Education And Literacy
Nearly two-thirds (63.6%) of the population aged 15 years and older are literate, 46.4 per cent literate in both English and a Ghanaian language. The proportion of illiterate is 36.4 per cent of the regional population. The level of literacy is higher for males (73.5%) than for females (54.4%).
There is a considerable variation in the literacy levels among the districts. For example, in the Afram Plains District, which has the highest illiteracy level among the districts, almost two out of every three females (65.9%) are illiterates.
The next highest illiteracy rate for females is in the Manya Krobo (55.5%), followed by the Yilo Krobo Districts (54.1). Inability to read and write is lower for males than for females in the districts. The Afram Plains District has the highest illiteracy rate (50.0%) for males, followed by males in the Fanteakwa District (33.7%). The least illiteracy level is in the New Juaben municipality where illiterates constitute 19.0 per cent of the adult population.
Of a population of 1,739,535, aged six years and older in the region, 30.6 per cent have never attended school. The proportion with Middle or JSS education is 30.1 per cent, while 25.5 per cent have primary education. Only 2.0 per cent have reached the tertiary level. The level of educational attainment for both males and females varies. Of the male population, six years and older, 24.0 per cent have never attended school, compared with 37.1 per cent for the females.
The level of educational attainment across the districts shows that slightly more than half of the population (51.9%) of Afram Plains, the highest in the region, have never attended school. The situation improves slightly in the Manya Krobo District (38.1%) and better still in the New Juaben municipality (16.0%). The New Juaben municipality has the highest percentage (35.8%) of those who attained Middle/JSS education while the Afram Plains has the least percentage (18.4%).
The Birim North has the highest percentage for primary school attainment, (28.9%) followed by the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar district (27.2%); the lowest in the Afram Plains (18.4%). Which also has the highest percentage (56.2%) of females who have never attended school, compared with 48.3 per cent males. The New Juaben municipality has the lowest percentage of males (10.8%) and females (20.8%) who have never school.
Current School Attendance
Of the total enrolment 513,068 six years and older, in schools in the region, 62.4 per cent are at the primary level, 23.1 per cent at the Junior Secondary School and 6.9 per cent at the Senior Secondary School levels. It becomes immediately clear that there are serious distortions at the various levels. Should all the pupils at the primary schools qualify to enrol in the Junior Secondary Schools; the existing schools at the JSS level should run 3 shifts a day to accommodate them.
This attests not only to the stiff competition at the points of entry to the JSS, SSS levels as well as at the tertiary level but also accounts for the significant proportion of students who terminate their education at the primary and JSS levels.
The pattern of pupils/students, in the lower grades, competing for fewer places at the higher levels is reflected in all the districts. The differences are that there are better opportunities for those districts, which are better endowed with social amenities.
For example, in the New Juaben municipality those in primary school, 51.1 per cent of the school population, have to compete for 25.1 per cent of places at the JSS level while the JSS students also have to complete for 11.4 per cent of places at the SSS level. This contrast with the situation in Afram Plains, where 66.5 per cent of primary school pupils have to compete for 15.0 per cent and 7.6 per cent of places at the JSS and SSS levels.