Complementary Basic Education Policy in Ghana

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Helpdesk Query:

What are the types of partnerships / MOU / policy choices that governments have made with non-state actors implementing Complementary Basic Education programmes in Africa (W Africa particularly) to expand access to education?


As with many enquiries exploring alternative or different providers of education and types of initiatives that can emerge to plug gaps in access to education, it is common to find a lot of focus in available literature on defining the terminology. Balwanz et al provide a useful paper, highlighted below, that gives comprehensive insight into varying types of complementary education programmes and what is generally understood to constitute such a programme e.g. community, nomadic and village-based schools, NGO-Government partnerships, etc.

Focusing the enquiry on a search for literature in the context of Ghana, a large swathe of resources emerged examining the School for Life programme and its various contextual specificities and successes. More broadly, research in Malawi and Uganda also immediately presented itself.

What is obvious in the literature is that there is widespread agreement on the core issues facing formal/state education systems and on the need for very specific drill-down into the context and needs of disadvantaged and marginalised communities if Education for All can be achieved through providing complementary routes into schooling. However, despite the readily available literature pointing to the CBE programmes that do exist, including their relative performance, and the learnings that can be taken forward for policymakers; what is harder to find, is a more specific examination of how non-state providers can work with state providers in more concrete, operational terms.


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