Ever since the appearance of words, literacy has been an important trait in the history of mankind. The ability to read and write a simple sentence with understanding opens the door to a world of new possibilities which no other skills can provide. Therefore, it can easily be seen why literacy is a crucial factor to the development of our world into what it is.
Much information is transmitted in written form and therefore the ability to read and write a simple sentence with understanding is very essential. The 2010 Census collected information on literacy from persons, 11 years and older. Literacy in French Language was also introduced in the 2010 census because Ghana is bordered by French speaking countries and therefore there is the need to know how many of the population are literate in French.
The 2010 census defines literacy to mean the persons? ability to read and write a simple statement with understanding. Literacy therefore is more than the ability to write or distinguish between the various letters of the alphabet and counting numbers. While literacy can be acquired through informal channels, the formal system of education remains the best process for improving access to information and shapes the world view of the individual.
Education simply stated, is the process of gaining knowledge, learning forms of proper conduct and acquiring technical competency in a specific field. It involves cultivating the mind and instilling values that enable an individual to distinguish between the right and the wrong. Education in the census is, however, referred to full time education in an educational institution such as, Nursery, Kindergarten (Pre-school), Primary, Junior Secondary, Junior High School, Middle, Senior Secondary, Senior High School, Secondary, Vocational, Commercial or Technical, Teacher Training College, University or similar type of school where a person spends or has spent at least four (4) hours a day receiving general education in which the emphasis is not on trade training. The definition excludes night schools, trade schools such as Catering school, Floral school and on-the-job training by establishments. Formal education is divided into phases in Ghana starting from pre-school, continuing to the post graduate level. Investment in human resource development starts with education and it is expected that the census data will assist in planning for the improvements in access to education.
This chapter looks at the literacy and educational levels in Upper East. For the analysis on literacy, the concentration is on population aged 11 years and above, however, occasionally tables of population aged15 years and above are discussed to serve as reference to the 2000 Census. In relation to education, population aged 6 years and older is examined in greater detail though the data were collected on population 3 years and older. This is because the actual education starts from primary school where the person could have attained age 6 years.
Literacy Levels in the Region
Population 11 years and above
In the country as a whole the majority (74.1%) of the population aged 11years and above is literate. A large proportion (67.1%) of the population can read and write in English. About one-fifth (20.1%)
can read and write in the English language only while 53.7 percent of the population can read and write in at least one Ghanaian language.(Ghana Statistical Service May,2012).
The situation in the Upper East Region is significantly different. As indicated in Figure 7.1, less than fifty percent (47.5%) of the population 11 years and above are literate. About one in three (32.0%) is literate in English only and 14.0 percent is literate in English and a Ghanaian language and only 1.0 percent is literate in a Ghanaian language only. Though the Region shares a boundary with two French speaking countries (Burkina Faso and the Republic of Togo), only 0.2 percent of the population aged 11 years and above are literate in French.
A major problem is the relatively high proportion of persons literate in English only compared to Ghanaian language only or literate in English or French and a Ghanaian language. The reason for the high proportion is not far fetched. About fifty percent of the populations are illiterate. The Ghana Statistical Service: Ghana population Data Analysis Report Vol. 2 (2005) suggests that:
In the Northern Regions (including the Upper East Region) the proportion who had the opportunity of schooling may have studied under teachers who were not literate in the Northern languages which mean that there was little choice in learning more of English than languages peculiar to the north. Only recently have many of the northern languages been written up. This has very serious implications for the future development and survival of indigenous languages and culture, which are extremely important for national economic and social development. It has implications for the recently announced policy change to use English as the medium of instruction in all schools with the Ghanaian languages taught just as another subject. 66
Literacy Levels by Districts
Table 7.1 shows that, at the District level, five Districts have the proportions of their population who are illiterate above the Regional average of 52.5 percent. The Districts are; Bawku West (61.0%), followed by Garu Tempane with 60.4 percent, Talensi/Nabdam (58.1%), Bawku Municipal (56.5%) and Builsa (55.8%).
The Districts with the highest proportion of literate population are Bolgatanga Municipal District (54.6%), followed by Kasena Nankana East District (56.3%) and Kasena Nankana West District (50.2%).
In terms of language of literacy, three broad categories have been used in this section. Since mass communication is in English and since instructions in schools are in both English and Ghanaian languages, literacy is classified into;
i. literate in English only
ii. literate in English and Ghanaian language
iii. literate in Ghanaian language only
iv. all others
On the basis of this classification, table 7.1 indicates that in the Region as a whole, about one in three of the population 11years and above (32.0%) are literate in English only and 14.0 percent is literate in English and Ghanaian language. Less than two percent (1.3%) falls into the category literate in Ghanaian language only. The all others category (literate in English and French, and literate in English, French and Ghanaian language) make up only 0.2%.
At the District level, literacy in English only is above the Regional average of 32.0 percent in the Regional capital District (Bolgatanga Municipal District) where almost one in two (49.6%) is literate in English only, followed by Talensi/Nabdam District (35.1%). Literacy in English and Ghanaian language is twice the Regional average of 14.0 percent in the Kasena Nankana West and Kasena Nankana East Districts (28.1% and 26.4% respectively).
Literacy Levels by Age
Population 11 years and older
The population 11 years and older by literacy status and language in which literate and by age are presented in table 7.2. The table shows that the proportion “not literate” increases with age, reaching about two out of every three for the age group 30-39 and over eighty percent for ages 50 years and older.
Those who can read and write are concentrated in the younger age groups 11-19, 20-29 and 30-39 years. This is to be expected since they are more likely to have access to the schools and other policies introduced by successive governments aimed at reducing illiteracy among the population to the barest minimum.
The proportion literate in English only is twice the Regional average of 32.0 percent for the younger age group 11-19 (61.8%). It is about the same as the Regional proportion for the age group 20-29 (34.6%). The proportions then fell below the Regional average consistently with advancing age from the age group 30-39. All the other language of literacy categories follow the pattern indicated in literate in English only.
Literacy Levels by Sex
Population 11 years and older
In terms of sex, table 7.3 shows that in the Region, 55.4 percent of the male population aged 11 years and older is literate compared to only two out of every five of the females (40.6 percent). The female illiteracy rate of 59.4 percent is higher than the Regional rate of 52.5 percent.
The Regional proportions are low compared to the country as a whole where 80.2 percent of males and 68.5 percent of females are literate. However in both the country and in the Region, literacy is higher among males.
Table 7.3 also shows that 36.1 percent of the male population is literate in English only while 17.5 percent is literate in both English and Ghanaian Language. On the other hand, 28.4 and 10.9 percent of the female population is literate in English only and literate in English and Ghanaian Language respectively.
Literacy Levels by Type of Locality of Residence
Population 11 years and older
Table 7.4 describes literacy status in urban and rural areas and language in which literate. The data indicate that among the population aged 11 years and older in the Region, the urban dwellers are more likely to be literate than their rural folks. About sixty two percent (61.9%) of the urban dwellers are literate in one language or the other.
In relation to literacy status and language in which literate, the urban proportions are higher than the Regional figures. Also, in all the language in which literate categories, except Ghanaian language only, the urban proportions are higher than those of the rural areas. For the category Ghanaian language only, the proportion literate in the rural areas is almost twice that in the urban areas (1.4% vrs 0.8%).
Age-specific literate rates of household heads
The head of household is generally the person who has economic and social responsibility for the household. Literacy of the head therefore is an added advantage in the execution of these responsibilities. Although in the country as a whole, only 21.9 percent of heads of households are literate (31.7% male and 12.9% female) that proportion is three times higher than what pertains in the Upper East Region.
Table 7.5 shows that there is a substantial level of illiteracy among the heads of households in the Region. Less than one in ten heads of households is literate (7.3%). Literacy also varies greatly with age of the head. The highest literacy rate of (13.9%) is found among heads in the age groups 30-39 and 50-59 followed by the age group 40-49 (12.8%). The lowest literacy rate among heads of households falls in the youngest age group 11-19 followed by the oldest age group 70-99 years.
There is a wide variation between the male and female heads in the Region in terms of literacy at all the ages. Following the general pattern of higher male literacy rates, 12.1 percent of the male heads of households are literate compared with only 3.0 percent of the female heads. Literacy rates by age for males and females follow the Regional pattern. The highest rates for males and females occur among age groups 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59 years.
Education has been identified as the foundation of development of the country as a whole. In the 2010 census, full time education is defined as attendance at a regular educational institution where at least four hours of tuition is offered a day. It excludes night schools, trade schools and training on the job. Three interrelated questions were asked on education (i) Ever school attendance which solicits the responses never, now or past, (ii) highest level of schooling attended or attending now, and (iii) highest educational grade completed.
Questions on school attendance apply only to persons aged three years and above. Although the age limit of formal education is six years for primary one, the eligibility for questions on school attendance is lowered to three years because pre-school education has become an important policy initiative in the country. In this report, however, analysis focuses on the school attendance of persons aged 6 years and older.
Ever Attendance School by Sex
Nationally, the 2000 Population and Housing Census revealed that the proportion of the population aged 6 years and above that have ever attended school is 60.4 percent (66.2% of males and 54.8% of females). From the 2010 census data the proportion increased to 76.5 percent (81.7% of males and 71.7% of females.
There is also an improvement in the Upper East Region. However, the gap in ever school attendance between the country and the Region remains very wide. Education and literacy programmes were introduced late in the Northern sector of the country (comprising Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions) as a result of deliberate colonial era policy. According to R.B. Bening (1990), Governor Guggisberg in 1925 promulgated the policy that in the North, education should be limited to Primary six for the general population and only the best should reach standard seven. This policy was followed through out by successive Governors. The colonial office in London supported the policy adding that it was inexpedient for Northerners to attend secondary school. The various Christian Missions, who founded schools in other parts of the country, were prevented from establishing schools in the North. The first secondary school in the North was opened in Tamale in 1951.
As a consequence of this colonial policy, and other social, cultural and economic factors, school attendance has generally been low in the Region.
From 2000 census data only 28.2 percent of the population aged 6 years and older, have ever attended school (33.2 % of males and 23.6 % of females).
Table 7.6 (a) and 7.6 (b) describe the school attendance status of the population aged 6 years and older by sex and type of locality in the Upper East Region.
From the 2010 Population and Housing Census data, the proportion increased about two-fold to 54.2 percent (60.9 % for males and 48.1 % for females). On the whole, more males have attended school in the past and are attending school now than females (Table 7.6 a).
Ever Attendance School by Sex and Locality Type
From the analysis of the data the following significant findings emerged.
i. A substantial proportion of the population aged 6 years and older have never attended school (45.8%) as indicated in table 7.6 (a).
ii. At least twice as many are currently attending school (38.0%) compared to those who attended in the past (16.2%) as indicated in table 7.6 (a).
iii. From Table 7.6 b, it is clear that increased current school attendance compared to past school attendance is evident in both urban and rural areas, and also for both males and females.
iv. On the whole, School attendance in the past (27.3%) and current (39.1 %) is higher in the urban areas than in the rural areas (13.2% and 37.7%).
v. However, there is a very significant growth in current school attendance in the rural areas. The gap between past (27.3%) and current (39.1 %) school attendance in the urban areas is not as large as the gap in the rural areas (13.2% for past and 37.7% for current).
vi. The disadvantaged position of females in relation to school attendance is also clear.
· More females (51.9%) than that of the males (39.1%) have never attended school. This is true in both urban and rural areas.
· Lower proportion of females than males have attended school in the past or are currently attending school in both urban and rural areas.
· Lower proportion of females (14.0%) than males (18.6%) have attended school in the past, and fewer females (34.1%) than males (42.3%) are currently in school.
Past School Attendance by Sex
Highest Level of Schooling Attended
In the Region, for those who attended school in the past, table 7.7 shows that the highest level of schooling attended by two-thirds (69.3%) is basic education comprising Primary (38.0%), J.S.S./J.H.S. (22.2%) and Middle (9.1%).
This proportion is similar to the total country proportion for basic education (71.3%). However twice as many ended at the primary level in the Upper East Region (38.0%) than in the country as a whole (17.6%). Also, for those who have attended school in the past, 53.7 percent of them have the upper level for basic education (Middle or J.S.S./J.H.S.) as their highest level of schooling compared to a smaller proportion (31.3%) in the Upper East Region. This clearly affirms Primary education as the highest level of schooling attended in the Region by most of the population.
In relation to the distribution by sex, in the Upper East Region, there is relatively higher proportion of females (73.9%) than that of the males (65.3%) with Primary, Middle or JSS/JHS as the highest level of schooling. This suggests that, in the past, females were more likely than males to terminate schooling after the basic school level. That is lower proportion of females (26.1%) than males (34.7%) progress to SSS/SHS, Secondary and other higher levels.
At each of these post-basic levels (SSS/SHS, Secondary, Vocational/Technical/Commercial, Post Middle/Post Secondary Certificate, Post-Secondary Diploma, Bachelor Degree, and Post Graduate). Table 7.7 shows that the proportion for males is consistently higher than that for females.
Past School Attendance by District
Highest Level of Schooling Attended
In the Region, primary education is the highest level of schooling attended by those who attended school in the past, followed by JSS/JHS, SSS/SHS and Middle. Table 7.8 shows that this pattern is repeated in each of the Districts although with varying degrees of the proportions. Four Districts that have proportions with primary education higher than the Regional figure of 32.0 percent are Garu/Tempane which has the highest proportion (53%) of the population which attained primary education followed by Bawku West (50.4%) and Talensi/Nabdam (47%). Kasena Nankana West has the highest proportion (25.8%) of the population which attained JHS education, followed by Bongo District (23.6%) and Bawku Municipality (21.1%). The SHS is highest (17.1%) in Bolgatanga Municipality, followed by Builsa District (15.6%).
Current School Attendance
Highest Level of School Attending
Analysis of the data on the school attendance status of the population aged 6 years and older reveal that more people are currently in school (38.0%) than attended school in the past (16.2%).
Table 7.9 shows that of those currently attending school, 7.1 percent are in Nursery and Kindergarten and another 62 percent are in primary school while about one in five are in JSS/JHS. Less than ten percent are in SSS/SHS. Current school attendance at all the other categories, make up only 3.2 percent.
When males are compared with females, there is not much difference at the basic school level up to JSS/JHS. There is also not much difference in the proportions at the Vocational/ Technical/Commercial, Post Middle/Post Secondary Certificate and Post Secondary Diploma levels. At the Bachelor Degree and Post Graduate levels, however, male dominance emerges.
A comparison with the country as a whole reveals that the proportion currently in primary school is slightly higher in the Region (62.4%) than in the country as a whole (54.4%). The Region is almost at par with the country at the JSS/JHS and SSS/SHS levels. The proportion at these two levels in the country is 32.7 percent compared to 28.1 percent in the Region. Pre-school (Nursery and Kindergarten) attendance has also caught up in the Region, enrolling 6.6 percent of the population currently at school compared to 7.1 percent in the country as a whole. At the Vocational/Technical/Commercial and Post Middle levels also, the Region (1.2%) compares favourably with the country (1.3%) However, twice as many are currently at the Post Secondary, Bachelor degree and Post Graduate levels in the country (4.3%) than in the Region (2.1%).
School Attendance (Past and Current)
Highest Level of Schooling Attended/Attending
Table 7.10 merges school attendance (past and current) showing the highest level of schooling attended or attending now. The table shows that in the Region 45.8 percent of the population aged 6 years and older has never attended school. In terms of the highest level of schooling attended or attending the table shows that the highest level of Education for about three out of every ten of the population is primary school. JSS/JHS takes a very distant second position (11.4%), followed by SSS/SHS (5.2%). All the other categories involving higher levels (post middle/secondary certificate, post secondary diploma, Bachelor degree and post graduate certificate) account for only 2.8 percent of the highest level of schooling.
In terms of distribution by sex, the total picture ranking of the highest level of schooling attended or attending is maintained for both males and females. The magnitude of the proportions, however, differs between males and females. There is a very marked difference between males (39.1%) and females (51.9%) who have never attended school. At the Primary, JSS/JHS/SSS/SHS levels, the combined proportions for males (50.5%) are higher than that for females (42.1%). Also at all of the higher levels (post middle, post secondary, Bachelor degree, and post graduate), the combined proportions for males (4.0%) are twice that for females (1.7%).
The table also shows that at the District level, the Districts replicate what pertains in the Region as a whole but with varying sizes of the proportions. The proportion that have never attended school is higher than the Regional figure of 45.8 percent in five out of the nine Districts, namely Bawku West (53.3%), Garu Tempane (51.5%), Talensi/Nabdam (50.1%), Bawku Municipality (49.8%) and Builsa (49.0%). The proportion is below forty percent in only two Districts, namely the Regional capital District, Bolgatanga Municipality (31.2%) and Kasena Nankana East District (38.5%).
In each District, for most of the population, the highest level of schooling attended or currently attending is Primary School level. The proportions range between 28.1% in Builsa District to 33.2 percent in the Bong District. JSS/JHS takes a distant second position with proportions ranging from 7.6 percent in the Bawku West District to 14.8 percent in the Bolgatanga Municipal District. Four Districts have proportions larger than the Regional figure of 11.4 percent. These are Kasena Nankana West, Kasena Nankana East, Bolgatanga Municipality and Bongo Districts.
In all the Districts, SSS/SHS comes third. The proportion that has attended or is attending SSS/SHS is highest in the Bawku Municipal District (9.4%). In the other Districts, the proportions range from 2.8 percent in the Garu/Tempane District to 6.2 percent in the Kansena Nankana East District. The proportions of those who attended or are attending school at higher levels (post middle/secondary certificate, post secondary diploma, Bachelor degree and post graduate) range from 0.9 percent in the Garu/Tempane District to 6.9 percent in the Bolgatanga Municipal District.
The distribution by sex shows that in each District, more females have never attended school than males. Also in each District more males than females have attended or attending primary level. There are more males than females who have attended or are attending JSS as their highest level in the entire District except Builsa District where the proportion of females 10.8 percent is slightly higher than that for males (9.5%).
Again in each District, the combined proportion of those who attended or are currently attending post middle/secondary certificate, post secondary diploma, Bachelor degree and Post Graduate is higher for males than for females.
It is also interesting to note that at all the three major educational progression levels i.e., Primary to JSS/SHS, JSS/JHS to SSS/SHS, SSS/SHS to Post middle and higher levels, there is a very substantial shrinking in the proportions. The almost 30 percent proportions for Primary school level shrank almost 19 proportion points to a mere 11.4 percent for JSS then shrank 6 proportion points from JSS/JHS to the SSS/SHS and again shrank by about fifty percent to 2.8 percent at the post middle and higher levels.
For all the transition levels, the shrinking is almost of the same magnitude for both males and females. The size of the male proportions shrank 21 proportion points from its peak of 32.6 percent at the primary level to 11.8 percent at the JSS/JHS level and by 6 proportion points between JSS/JHS and SSS/SHS. For the females, the peak proportion of 27.4 percent for the primary level shrank 17 proportion points to 10.5 percent at the JSS/JHS level and also shrank 6 proportion points from the JSS/JHS level to 4.2 percent at the SSS/SHS level. Only about fifty percent of those at SSS/SHS level move on to post middle and higher levels.
The rather large proportion of the population that attended or are attending basic school (44.4%) as the highest level in the Region “is not encouraging since the effects of education do not begin to manifest until beyond the basic level” (GSS 2000 Populations and Housing Census, Summary Report of Final Results, March 2002).
The traditional perception of females being more likely than males to drop out of school after primary school level may no longer hold since the downward reduction equally affects both males and females. The reasons for the downward trend with increasing educational level may be poor academic performance, non-availability of sufficient educational institutions at each higher level after primary school or lack of access to institutions due to distance, poverty or other social factors.
Trends in school Attendance
The census results of 1948 indicated that 96 percent of Ghanaians aged 6years and above had never attended school. This had reduced to 73 percent by 1960 then to 57 percent in 1970 and to 44 percent by 1984. But between 1984 and 2000, the percent fell only slightly to 38.8 percent (Ghana Statistical Service Population Data Analysis Report Volume 2, Pg 210, 2005). From the 2010 PHC, the proportion who have never attended school is 23.5 percent.
In the Upper East Region, which became an autonomous Region in 1983, the proportion that never attended school was 82.3 percent in 1984. It declined to 69.4 percent in 2000. In 2010 the figure, for the first time, fell below fifty percent (45.8%).
There have been differences between males and females. In 1984, 75.8 percent of males compared to 88.1 percent of females have never attended school. Sixteen years on, the proportion dropped to 64.0 percent of males and 74.4 percent of females. In 2000 the proportion of males who have never attended school fell to 39.1 percent and that of females was 51.9 percent.
This shows clearly the remarkable improvement in school attendance over the inter-census periods from 1984 to 2010.
Educational Attainment of Employed Persons 15 years and Older
by Sex and Economic Characteristics
In order to establish if there is any association between educational attainment and economic characteristics, two characteristics (employment status and occupation) were selected for this report.
Table 7.11 describes the distribution of the employed population aged 15 years and older in the Region by sex and employment status. The table shows that four categories of employment status predominate in the Region: self-employed without employees (62.1%), contributing family worker (25.1%), and self employed with employees (2.3%). These three categories comprise 89.5 percent of the workers and they are most likely engaged in family based economic activities. The fourth category is employees (7.4%).
Working for someone as an employee within the formal sector (public or private) definitely requires some level of education and literacy. Working as an employee in the informal sector may not necessarily require any level of education and literacy. Thus, employees are more likely to be educated.
The table shows that, with reference to employees, there is a concentration of people with higher education. Only 2.2 percent of those who have never attended school are employees, 6.5 percent of those with basic education are employees and as many as 90.0 percent of degree or higher holders are employees.
The opposite trend emerges with the self employed without employees. Among those who have never attended school, 70.3 percent are self employed without employees and only 4.7 percent of those with degree or higher tend to be self-employed without employees. In relation to the status category “contributing family worker” there is also a concentration of people with lower level of education as found for the self employed without employees.
Examining the same data in a dichotomy of never and ever attended school table 7.12 reveal the influence of education on employment status in terms of concentration between the never and ever attended school.
Date Created : 11/30/2017 5:36:07 AM
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