Gender Inequality in Basic Education in the Northern Region of Ghana: Household and Contextual Factors in Perspectives
The Government of Ghana has implemented a number of policies towards achieving quality and gender equality in basic schools in Ghana. These policies include the School Feeding Programme, Capitation Grant and recently the provision of Free School Uniform to pupils in basic schools. This paper examines household factors as well as contextual factors that militate against the effort of government in achieving quality and gender equality in enrolment and attendance in basic schools in the the Northern Region of Ghana. Household questionnaire, interview guides were used to obtain the primary data while the secondary data were sourced via the internet, published dissertations and journals. Socio-economic factors such as the high cost associated with girls’ education, availability of household resources, poverty and high number of market days served as barriers to gender equality in basic education in the Northern Region of Ghana. Socio-cultural practices such as boy child preference, polygyny, fostering, early marriage, menstruation and attendance at festival celebrations are key factors militating against quality and gender equality in basic schools in the region. Vigorous sensitization on the negative effects of these socio-cultural factors by the government and NGOs and the removal of all forms of levies in basic schools as well as strict enforcement of the Free Compulsory Basic Education policy by the government would go a long way to improve access to basic education in the Northern Region of Ghana.