Exploring the Capacity of Formal School Governing Bodies in Rural Ghana: The Case of Effutu Municipality

Robert Andrews Ghanney


As part of wider social and democratic governance reforms, the Government of Ghana embarked on a process of education decentralization in 1987 (GOG, 1996). The central focus of this policy was the prescription of community participation in the affairs of school in each locality (Essuman & Akyeampong, 2011). Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy recommends the formation of School Management Committees (SMCs), governing bodies and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) by individual schools to work hand-in-hand with the head teacher and guide him/her in school policy formulation (GES, 2001). Capacity has become a topical issue in decentralisation discourse and critics of the latter have argued against the lack of technical and human resource availability at the local level (De Grauwe et al., 2005; Robinson, 2007), but unfortunately, research on capacity of formal governance bodies appears to have been less undertaken in poorer rural areas in Ghana. In recognition of this, the study sought to understand the nature and quality of capacity and how that impact on participation in school from the perspectives of SMCs in two rural school communities in Effutu Municipality. The study adopted qualitative methods of focus groups, supported by some initial documentary analysis to gain understanding of school governance from key stakeholder perspectives. The findings revealed that although formal school governing bodies existed in the rural study communities, many of the SMC members lacked human and material resource to engage fully in school management. The study recommends capacity building and training programmes to enable the SMC members upgrade their knowledge and skills in school governance.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v1n2p153


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