2015 | Ghana
A spatio-temporal analysis of academic performance at the Basic Education Certificate Examination in Ghana
Over the last decade, Ghana has more than tripled investment in its basic education system. Consequently, the country has made huge educational gains, primarily in providing universal access to basic education. However, many stakeholders are worried that academic performance is lagging because of disproportional attention to accessing basic education. Discussion of these concerns is hampered by ongoing disagreement about the true trajectory of academic performance at the basic education level and the widespread nature of students’ lagging academic performance. In part, this disagreement stems from the failure of empirical studies to comprehensively examine trends in academic performance standards at the basic education level by concurrently considering a geographical and longitudinal perspective. Thus, this study examines the spatio-temporal trends of academic performance at the junior high school level since 2009 by using multilevel growth curve modeling, spatial statistics, and district-level longitudinal data. Results reveal 3 statistically distinct trajectories of academic performance: erratic, accelerating, and decelerating changes. Results also show that rural–urban gaps explain 31% of the performance trajectories, a trend which is expected to persist in the long term. In addition, we find extreme variations in academic performance within rural areas. Given the varying trajectories and geographical variability in academic performance, we suggest a localized approach to addressing challenges of low academic achievement at the basic education level in Ghana.
Ansong, D., Ansong, E.K., Ampomah, A.O., & Afranie, S. (2015). A spatio-temporal analysis of academic performance at the Basic Education Certificate Examination in Ghana. Applied Geography, 65, 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.10.003