Equity in education is when every student receives the resources needed to acquire the basic work skills of reading, writing, and basic arithmetic. While Ghana has achieved near universal access to primary and lower secondary education, the gross enrollment rate in higher secondary education was below 45 percent in 2014, with large disparities in access. In the year 2017, the government of Ghana implemented a free SHS policy on a free access to secondary education for all. This research sought to investigate the implications of the free senior high school policy to educational access and equity in secondary education in Ghana. The document analysis approach was adopted for this study. The findings revealed that the free SHS policy has really increased enrollment figures in secondary schools’ attendance. The researcher recommended that parents, teachers, school administrators, policy analysts and relevant stakeholders have the responsibility to offer alternative proposals and do so in a manner that is constructive and helpful to the policy discourse.
Research contributes new knowledge in the universe of knowledge in many ways but an effective research design is a must. A research design is comprised of several issues, such as, data collection and analysis methods, and techniques. However, research ethics and practical aspects of the context also play a significant role for getting rich data, reliable findings and eventually to generalise the results. This paper narrates the story of the ethical and practical issues encountered during my Ph.D fieldwork. This study demonstrates the ethical issues such as, to maintain confidentiality of the data collected, to make sure of participants’ mental, physical, financial, and professional safety and security. This article further explores the practical issues, for examples, access in the filed, rapport building, informed consent, transport and communication, weather condition of the research contexts, and participant teachers’ training schedule. An analytical approached is undertaken to carry out this research and an assessment has been made that could be of help for other scholars and researchers.
Information and Communication Technology Integration in Higher Education: Inequitable Access in Nigeria (Published)
The study was designed to investigate the availability of Information and Communication Technology facilities among undergraduate students. Descriptive survey method of the cross-sectional research design was used for the study. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 600 from the population of undergraduate students in Rivers state Nigeria. A self-assessment instrument, ICT Facilities Availability Inventory – IFAI, developed by the researcher was used to collect data from the sample. The reliability of the instrument was determined through the test-retest method and a reliability coefficient of 0.82 was obtained. Three experts in the field of Educational Technology and two in Measurement and Evaluation confirmed the face and content validity of the instrument. Six research questions were answered using frequency and percentage while five hypotheses were tested with Chi-Square at 0.05 alpha. The results showed that undergraduate students had more access to laptops and mobile phones and less access to tablet PC and broadband connectivity. Also, over thirteen percent of students do not have access to ICT facilities. There was significant difference found on gender, modes of study, age, level of study and course of study. The conclusion is that there is inequitable access to ICT facilities among undergraduate students.
Assessment of Agricultural Revolving Fund Performance in Rural Uganda (Published)
Access to agricultural credit in rural areas in developing countries is limited and it undermines growth of rural agriculture based economies. The study assessed an agricultural revolving fund performance in terms of access to inputs, repayment for inputs and access to cash loans from farmers’ groups in rural Uganda. Two hundred farmers were interviewed. A structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data which was analysed using bivariate and linear regression analyses. The cost of inputs (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.437), grace period (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.423) and repayment knowledge (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.406) influenced access to inputs. Location (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.209), grace period (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.209) and farmer group experience in savings and credit (R2 = 0.187) influenced repayment for inputs. Interest rate (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.503) and farmer group experience in saving and credit management (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.395) influenced access to cash loans. Majority of farmers were likely to access inputs if their cost was lower, the grace period was sufficient and farmers were well sensitized. Repayment for inputs was more successful for longer grace periods, and where the group had savings and credit management experience. Access to cash loans was influenced by interest rate and farmers’ group experience in savings and credit management. Cost of inputs, grace period, knowledge about the revolving fund, interest rate and farmers’ group experience of saving and credit management influenced the performance of the revolving fund significantly. Agricultural inputs given to farmers should be customized to their income levels to improve repayment, the grace period should be at least one year, highest interest rate should be 10% or lower. Beneficiary farmers’ groups should have five years’ experience in savings and credit management.
This study examined women entrepreneurs’ access to microfinance bank credit in Imo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to: determine the socio-economic characteristics of women entrepreneurs, and determine the amount of credit demanded and the amount of loan accessed by women entrepreneurs from microfinance banks from 2009-2013 and their repayment performance. Hypothesis tested was that socio-economic characteristics of women entrepreneurs do not significantly influence their access to credit. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and logit analytical tools. Data were collected from 80 loan beneficiaries and 71 non-loan beneficiaries selected from Microfinance banks with the aid of two sets of questionnaire. This study identified Microfinance banks as a major source of formal credit to women entrepreneurs with 80.26% of the overall credit requested accessed and repayment performance of 83.41%. Microfinance banks should create incentives to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to credit and loan repayment.
Factors Militating Against Females and Rural Dwellers’ Access To, and Participation in Higher Education in Nigeria. (Published)
The study was a descriptive survey in which Focus Group Discussions were used to get the respondents’ perception on the range of factors that militate against the females’ and rural dwellers’ access to and participation in higher education in Nigeria. The study was carried out in Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) and St. John of God Secondary School (SJGSS), both in Awka, Nigeria. Four research questions guided the study. The population comprised all the lecturers and female students in two faculties (Education and Engineering) of NAU, all the Junior Secondary School class-3 and Senior Secondary class-2 students and teachers of SJGSS as well as Government representatives and a member of Women-Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Anambra State. The major instrument for data collection was a 4-topic interview schedule, while percentage was used for Data Analysis. Findings from the discussions revealed some family, school, society and self-related factors. Some major recommendations made to increase the access and participation of females and rural dwellers in higher education in Nigeria are; provision of electricity in rural areas, provision of adult literacy programme for women and mothers in rural areas, establishing strategies for eliminating teachers’ negative attitude to female students’ potentials, as well as lunching of education campaign for rural dwellers.
REFORMS AND INNOVATIONS IN TEACHER EDUCATION: FACILITATOR OF ACCESS, QUALITY AND EQUITY AS EMERGING ISSUES IN EDUCATION IN KENYA (Published)
Teacher Education Programme (TEP) is a critical component of education in the society. It determines the rate and level of development in any society. This is because the programme focuses on preparation and production of school teachers whose main role is to transform a society with relevant competencies for development. However, due to the dynamic nature of education and society, Teacher Education Programme experiences emerging issues in education. Today in Kenya, and indeed in the whole world, the concerns in education are access to education, quality in education and equity in education. These are current aspirations by all in education but somehow elusive to realise. However, when proper reforms and innovations in Teacher Education Programme are undertaken, it is possible to develop and manage these important developments in education. This paper explores and discusses how reforms and innovations in Teacher Education Programme in Kenya can facilitate the achievement of access, quality and equity in education.