Statistics on educational attainment help in knowing the present educational levels of adult population as well as anticipated future requirements of educated manpower for various types of economic activity. Such data would be useful for policy makers to plan development and improvement of educational systems on one hand, and to plan economic development programmes in the light of manpower requirements, on the other.
More than two fifths (42.0%) of the population, aged 6 years and older, have never been to school, a very discouraging picture.
Disparity in educational attainment is pronounced among the districts in the region. The proportion of the population that has never been to school is high in all districts but it is much higher in some districts than in others. Thus, more than three fifths of the population of Sene (63.9%) and Atebubu (60.3%), and a little more than half, (57.6%) of the population of Kintampo have never been to school. All the other districts have less than half of their population having never attended school, with Sunyani having the lowest proportion (27.8%).
The starting age for the first level of formal education in Ghana is six years. Pre-school which comprises nursery and kindergarten for ages below six years is now gaining popularity in the country. The 2000 Census shows that 1.2 per cent of the population older than six years are in pre-school.
The disparity in educational attainment between the sexes is glaring. The proportion of males who have attained the primary through to tertiary level is higher than the proportion of females in all districts. The proportion of females who have never been to school or been beyond pre-school is larger than it is for males. Among the female population who have ever been to school, the highest level attained by the largest proportion is the primary level (23.0%) followed closely by the middle/JSS (21.1%).
However, in six districts, Tano, Sunyani, Dormaa, Berekum, Wenchi and Techiman, the middle/JSS is the highest level attained closely followed by the primary/JSS. The situation for males, in all districts, is that the highest proportion attained is middle/JSS except Kintampo, Atebubu and Sene where the highest level for the largest proportion is the primary school level.
Current School Attendance
The proportion of attending primary school is higher (64.2%) than that for males (60.1%), at the regional level. However, at the middle/JSS, SSS and beyond, the proportion of males exceed that of females at every level. This is also true for all districts except Sunyani and Berekum where female proportions for middle/JSS are slightly higher (24.2%) and (22.9%) than those for males (24.0%) and (22.3%), respectively.
Most information is transmitted in written form and therefore the ability to read and write is very essential. The proportion of the population not literate (48.5%) in the region is higher than the national average (42.1%). The level of literacy for the region in all four-language categories, English, Ghanaian language, English and Ghanaian language and other languages, is also lower than the national level.
Literacy (15 years and older) By District
Sene has the highest proportion illiterate (71.4%) and Sunyani the lowest (32.0%). Sunyani also has the highest proportion of the population literate in both English and a Ghanaian language (51.7%).
The level of illiteracy is higher for females, than for males, in all the districts. Apart from Ghanaian languages, the level of literacy in the other language categories for males is higher than for females. Four districts, Asutifi, Jaman, Kintampo, and Atebubu have a higher proportion of males who are literate in a Ghanaian language than females. Sunyani has the lowest level of illiteracy (26.0%) for males, followed by Berekum (26.3%).
Atebubu and Sene have more than three-fifths of the male population not literate and more than three-quarters of females not literate. Sunyani (51.7%), Tano (46.8%) and Berekum (46.7%) have the highest proportion of male population literate in both English and a Ghanaian language while Atebubu (16.3%) and Sene (15.7%) have less than a fifth of the male population literate in both languages. Sene has only one tenth (10.2%) of the female population literate in both English and a Ghanaian language.