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School attendance at basic education in West Africa

School attendance at basic education in West Africa
School attendance at basic education in West Africa
The proportion of children entering primary school at the stipulated age in 2010 in Sub-Saharan Africa was 57%. For the same year, the net attendance ratios for primary and lower secondary education were 76% and 47% respectively. These figures are correlated in that delayed school enrolment increases the risk of dropout which in turn shortens the school life expectancy for children. These observations are the motivation behind this research. By writing this thesis, three substantive research questions have been explored: (1) what is Sierra Leone’s progress towards achieving universal basic education (2) what are the determinants of school attendance at basic education in West Africa and (3) does living in a community with more educated mothers enhance children’s school attendance at basic education. Three countries have been used: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana. Sierra Leone and Liberia have been used to reflect poor and post-conflict states with transitional and premature education systems respectively. Ghana is representative of middle income and politically stable countries with more advanced education systems in the region. The most recent Demographic and Health Survey for the three countries are used for analysis.

Four empirical chapters are presented. The first chapter addresses research question 1. It applies simple statistical analyses to United Nations indicators for evaluating progress towards universal education. The second and third chapters answer the second research question and the final chapter answers the third research question. These three chapters employ multilevel statistical techniques to model the determinants of primary and junior secondary school attendance. The second empirical chapter focuses on the interaction between household and community poverty with the aim of investigating whether the attendance of poor children suffers more than affluent children by residing in a poor community. The third empirical chapter explores the determinants of junior secondary school attendance with the aim of deducing whether there are significant differences between post-conflict countries and more stable countries. The final chapter focuses on the relationship between mothers’ education and school attendance at basic education, arguing that living in a community with a high proportion of more educated mothers enhances the likelihood that a child will attend school, irrespective of the child’s background.

The results from the first chapter show that the realisation of UBE is distant in Sierra Leone. There has been a decline in the number of children entering primary education; junior secondary education has however doubled although it remains low at 21%. Children from the poorest households are the most excluded from school followed by rural children and girls. The results from the second empirical chapter showed that there is a significant interaction between household and community poverty where poor children living in poor communities experience a greater depreciation in their probability of attending school than more affluent children who live in the same deprived environment in Sierra Leone. No such interaction was found in Liberia or Ghana. In the third empirical chapter, the sex of the child, agricultural livelihood within a community, household wealth and area of residence were significant in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Ghana, sex of the household head and maternal orphanhood were significant. The hypothesis of the relationship between mothers’ community education and children’s school attendance for the final empirical chapter was confirmed.
Kamanda, Mamusu
7bc84995-9af6-4776-993c-8fb0c5cbb1c4
Kamanda, Mamusu
7bc84995-9af6-4776-993c-8fb0c5cbb1c4
Madise, Nyovani
2ea2fbcc-50da-4696-a0a5-2fe01db63d8c
Schnepf, Sylke
c987c810-d33c-4675-9764-b5e15c581dbc

(2013) School attendance at basic education in West Africa. University of Southampton, Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 256pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The proportion of children entering primary school at the stipulated age in 2010 in Sub-Saharan Africa was 57%. For the same year, the net attendance ratios for primary and lower secondary education were 76% and 47% respectively. These figures are correlated in that delayed school enrolment increases the risk of dropout which in turn shortens the school life expectancy for children. These observations are the motivation behind this research. By writing this thesis, three substantive research questions have been explored: (1) what is Sierra Leone’s progress towards achieving universal basic education (2) what are the determinants of school attendance at basic education in West Africa and (3) does living in a community with more educated mothers enhance children’s school attendance at basic education. Three countries have been used: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana. Sierra Leone and Liberia have been used to reflect poor and post-conflict states with transitional and premature education systems respectively. Ghana is representative of middle income and politically stable countries with more advanced education systems in the region. The most recent Demographic and Health Survey for the three countries are used for analysis.

Four empirical chapters are presented. The first chapter addresses research question 1. It applies simple statistical analyses to United Nations indicators for evaluating progress towards universal education. The second and third chapters answer the second research question and the final chapter answers the third research question. These three chapters employ multilevel statistical techniques to model the determinants of primary and junior secondary school attendance. The second empirical chapter focuses on the interaction between household and community poverty with the aim of investigating whether the attendance of poor children suffers more than affluent children by residing in a poor community. The third empirical chapter explores the determinants of junior secondary school attendance with the aim of deducing whether there are significant differences between post-conflict countries and more stable countries. The final chapter focuses on the relationship between mothers’ education and school attendance at basic education, arguing that living in a community with a high proportion of more educated mothers enhances the likelihood that a child will attend school, irrespective of the child’s background.

The results from the first chapter show that the realisation of UBE is distant in Sierra Leone. There has been a decline in the number of children entering primary education; junior secondary education has however doubled although it remains low at 21%. Children from the poorest households are the most excluded from school followed by rural children and girls. The results from the second empirical chapter showed that there is a significant interaction between household and community poverty where poor children living in poor communities experience a greater depreciation in their probability of attending school than more affluent children who live in the same deprived environment in Sierra Leone. No such interaction was found in Liberia or Ghana. In the third empirical chapter, the sex of the child, agricultural livelihood within a community, household wealth and area of residence were significant in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Ghana, sex of the household head and maternal orphanhood were significant. The hypothesis of the relationship between mothers’ community education and children’s school attendance for the final empirical chapter was confirmed.

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More information

Published date: December 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Social Statistics & Demography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 366479
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366479
PURE UUID: 8916a281-aebd-4d0c-8e67-52d9cae9f3e6
ORCID for Nyovani Madise: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2813-5295

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Oct 2014 11:33
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:06

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Contributors

Author: Mamusu Kamanda
Thesis advisor: Nyovani Madise ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Sylke Schnepf

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