoku District. The experiences of teachers and pupils shared during this research would enrich literature on school facility and teaching and learning outcomes and also inform school infrastructure policy decision at school, district and national levels.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

            Background of Study

In recent times (after the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 which affected both national and donor countries), the challenge of quality education has been at the centre of discussion in development policies around the globe, especially in developing countries. This challenge has been captured by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A major developmental challenge in education is the absence of adequate, quality infrastructure in basic schools. It is therefore significant that the SDGs stress the need to ensure quality education through its goal number four

(4) which encourages nations to “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Achieving quality education may be driven by a lot of factors. Among these factors are government dimension, teacher dimension, pupils dimension, community dimension, partners and donors dimension, the need for facilities, and the need for teaching and learning resources, among others. Within the government and community dimension falls the function of provision of infrastructure which is the focus of this dissertation. School infrastructure includes classroom level infrastructure (classroom, library, and science/ICT laboratory) and classroom characteristics (lightning, temperature, and air flow), classroom specific infrastructure (furniture, textbooks computers and science equipment) and school level infrastructure (electricity, potable water, and toilet, catering, sports fields and the condition of the building).

In their research on Latin American students, Murillo and Roman (2011), classified infrastructure into basic and school resources. Basic resources include portable water, electricity supply, sewage services and physical facilities for students and teachers whereas school resources include teaching

resources and learning materials for schools like textbooks and computers. In this study, I used the word infrastructure to refer to ventilated classrooms, library, ICT and science laboratories, toilets, fence wall, recreational/sporting grounds, water, electricity, catering and sanitation facilities, textbooks, furniture and other pedagogical materials, such as marker board/makers and Kindergarten worksheets that facilitate teaching and learning.