The ‘Africa Education Watch’ is a three year programme being implemented simultaneously in seven African countries namely; Ghana, Morocco, Niger, Uganda, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The programme is in two phases, first the diagnostic or assessment phase which ends in 2008 and the second phase consisting of awareness-building and advocacy campaigns at national and regional levels over a two year period (2009-2010). The programme is supported by Hewlett Foundation in Washington through Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, Germany.

The main goal of the African Education Watch (AEW) project is to support the design and implementation of education policy reforms using evidence-based information and to address leakages and inefficiencies in the use of resources for primary education financing.

The main objective of the study is to assess resource allocation to primary schools, their use, identification of leakages and an assessment of the extent to which beneficiaries are involved in decisions about the use of resources in primary schools. The second objective is to promote transparency in resource utilization and improvement in efficiency in education spending not only in the study countries but throughout the world.

Genesis of the Project
Past and present governments in Ghana, over the years have demonstrated a commitment to free universal primary education and have used different legislations to encourage access and participation in primary education. Significant among these legislations are Article 38 of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution, the Education Act (1961), Free, Compulsory Universal Basic Education, 1996 (FCUBE) programme and the Education Strategic Plan, 2003.

The most recent policy document on education is the Government of Ghana White Paper on Education Reform 2004; it outlined a portfolio of reforms and objectives spanning the entire education sector, which according to the recommendations were to be implemented from 2007 at the latest and have major targets identified for 2015 and 2020. Among its key objectives, the Government White Paper is to build on the Education Strategic Plan (ESP – 2003 to 2015) commitments and ensure that all children are provided with the foundation of high quality free basic education. The main policy reforms, (as directed in the white paper) that have significant bearing on basic education are: the inclusion of two years’ pre-school to all public primary schools; and a forward shift of the target date for achieving universal basic completion (UBC) from 2015 to 2012, among others.

The Capitation Grant Scheme provides three Ghana cedis (GH¢4.50) per child in each school per annum. Until the introduction of the Capitation Grant Scheme (CGS), public primary schools have no budget of their own with most of them tending to levy parents to meet minor expenses in the schools. The Capitation Grants are used for minor repairs and the procurement of essential teaching and learning materials, Sports and Cultural activities and servicing end of term examinations as well as support to needy children.

A GII analysis of the education sector in Ghana conducted last year prior to carrying out this study, shows a need for continued and intensified monitoring support and also improve its internal management and implementation processes, which are characterized by varying degrees of inefficiencies and malpractices.

This survey, therefore, attempts to scrutinize primary education in Ghana with particular emphasis on leakages in relation to budget appropriations and unearth views about specific policies (Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme) currently under implementation. The uniqueness of the survey lies in the emphasis it places on providing opportunity for education target groups, providers and policy makers to have a ‘second’ chance to reflect on the issues that are perceived to be the best solution to the problems of Ghana’s education system. The information gaps that these surveys will fill include, issues on teacher certification, allocation and utilization of and responsibility for budgetary resources as well as ownership of education institutions and the issues of management. The survey also examines issues of governance, decentralization of education and what it takes to improve quality education. In addition, the survey seeks views as to why free, compulsory and universal basic education continues to be elusive. It is hoped that the study will come out with how to target education interventions and answer questions as to whether the education system is designed to meet national goals or respond to external conditions.

Past Activities
1. As part of the planning phase PM attended a workshop in Senegal
2. Development of sector analysis paper on education march 12, 2005
3. Proposal for the survey
4. Workshop in Accra to discuss the survey instrument
5. A desk study was conducted in preparation for the methodology workshop in October, to gather information on resource allocation to the education sector and the budget process as it affects the education sector.

6. GII hosted a methodology workshop in October, 2007 in Accra that brought together representatives of all local chapters that are participating in the study and staff of the TI-S in Berlin as well as the consultant and a representative of the funder. The workshop deliberated and agreed on the methodology, particularly the sample and questionnaires to be used for the surveys.

7. Desk Study – where information and policies of the Education sector were studied in-depth to understand the system better

8. The sampling method for the main study was also agreed upon and the sample determined. The sample for the main study was selected, comprising fifty (50) schools selected from six districts also selected from three regions. The selected regions and districts are: the surveys were therefore conducted in these district, were information was collected from the targeted stakeholders

• Greater Accra Region, representing the coastal zone;

o Tema Municipal Assembly (Tema), an urban Assembly;
o Dangbe West District Assembly (Dodowa), a rural Assembly.

• Ashanti region, representing the middle forest zone; and,

o Obuasi Municipal Assembly (Obuasi), an urban Assembly;
o Asante Akim South District (Juaso), a rural Assembly.

• Upper East Region, representing the Northern Savannah zone.

• Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, an urban Assembly;
• Kassena/Nankana District Assembly, a largely rural Assembly.

9. Validation workshops for different groups of stakeholders before the report was finalised.

10. Publication of findings in November 2009

11. Dissemination of findings and capacity building workshops on the findings and recommendations as well as training stakeholders on identified areas of weakness relating to the capitation grant, book keeping and school governance.