The low presence of female teachers serving in schools in deprived rural areas is one of the main constraints militating against girls' access and achievement in basic education in Ghana. Studies suggest that low self-esteem among girls is a key factor preventing them from attaining higher levels of education, which can be enhanced through more gender sensitive teaching methods, and the presence of female teachers as role models. This paper investigates the reasons why the majority of Ghanaian teachers avoid -if they can - postings to rural deprived areas and why girls, in particular, are not entering the teaching profession. The study adopts a predominantly qualitative approach, exploring the perceptions of primary stakeholders involved in basic education, including female teachers living in deprived rural areas, girls at upper primary and secondary levels of education and community members. Districts with the lowest percentage of female teachers were selected for the study - where, also, the lowest percentage of girls enter and remain in the basic school system. The paper suggests reasons why Ghanaian girls continue to miss the opportunity to be taught by female role models and why they do not opt to become teachers themselves.
Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge, UK. WP07/08, 19 pp. Also published in Shailaja Fennell and Madeleine Arnot (eds.) (2007) Gender, Education andEquality in a Global Context: Conceptual Frameworks and Policy Perspectives. London: Routledge