School feeding and educational access in rural Ghana: Is poor targeting and delivery limiting impact?
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Management Consulting & Educ Res
In an effort to address social imbalances and equity in Ghana's education delivery and to achieve her Education for All (EFA) agenda, some pro-poor programmes have been introduced. Among these is the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) that aims among others, at providing safety nets for the poor, increasing school enrolment in addition to boosting domestic food production. While this programme has been implemented since 2005, there is paucity of information on the experiences of beneficiaries and implementers. The GSFP has been designed as a national programme to feed children in public kindergarten and primary schools, based on a single implementation framework. This single implementation framework does not make room for contextualization of programme implementation and allow the tapping into the knowledge base of both the school and the community in making judgments about who is really needy and who is not. Thus, the study sought to explore the experiences of beneficiaries and implementers of the programme within three rural communities in Ghana, using interviews and observations. Challenges of programme delivery, which include prolonged time spent on serving, eating and cleaning up, counter effective teaching and learning and pose a threat to education quality. There are policy conflicts, funding challenges and issues about targeting and sustainability of the programme. These give credence to the need to understand the local dynamics of poverty and how they affect demand for educational access in rural contexts. The paper finally proffers ways in which insights gained from these experiences can contribute to the current discourse on School Feeding Programmes in the context of developing economies. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.