The Ghana School Feeding Programme, Home Environment and Learning Outcomes

Show simple item record Amponsah, E.A. 2019-10-18T10:48:17Z 2019-10-18T10:48:17Z 2018-07
dc.description PhD. en_US
dc.description.abstract Although School Feeding Programmes (SFP) is seen as an essential aspect of child growth and holistic development, evidence suggests that SFP’s alone cannot determine educational outcomes of school children. Studies have identified a strong relationship between home environment factors and school children’s learning outcomes. In Ghana, the School Feeding Programme targets children from poor and vulnerable households who attend Government public schools. Evidence on school feeding in Ghana tends to be limited to quasi experimental and descriptive studies, which are usually not on a nationwide level. These studies do not examine the impact of feeding on learning outcomes while at the same time considering the effect the child, home and school environment factors have on learning outcomes. Evidence on the effects of SFP on school-age children and learning outcomes in Ghana is scarce and limited to small sample studies. There exists little evidence on the Ghana School Feeding Programme and educational outcomes tested through randomized control trials in Ghana. Likewise, there exists a wealth of evidence on the child, home and school characteristics and how they influence academic performance. Few studies that identified the impacts of GSFP on learning outcomes did not assess the effects of the child, home and school factors on learning outcomes Using a mixed methods approach, this study examines how school feeding and home environment factors influence learning outcomes of public school children in Ghana. Quantitative data for the study was obtained from a randomized controlled evaluation conducted during the period 2012-2016 by ISSER and other institutions (ISSER/NMIMR/PCD datasets). The study uses a child, household, school level and caterer level data for school children between the ages of 3-20 years in Ghana. Qualitative data was collected from key actors of the programme to help draw inferences and understand the underlying effects the programme has on learning outcomes specifically attendance, absenteeism, mathematics test, English Literacy test, Cognitive ability tests. Simple descriptive statistics and the difference-in-difference with covariates model was adopted to determine the association between school feeding, home environment factors and then learning outcomes. The qualitative study identified that coordination among programme actors is weak. This has a direct linkage to the provision of resources required to promote learning. Apart from the Desk Officers who are the main implementers of the programme, the allied officers of the programme, had little knowledge of the processes involved in the programme implementation, and the programme activities. There also existed confusion on the roles of specific officers on the programme, which bred mistrust among implementing officers. Other challenges outlined include delays in payments, poor quality food, limited monitoring visits which were specific to schools located around the district capitals and political interference in the implementation procedure of the programme. The findings also suggest that improving school resources does improve learning outcomes. As such, the coordinating actors must work at improving the relationships and work together to be able to improve school resources. When controlled for the child, home and school effects, Ghana’s school feeding programme reveals some impacts for key educational outcomes such as absenteeism, reduces grade repetition and improves Mathematics test scores. Findings from the study confirm Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, which indicates that the environment a child lives and operates in has an effect on their outcomes. A child's innate abilities can influence the likelihood of a child performing well in school or not. The poor home environment conditions of the children from poor and vulnerable households do not encourage a child to perform well academically. Poor home environment conditions tend to influence the learning outcomes in a negative way, whiles the school environment factors to some extent improve learning outcomes. The findings suggest that home environment factors explain to some extent the learning outcomes of children from poor and vulnerable households on the feeding programme. Parents irrespective of their socio-economic status should be encouraged to take active roles in the education of their children. They play a role in determining the learning outcomes of their school children and must be helped to improve these outcomes. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Ghana School Feeding Programme en_US
dc.title The Ghana School Feeding Programme, Home Environment and Learning Outcomes en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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