EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF SCHOOL FEEDING INTERVENTION: EVIDENCE FROM RURAL NORTHERN GHANA
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EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF SCHOOL FEEDING INTERVENTION: EVIDENCE FROM RURAL NORTHERN GHANA
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Abayomi, O. EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF SCHOOL FEEDING INTERVENTION: EVIDENCE FROM RURAL NORTHERN GHANA / O. Abayomi. - Текст : электронный // Russian Journal of Agricultural and Socio-Economic Sciences. - 2014. - №3 (27) Март. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/502563 (дата обращения: 24.07.2021). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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RJOAS, 3(27), March 2014 EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF SCHOOL FEEDING INTERVENTION: EVIDENCE FROM RURAL NORTHERN GHANA Oloruntoba Abayomi, Musah, Bukari, Researchers Department of Agricultural Extension, Rural Development and Gender Studies University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT The study investigated how policy intervention could have significant impact on beneficiaries. Using quasi-experimental design, 360 pupils from participating and non-participating schools in a feeding program were selected from a rural setting. Instrument for data collection was validated, pre-tested and administered on cross-section of respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test and regression analyses. Findings show that significant differences existed in educational outcomes as participating pupils performed better in core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science. In terms of socioeconomic determinants, findings show that selected variables such as sex of pupils and number of dependents in the family had directly impacted on the performance of pupils. The study also found causal link between the school feeding intervention and others as one of the multiplier effects was not only an increased enrolments by almost a quarter, but reduced dropout and absenteeism rates. This implied that the policy environments was sufficiently pro-poor and effective since it has strengthened the standard of foundational primary school and completion rate envisaged in the educational policy. It is recommended that further policy options that would facilitate the scaling-up of the program in the entire intervention area be formulated. KEY WORDS Educational outcomes; Academic performance; School feeding program; Ghana. Over the last decade the high rates of pupil’s dropout, absenteeism and low enrolments has been the bane of problems hindering the completion of primary schooling in vastly food insecure and disadvantaged communities in developing countries. Food security is the access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life, while on the contrary, the food-insecure households do not consume an adequate diet to maintain a healthy life. Therefore, when viewed against access to primary education, schooling of children of poor households could lead to unsavoury consequences. More worrisome is the trend in enrolment for girls which has continued to reduce unabated relative to boys which seems to be the order of the day especially among children from poorer households. The scenario painted a gloomy picture necessitating policy intervention from regional and national governments. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) Pillar-3 of the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) Program formulated policies for achieving universal primary education, food security and the reduction of hunger among the poor and vulnerable children in African countries. The Goal 2 of the UN-MDG seeks to achieve universal primary education with a target of ensuring that children, boys and girls alike will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. In Ghana, formal education remains the core pillar of human development with 18, 579 primary schools (GoG, 2010). The Universal Basic Education (UBE) which has become a right, mandatory and free for all pupils culminated into a dramatic improved access to primary education without corresponding attention to quality. For instance, Okyerefo et al., (2011) citing GoG (2008) and Etsey (2005) reported that there has been evidence of significant drop in the academic performance of pupils during the Basic Education Certificate Examinations in public schools between 2007 and 2010. In 2007, approximately 39 per cent that sat for the examination had aggregate 31-60 and the overall pass rate of 63 per cent. Again, Sarah et al., (2010) posited that despite the numerous efforts to improve the quality of primary 3
RJOAS, 3(27), March 2014 education the reality has been that the academic performance of pupils has even worsened. Furthermore, socio-economic backgrounds have also contributed to reducing differences in educational outcomes which are the achievements and benefits anticipated through the implementation of a policy intervention. To stem the tide, recent events have rekindled stakeholders’ interest in educational outcomes through the introduction of the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) intervention in 2005 to stem the tide in poor academic performance among vulnerable children in food insecure area. The concept of SFP has gained ground not only in Ghana but in many countries. The intervention which has lately received renewed attention as a policy instrument was prompted by the NEPAD and MDG policies which allow poor and vulnerable children have access to a nutritious meal per day from locally available food crops for poor and disadvantaged pupils while in school. Access to school feeding and the quality of education is key and interventions aimed at making sure that hunger, poverty and universal primary education are achieved. This is because, getting children in school is one thing, but keeping them in school and making sure that they learn is another (Adamu-Issah et al., 2007). Consequently, the pilot phase of the school feeding program was initiated in Ghana in 10 selected schools across 10 Regions in Ghana. By 2008, it incorporated 170 districts and by 2011 it had covered 713,590 children in targeted schools across the entire country (GoG, 2006). The intervention has the objectives of rapidly improving the nutritional growth, and lead to educational outcomes by reduction dropout and absenteeism rates, increasing enrolment and academic performance in participating schools across the country. The feeding program which has run from its inception in 2005 is still on-going. It has become highly auspicious and desirable at this time to assess its effectiveness as a policy intervention. Therefore it was presumed that measuring the effect of an intervention should provide answers to the following research questions: Is the program implementable? If so, does the program achieve a set of desirable outcomes? Does the school feeding intervention led to notable significant positive effect in educational outcomes of pupils in public primary schools? What specific socio-economic variables determine significant educational outcomes of pupils in public schools? Do parental socioeconomic characteristics have significant effect on pupil's academic performance? Purpose of the Study. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of the school feeding program intervention on the educational outcomes of targeted pupils. Specifically, the objectives are to: • ascertain if significant differences exist between participants and non-participants academic performance in core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science; • determine the socio-economic variables that have effect on enrolments, absenteeism and academic performance; • describe the parental / guardian socio-economic characteristics of pupils; • ascertain if the school feeding program intervention has achieved the objective of setting it up as an educational policy. Hypotheses for the Study. The general supposition is that pupils in participating schools would perform better than those from non-participating who did not in some educational outcomes. Similarly, boys would perform better than girls. The hypotheses for the study were set and in null forms as follows: H01: There is no significant difference between pupils’ academic performance in participating and non-participating schools. H02: There is no significant difference between pupils’ academic performance in core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science between participating and non-participating schools. H03: There is no significant difference in enrolments between participating and nonparticipating schools. 4
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