Good housing is one of the basic requirements of man. An appropriate house provides protection from unfavourable natural conditions, such as inclement weather, and defence against disturbing hostile forces (e.g. robbery) or various nuisances (e.g. pests and rodents). A properly built house also provides privacy and comfort in an enclosed environment for the individual household. Housing condition therefore constitutes an important parameter for measuring welfare in a country or community.
The stock of housing units in the region has witnessed a sturdy growth since 1960, increasing by 73.0 per cent in the 1960-1970 period, 43.2 per cent in 1970-1984 and 86.6 per cent in the 1984-2000-intercensal period. Brong Ahafo ranks among the regions with the highest growing housing stock build-up in the country (Ghana Statistical Service, 1995, p. 229). With a rate of increase in housing stock (5.4% annually) higher than that of population (3.2% a year) and household formation (2.8%), both the population per house and household per house reduced considerably between 1984 and 2000
A total of 216,275 residential houses, which includes all types of shelter used as living quarters, such as flats, apartments, huts or a group of huts enclosed as a compound, kiosks, shipping containers and tents.
The region has 9.9 per cent of the total stock of residential houses in the country. Being predominantly rural (63.4%), the region has 71.1 per cent of residential houses in rural settlements.
Sene has the smallest household membership per house whilst Sunyani and Berekum (the most urbanised districts) the highest. There is a negative correlation between the household per house and the proportion of rural settlements in the region. That is, districts with a large proportion of rural households have lower household per house ratios. Sene again has the lowest population per house ratio, while Jaman District has the highest.
Type of Dwelling
Rooms in compound houses are the predominant occupied units by households in most districts, except Kintampo (31.8%) and Sene (41.4%) where the separate house is the predominant dwelling unit. Jaman (62.1%) and Berekum (59.8%) have the highest proportion of households occupying rooms in compound houses, with four districts (Sunyani, Tano, Wenchi and Techiman) having between 50.0 per cent and 60.0 per cent of households occupying such units.
Flats and apartments are used more in Sunyani (4.6%) than in any other district. Except for Berekum (3.4%) and Asunafo (2.1%), all other districts have less than 2.0 per cent of households occupying flats and apartments. The use of huts as occupied units is most common in Sene (because of the large rural settlements) while Sunyani and Berekum (the most urbanised districts) have most of the improvised homes (kiosk/container). Tents are the least used occupied units.
House Ownership Status
Many planners are interested in the tenure status of households occupying living space. A primary distinction between owner-occupied dwellings and others would be particularly meaningful for housing programmes in general.
Proportionately, household members own more occupied dwelling units than any other ownership status in all the districts. In fact, more than half of households in all districts own their dwelling units, with the exception of Sunyani. In Sene, about 4 out of 5 households own their dwelling units. Sizeable proportions also live in dwellings owned by relatives who are not members of households (17%) and other private individuals (15.8%). Private employers also own a recognisable proportion (2.1%). Sunyani, being the regional capital, has 5.0 per cent of dwellings owned by public/government institutions.
The type of material used for constructing various parts of a dwelling unit determines the quality and durability of dwelling unit. The main material for roofing of dwelling units is corrugated metal sheet. On the average, 70.1 per cent of dwelling units are roofed with this material.
Berekum has the highest proportion (94.5%) of dwelling units roofed with corrugated metal, while Sene, Kintampo, and Atebubu have less than 50.0 per cent of their dwelling units roofed with corrugated metal. In these three districts, thatch and palm leaf are the main materials for roofing, ranging from 54.3 per cent in Atebubu to 71.1 per cent in Sene.
These three districts aside, thatch and palm leaf rank second as main material for roofing in all other districts. Roofs made of thatch and palm or raffia leaves have a very short lifespan and require constant replacement almost every year. These roofing materials are also susceptible to fire.
Sunyani has the most significant, though relatively small, proportion (2.7%) of houses roofed with slate or asbestos. The use of this material is now almost non-existent due to its toxicity and carcinogenicity. Cement and roofing tiles, which are a new phenomenon in housing construction in Ghana, have not made any significant impact in the region. All other roofing materials are not widely used in the region.
Cement/concrete (64.2%) and earth/mud bricks (34.2%) are the two main materials used for floors in the region. Cement/concrete, however, is used most in all districts, with the exception of Sene where earth/mud bricks (51.6%) is the main material used for floors. Cement/concrete as material for the floor is used in about four out of five houses in Berekum and Sunyani. For all other categories of floor material, only a small proportion of dwellings use them.
The use of available inexpensive but non-durable material for building, especially in the rural areas, reduces the lifespan of houses, which either collapse easily during rainstorms or fire outbreaks or become death traps. The advantage, however, is that it gives rural dwellers a place of abode, where other sources of housing are either not available or unaffordable. Unfortunately, several attempts over the years to produce relatively more affordable but quite durable materials such as clay bricks, improved landcrete and pozzolana, have not been readily accepted by the population.
Household Facilities And Amenities
Information on household facilities and amenities give clear indication of how accessible certain basic facilities and necessities are, to communities.
Room For Occupancy
The average household size for the region is 5.3 persons. A look at room occupancy per household gives the impression that there is congestion in rooms. One-room occupancy for a household is the predominant feature in all districts (except Sene), with Sunyani having more than half of households occupying single rooms. The situation in Sunyani may be attributed to the fact that 73.8 per cent of households live in the urban areas where rent charges are high. Renting more rooms, therefore, would be out of reach for many households and this compels them to live in kiosks and tents.
Berekum (with a large urban population), also has a significant proportion of households, 46.4 per cent, occupying single rooms. Nine other Districts have more than 30 per cent but below 40 per cent of households occupying single rooms. Sene (25.8%) and Atebubu (28.9%) are the only districts with less than 30 per cent of household in single rooms. These two are also the only districts with about 40 per cent of households occupying between 2 and 3 rooms.
Main Source of Lighting
Information on the distribution of dwelling units, households and persons in living quarters by type of lighting is no doubt useful for planners as an indication of areas to be covered by the extension of community lighting system in the future. This, cross-classified with income levels, can go a long way to help provide the best and affordable energy type for the community.
With the exception of Sunyani (63.6%), Techiman (52.6%) and Berekum (61.7%), where main source of lighting is electricity, the kerosene lamp is the main source of lighting for the rest of the districts. More households use the kerosene lamp in Sene than any other district. The type of houses would even be a hindrance to rural electrification. There is a correlation between urbanisation and the use of electricity. For all the districts with more than half of the population living in the urban areas, electricity is the main source of lighting. Thus, Sunyani, Berekum and Techiman, all highly urbanised districts, have high proportions of households using electricity.
Solar energy is the least source of lighting, and is used in only three districts, Berekum, Nkoranza and Tano, where just 0.1 per cent of the households use it. Even though the initial capital outlay can be high, solar-powered lighting system can, in the long run, become the most economical way of extending electricity for lighting and non-industrial use to the rural areas, especially facilities like hospitals, clinics and schools.
Room Occupancy Per Household (sleeping room) By District
The kerosene lamp (63.6%) and electricity (35.5%) are the main sources of lighting for households in all districts. Each of the other sources of lighting is used by less than 1.0 per cent of households in each district. It is only in Tano, Sunyani, Berekum, and Techiman that the proportion of households using electricity exceeds the regional average.
Main Source Of Drinking Water
Sources of water are of great concern to every nation, because, not only is water a necessity but a source of many diseases (water borne diseases). The supply of potable water (that is, treated water), is closely connected with sanitary conditions of living quarters, and is particularly essential for the prevention of communicable diseases, as well as cleanliness and general comfort of the residents.
At the regional level, nearly half of households have access to potable water (defined as pipe-borne water and borehole), 15.6 per cent use the open well and the remaining 35.6 per cent use other sources, such as river, stream, rainwater and dugout. Provision of potable water, at the district level, follows to some extent, the pattern of urbanisation of the districts. The percentage using potable water is higher than 60 per cent in four districts, Berekum (75.0%), Jaman (69.9%), Sunyani (69.3%) and Tano (60.5%). The percentage is higher than 50 per cent in three districts, Wenchi (57.4%), Dormaa (56.6%) and Techiman (53.1%).
The high proportion of households that have access to potable water is directly related to relatively high proportion of boreholes. In fact, the high proportion of boreholes in Jaman (62.3%), Sene (40.3%), Berekum (35.9%), Wenchi (33.0%), Nkoranza (29.2%), Tano (26.9%) and Asutifi (24.7%) account for the relatively high proportion of households in these districts having access to potable water. The low level of use of potable water in the districts is compensated for by the use of the well, which is generally a safer source of water than the natural sources, such as the river, stream and rainwater.
Stagnant water from dugout is considered the worst of the water sources, and about one-tenth of households in Sene use water from this source. This source provides water for livestock, which at times drink and swim directly from it, posing serious health hazards if the water is not boiled before drinking.
Areas where streams, rivers and dugouts are major sources of water have serious implications on the health of the households. For example, guinea worm cases are high in Atebubu, Kintampo and Sene. These three districts contributed to 97.0 per cent in 2000 and 95.0 per cent in 2001 the total guinea worm cases in all the 11 endemic districts in the region (Ghana Health Service, 2001). Cholera outbreaks are prevalent in Atebubu, Asunafo and Sene. These three districts had case specific mortality rates (the number of deaths from specific diseases during a defined period) of 5.4 per cent in 2000 and 8.6 per cent in 2001 for cholera cases. Buruli ulcer cases are found mainly in communities along the Tano River.
Space for cooking is well provided for the 342,695 households in the region. At the regional level, three types of cooking facilities, separate room for exclusive use of the household (29.7%), open space in the compound (22.2%) and separate room in the compound, shared with other households (21.4%), account for 73.3 per cent of cooking facilities. These are distantly followed by the use of a structure with a roof, without a wall (8.6%) and cooking on the veranda of a room (7.5%). A small proportion of households (1.9%), however cook in the hall or the bedroom while an additional 1.7 per cent use an enclosure without a roof for cooking; 6.0 per cent do no cooking.
The regional pattern of cooking facilities is reflected in the districts. The separate room for exclusive use accounts for over 30.0 per cent of cooking facilities in five districts, (Asunafo 43.8%), Dormaa (43.6%), Asutifi (36.2%), Jaman (32.5%) and Nkoranza (31.5%). In seven of the remaining eight districts, the separate room for the exclusive use of the household accounts for between 21.3 and 28.6 per cent of cooking space facilities, leaving Atebubu (18.0%), as the only district with lower than 20.0 per cent of household using a separate cooking facility for exclusive use. On the other hand, the open cooking space, in the compound, is the major type of cooking facility in Atebubu (41.7%), Sene (40.7%) and Kintampo (37.5%), followed by Techiman (28.2%), Nkoranza (28.0%) and Wenchi (26.0%). In the remaining six districts, the open cooking space in the compound accounts for between 11.9 and 17.0 per cent in five districts and below 10.0 per cent, in Asunafo (9.8%) and Asutifi (9.6%).
The shared separate room for cooking is highest in Tano (33.5%), Jaman (32.7%), Berekum (31.6%) and Asutifi (30.9%), in which districts its use varies between 30.9 and 33.5 per cent of all cooking facilities. In addition, the shared separate cooking facility accounts for between 20.0 and 24.0 per cent in four other districts, Asunafo (21.7%), Dormaa (22.5%), Sunyani (22.9%) and Wenchi (23.4%). In four of the remaining five districts, the separate shared room for cooking accounts for more than 10.0 but less than 20.0 per cent in Techiman (17.4%), Nkoranza (14.1%), Atebubu (11.9%) and Kintampo (10.6%). It is only in Sene that the proportion of this is very low (4.3%).
The roofed structure without a wall (8.6%), as a cooking facility, is not common in the region. Households cooking in this facility exceed 10.0 per cent but not more than 18.0 per cent in five of the 13 districts and less than 10.0 per cent, varying between 5.2 and 9.8 per cent, in the remaining eight districts.
Cooking on the veranda of the dwelling unit (7.5%) is equally not common in the region. It exceeds 10.0 per cent only in two districts, Techiman (13.5%) and Sunyani (16.0%), and 5.0 per cent in five other districts. The veranda is rarely used for cooking in the remaining six districts with less than five per cent of households, varying from a low of 2.8 per cent in Asutifi to 9.6 per cent in Kintampo. The use of an enclosure without a roof or any other makeshift structure for cooking exceeds 2.0 per cent in only three districts, Asunafo (2.3%), Nkoranza (2.6%) and Sene (5.5%). In view of the importance attached to home-cooked food in the region, it is to be expected that adequate provision be specifically made for a space for cooking meals.
Main Source Of fuel For Cooking
In spite of the promotion of cooking gas, wood still remains the main source of cooking fuel in all districts, with an average of 75.6 per cent of households in the region using wood. For Sene and Asutifi, about nine out of ten households use wood for cooking. Charcoal is the second major source of cooking fuel, used by 17.3 per cent of households in the region, with Techiman (34.2%) having the highest proportion of households using it.
The same district is known to supply large quantities of charcoal to other parts of the country. The use of gas for cooking is significant in Sunyani (7.0%) and Berekum (2.4%) only. The campaign of the government and non-governmental organisations on protecting the forest would be difficult to achieve if affordable materials used for cooking are not promoted to minimize the use of wood and charcoal. Bathing facility
Households in the region are well provided with bathing facilities. Over a third (37.7%) of households have a shared separate bathing facility, a fifth (20.6%) have a bathing facility for exclusive use; over one-tenth use a shared open cubicle (11.6%), a private open cubicle (8.8%) or a bathing facility in another house (7.2%). Although bathing in a river or pond, lake, etc., is almost nonexistent (0.5%) in the region, about one in eight households (12.7%) in the region take their bath in an open space.
The shared separate bathroom is the commonest (37.7%) bathing facility in each district. It accounts for over a fifth (20.0%) of all bathing facilities in each district, varying between 51.4 per cent in Berekum to 22.6 per cent in Sene.
The own bathroom for exclusive use, which is the second commonest bathing facility in the region, varies between 20.0 and 27.8 per cent in six districts, and from 15.8 to 19.8 per cent in the remaining seven districts. There is no district in the region with less than 15 per cent of bathrooms owned by households for their own exclusive use.
There are only four districts, Sene (13.2%), Asunafo (13.1%), Asutifi (11.4%) and Kintampo (10.3%), where the private open cubicle accounts for more than 10.0 per cent but not exceeding 14.0 per cent of bathing facilities. In seven of the remaining nine districts, the private open bathing cubicle accounts for between 7.2 and 9.9 per cent and below 5.0 per cent in Jaman (4.7%) and Berekum (4.5%).
The shared open bathing cubicle, as the private open bathing cubicle, is not common in the region. It varies within the narrow range of between 10.9 and 15.4 per cent in nine of the 13 districts. In the remaining four districts, Berekum (9.8%), Asutifi (9.4%), Dormaa (8.9%) and Jaman (8.7%), this category of bathing facility accounts for less than 10.0 per cent of bathing facilities.
Household members bathing in another house is equally not common in the region. Household members bathing in the open space (12.7%), which makes up about one out of every eight households, is rather commoner than bathing in another house (7.2%). It is only in one district, Atebubu (20.5%), where members of one out every five households bathe in the open. Of the remaining 12 districts, seven have between 10.0 and 19.9 per cent of households whose members bathe in an open. In the remaining five districts, Sunyani (9.5%), Asutifi (9.3%), Berekum (8.9%), Dormaa (7.7%) and Jaman (5.9%), lower than 10.0 per cent of households bathe in an open space.
Despite the fact that households in the region are relatively well provided with bathing facilities, much more remains to be done to reduce the rather high proportion (7.2%) of households and in particular, in Sene (19.9%) and Atebubu (20.5%), whose members bathe in the open space.
Information on toilet facilities is also considered important for housing as well as public health policy. Pit latrine inside the dwelling and public toilets, which could be WC, KVIP, pit or bucket, are frequently used toilet facilities in all districts.Where one of these two facilities is predominant, the other comes next. A disturbing fact, however, is evident in Kintampo, Atebubu, and Sene where more than a third of the households have no toilet facility (use the bush or field).
An average of 7.7 per cent of households use KVIP in their homes. The water closet (WC) is not common with households in most districts, possibly because of the need for piped water for its use. Sunyani, where the use of pipe borne water is significant, leads in the use of WCs.
Waste Disposal Facilities
Liquid Waste Disposal
Households in almost all the districts dispose of liquid waste on the street or outside the house. It is only in Atebubu and Sene, where households dispose of liquid waste in the compound, more than on the street or outside the house. All districts have less than 10.0 per cent of their households disposing liquid waste into the gutter, with the exception of Sunyani, where 17.0 per cent of households dispose of liquid waste through this medium. It is also in Sunyani that 2.7 per cent of households dispose of liquid waste through a proper sewerage system; all the other districts have less than 2.0 per cent of their households using the sewerage system to dispose of liquid waste.
The high proportion of persons disposing of liquid waste in gutters in Sunyani, typifies an increasing but unacceptable phenomenon, in virtually all urban towns and cities in the country as a whole. Open drains and gutters normally border roads constructed in these urban places. Instead of serving their intended purposes as storm drains, they have virtually all become receptacles for all types of waste, including solid and liquid waste.
These in turn accumulate stagnant water and serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other household pests. The municipal and metropolitan authorities need to draw up a comprehensive and long-term plan of building proper sewerage systems and connecting all dwelling units to them, to avoid a looming environmental disaster that may prove far more expensive to rectify.
Solid Waste Disposal
The bulk (92.9%) of the solid waste generated in the region are either disposed of in a public dump (70.3%) or are dumped anywhere (22.6%). Two-thirds or more of households in 10 districts dispose of their solid waste in public dumps. The proportions vary from 66.6 per cent in Asunafo to 87.8 per cent in Jaman.
At least 40.0 per cent of households in each of the remaining three districts, Kintampo (55.5%), Atebubu (45.8%) and Sene (41.8%), also dispose of solid waste in a public dump. While almost half of the households in Sene (48.8%) dispose of solid waste elsewhere, other than a public refuse dump, 45.7 per cent of households in Atebubu and 36.7 per cent in Kintampo also dispose of solid waste elsewhere other than a public dump. In addition, over a fifth (20.0%) of households in four districts and over a tenth (10.0%) in five other districts, also dispose of solid waste elsewhere. It is only in Jaman (7.7%) that less than 10.0 per cent of households dispose of solid waste elsewhere.
Burning of solid waste (3.4%) is rather rare in the region, exceeding 5.0 per cent in Sunyani (6.4%), Asutifi (5.2%) and Sene (5.0%). Burying of solid waste (2.4%) is rarer still in the region; the practice does not exceed 4.0 of households in any district.
Disposing of solid waste anywhere, other than the public refuse dump, burning or burying it, can create hazardous and unsanitary environmental conditions. The practice must be guarded against by District Assemblies ensuring that removable public refuse dumps are available at places convenient to households, for disposal of their solid waste.
Medical establishments in the region comprise hospitals that provide both in-patient and outpatient care including sanatoria, mental institutions; clinics that provide out-patient care exclusively, including dispensaries, health centres.
The region can boast of 25 hospitals, 35 health centres, 106 rural clinics, and 54 maternity homes. Government owns more than half of all the health facilities; it totally owns all health centres, and two-thirds of rural clinics. Three-quarters of hospitals and almost all maternity homes, however, are privately owned. Since the private sector is a major partner in the development of the country, analysis of health facilities will be done on the type and distribution rather than ownership. Some of the private hospitals, particularly mission hospitals, have government-paid/seconded personnel.
The Sunyani District has the highest number of health facilities. It has a quarter of all the hospitals in the region. A new-state-of-the-art hospital, one of only three recently built, is now in operation. The old regional hospital has become a district hospital. The only district that has no hospital is Sene, while Jaman has the highest number of rural clinics and maternity homes.
Though it is not possible to have a health facility in every community, the available facilities in the region fall short of the recommended standards with regard to the spread. The Health Ministry recommends a distance of eight kilometres of a facility from a locality.
Tano and Techiman are the only districts where a hospital is located within 10 kilometres of about half of the localities. The remaining districts have less than 40.0 per cent of localities within 10 kilometres of a hospital, with Sene which has no hospital, having 7.6 per cent of localities and Dormaa with 6.2 per cent of localities within 10 kilometres of a hospital. For these two districts, hospitals are more than 30 kilometres away from more than half of the communities.
Clinics are more accessible than hospitals in terms of distance. This is a reflection of the stock of these facilities in the region. With the exception of Kintampo, Atebubu and Sene, which have less than 40.0 per cent of localities within a 10-kilometre radius of a clinic, the remaining districts have more than 50.0 per cent of localities within a 10-kilometre radius of a clinic.
The services of traditional healers are available in many localities in the region. Over 90.0 per cent of localities in Kintampo, Atebubu, and Sene have traditional healers. Berekum has the lowest proportion of about 38.0 per cent of localities having traditional healing facilities within the localities, while the rest have more than 50.0 per cent. In localities where there are no traditional healers, accessibility to the nearest healer for over 90.0 per cent of localities is within 10 kilometres.
The current health facilities and their spread cannot support an effective health insurance scheme. Traditional healers, who are more accessible in the localities, are not covered by the national health insurance scheme. On the other hand hospitals which are covered by the scheme are so far away from localities that they are not likely to be well patronised.
The data on health manpower comprise those statistics regarding physicians, dentists and nurses who provide the large proportion of direct services, and members of the allied health profession. In many actual instances, the statistical data of this kind are obtained from administrative records regularly collected by health authorities in addition to some data gathered from censuses and surveys.
There is a shortfall in all categories of manpower requirement for the region. There is a serious shortage of personnel providing direct health service, with pharmacists being the worst affected (50.0%), followed by nurses (21.5%) and doctors (17.6%). Quality health service cannot be provided under these conditions and will lead to loss of confidence in orthodox health care, which will in turn affect the health insurance scheme. Postal and telecommunication facilities.
All districts have full postal offices with the exception of the Sene. The highest number of full postal offices in a district is three and this can be found in five districts. Two other districts have two postal offices each; the remaining five districts have one each. All districts have postal agencies, with Jaman having the highest and Kintampo the lowest. Berekum, Kintampo and Sene have the least number of postal facilities.
Accessibility to postal services, in terms of distance to post offices and postal agencies, is very poor. Not more than 2.0 per cent of localities in the region have postal facilities. Dormaa, Nkoranza, Kintampo, Atebubu, and Sene have less than 40.0 per cent of localities within 10-kilometres of a postal facility. In fact, postal services are more than 30 kilometres away from more than 50.0 per cent of localities in Sene. Berekum has the best spread of facilities, with no locality being more than 25 kilometres away from a postal facility.
Three districts (Sene, Jaman and Asutifi) have no direct telephone facilities. All the other district capitals are connected to Ghana Telecom lines. Two mobile phone services, Areeba and One Touch, are available in some towns in the region. Tele-density for the region (0.1) is far below the national figure of 0.7, and almost insignificant if compared to that of Greater Accra region (3.2). Telecommunication facilities are not easily accessible to many localities in the region; in fact, it is worse than postal services.
The principal mode of transportation in the region is by road. The region’s road network consists of highways, urban roads and feeder roads. The villages and small towns are connected to each other by feeder roads, while small towns, large towns are connected by highways. The Department of Urban Roads provide the road network within the urban centres. Sunyani, the administrative capital, is the focal point of most of the roads in the region.
The region at present has 1,894.9 kilometres of major roads, which represent 13.1 per cent of the total network of major roads in the country, thus making it the region with the second widest network of major roads after Northern Region (regional Coordinating Council, 2001).
About a third (33.1%) of the region’s major roads are paved, this forms 11.1 per cent of the national paved or asphalted roads. These include the Kumasi-Dormaa Ahenkro road, the Yamfo road, Sunyani-Techiman road, Techiman-Nkoranza road, Techiman-Wenchi road and Kumasi-Yeji road. In addition to the major roads, the region has the longest network of feeder roads (3,463.0 kilometres). In terms of total road network, therefore, the region has the longest road network in the country, measuring 5,357.9 kilometres, followed by the Northern Region, with 5,170.8 kilometres, the Ashanti Region with 4,782.2 kilometres and Western Region with 4,452.4 kilometres.
The land area of the region is the second largest after Northern Region. The length of the road networks in the two regions is therefore a reflection of the land areas and not necessarily the required road capacity of the regions, neither does it reflect the quality of roads.
Travelling by boat is the principal mode of transport for communities along the Volta Lake. Yeji is the largest community on the Brong Ahafo side of the Volta Lake and has a port facility for cargo and passenger boats in addition to being the southern terminus of the ferry crossing connecting to Makango and Salaga in the north.
There is an airport at Sunyani which connects the region by air to Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi, but does not play a major role in the transportation system. Indeed the airport has not operated commercially for a long time and only military aircraft currently use the facility.
A distinction is often made between public schools, which are operated by a public authority, and private schools, which are maintained or administered by private bodies. The origin of financial resources is not always the main criterion, since private schools may have financial support from public authorities in many instances.
Wenchi has the highest number of pre-schools, with Asunafo leading in the number of primary schools. Ideally, the number of primary and junior secondary schools should be nearly the same to absorb all pupils who complete the six-year primary school level. In reality, however, the number of JSSs is about half that of primary schools in all districts, except in Sunyani and Berekum where the difference is relatively small.
The number of senior secondary schools is not encouraging. The region can boast of only 60 senior secondary schools as compared to 769 junior secondary schools. Sunyani has the highest number of secondary schools, (88 JSS and 8 SSS) with Sene (22 JSS and 2 SSS) having the least.
There are three Teachers’ Training Colleges in the region, located in Atebubu, Berekum, and Bechem. There are also 24 Technical, Commercial and Vocational institutions, all privately owned, as well as three specialised schools and one Polytechnic. Kintampo has the highest proportion (30.6%) of localities with primary schools within the locality, followed by Sene (27.4%) and Atebubu (24.4%). On the other hand, these same districts have the highest proportion of localities more than 30 kilometres from the nearest primary school.
Most of the localities (more than 50.0%) in the remaining districts are between one and five kilometres away from the nearest primary school. More localities are further away from junior secondary schools than primary schools in all districts.
With around 50.0 per cent of primary schools not having a corresponding junior secondary school, many children who out of necessity have to change schools between primary and Junior secondary are sometimes forced to drop out of school because of the distances they have to travel to have access to a school. In the case of senior secondary schools, more than 70.0 per cent of the localities are over 10 kilometres away from the nearest facility, but since most of such schools have boarding facilities, distance is not so much a factor as affordability and quality in determining whether a child attends a senior secondary school and where.
On the average, there are five teachers to a primary school in the region, falling short of one teacher from the ideal number of six teachers to a primary school, the standard set by the Ghana Education Service (GES). The only district that meets this standard is Tano. Asunafo, Berekum, Kintampo and Atebubu have a teacher/primary school ratio of 4, and Sene has a ratio of 3, the worst in the region. All the remaining districts have a ratio of 5. In the districts where the teacher/school ratio falls below the standard, effective teaching will be lacking since teachers have to leave one class to attend to others. Lack of teachers in Sene may be a reason for the low current school attendance, low school attainment and high illiteracy.
In the JSS category, the regional average of teacher/school ratio is 6, which is slightly above the national standard of 5. This is however far from the ideal because in JSS, in addition to general subject teachers, each school is expected to have specialised teachers for subjects such as French, Ghanaian languages, Mathematics, Vocational Skill, Science and Technical Skills.
Sunyani has the highest teacher/school ratio (26) for the SSS category, with Asunafo the lowest (11). For SSS, a teacher without a diploma in education is classified as untrained even if he/she graduated from the university or other tertiary level institution. The overall picture for the region shows that pre-schools have the largest proportion of untrained teachers (82.7%). Apart from Techiman (50.7%), Sunyani (39.6%) and Tano (22.0%), the remaining districts have less than 15.0 per cent of trained teachers in the pre-schools. Sene has the lowest proportion (1.6%) of trained pre-school teachers.
The proportion of untrained teachers (30.8%) in primary schools in the region is far less than that of the pre-schools. Berekum, Tano, Techiman and Sunyani have more than 90.0 per cent trained primary teachers. The remaining districts, except Nkoranza (27.8%), have untrained primary teachers above the regional average, with Asunafo having the highest (55.2%).
The JSS level has the lowest proportion of untrained teachers in the region. As with the primary, Berekum, Tano, Techiman, Sunyani and Atebubu have less than 10.0 per cent untrained teachers. Nkoranza and Asutifi have proportions of untrained JSS teachers between 15.0 and 20.0 per cent, with the remaining districts having proportions above 20.0 per cent. Exceptionally, all SSS teachers in Tano are trained. More than 30.0 per cent untrained teachers can be found in Atebubu, Sene, Asutifi and Kintampo.