This collaborative research study involved researchers from the Centre
for International Education, University of Sussex, UK, the University of
Botswana and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. The study explored the
gender structure of the school environment in a number of Junior
Secondary Schools (JSS) in Botswana and Ghana, and the part that this
played in gender differentiated patterns of retention and achievement.
The two countries were selected for their different gendered patterns of
educational participation and achievement. In Ghana, nationally girls'
enrolment, retention and achievement were lower than boys; in Botswana,
girls' enrolment and retention were marginally higher but achievement
marginally lower. The main interest was to identify in-school culture
and practices that made institutional life a gendered experience, to
trace the effect of these upon retention and achievement of girls and
boys at JSS especially in the core subjects of English, Setswana /
Fante, Mathematics and Science, and to highlight potential areas for
policy intervention in pursuing gender equity in education.
The first chapter is the introduction. The next chapter provides an
account of the research methodology. This is followed by details of the
research questions, research design, sample selection, ethics and
limitations. The latter section, drawn from the reflections of all the
country teams, includes some suggestions for future research design and
collaborative research practice. The subsequent chapter presents the
country data for Botswana and Ghana respectively. These provide the
country overview and then a summary comparison. The full case study
reports, starting with the high performing schools in urban, peri-urban
and rural contexts, then moving to the low performing schools in the
same order of location, are available in Appendices 2&3. Chapter 4
presents the discussion of the findings which includes comparative as
well as country specific comment. Examples of good practice are
elaborated in the final section of the chapter. The report is completed
with Chapter 5, which provides conclusions and policy recommendations.
Educational Paper No. 56, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 638 3, 171 pp.
Gendered School Experiences: the impact on retention and achievement in Botswana and Ghana. Researching the issues 56