Background of study
Education is a fundamental human right that is protected by state legislation and national constitutions. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted half a century ago, established the right to free basic education by saying, “Everyone has the right to education.” At least in the early and fundamental stages, education should be free. “Elementary education will be mandatory” (James, 1987). This was reinforced by subsequent promises at the international, regional, and national levels. The World Conference on Education for All (EFA) in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990 was also crucial in defining internationally agreed targets for the provision of education as a fundamental human right. The Dakar Framework for Action, published in 2000, was an international assessment of educational development since Jomtien (Mark and Makundan, 2003).
Ghana’s Education Act of 1961 established a policy of free and obligatory primary and secondary education for all school-aged students. Since Ghana’s independence in 1957, several administrations have endeavored, with varying degrees of success, to offer basic education facilities and opportunities for all children. The government passed PNDC Law 42 in 1983 to amend and strengthen the Education Act of 1961, among other things. The government announced that if we do not provide basic education for as many of our children as possible in order to prepare them for the challenges of this environment, we would merely turn them into misfits and deprive ourselves of the most important resources for national growth (Bening, 1990).
Civil society organizations (CSOs) are a broad category of organized groups that exist in the public realm between the state and the individual citizen. Normally, they are interest groups with varying levels of accountability. The more diverse a society is, the greater the representation of each component of that community. Governments have committed to providing an enabling environment for CSO activities since CSOs are key stakeholders in society. To assist such operations, legislation has been enacted. Teachers, traditional authorities, parents and guardians, policymakers, and civil society organizations are all required to participate in the government’s policy to deliver high-quality primary education (Mwatumu, 2002).
CSOs have played a critical role in a variety of development programs, including training, civic education, rehabilitation, leadership development, environmental protection, promotion of sustainable development, HIV/AIDS support programs, orphan care, legal aid, rights education and protection, and small-scale agricultural support. They have been at the forefront of calls for social justice in development, challenging global economic disorder, campaigning for debt relief for poor countries, and demanding accountability from intergovernmental institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and World Bank, on the one hand, and national and local governments, on the other.
Civil society plays an important role in human development, environmental and human rights protection, democracy, and good governance, according to the United Nations (1997). In this regard, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are very clear. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has acknowledged the essential role of civil society in human development in several studies.
The Ghanaian government (2003) also recognizes the importance of civil society, which includes NGOs and social movements, in development. CSOs have a distinct edge when it comes to assisting the most vulnerable members of poor and distant communities. Their educational activities are designed to complement and integrate with government-sponsored educational programs. They take a strategic approach to program work, focusing on their connection with grassroots groups and their ability to comprehend, document, and convey community-level interests to educational planners and decision makers at all levels. Sharing power, legitimacy, freedom, obligations, and accountability are what involvement entails. It is both a principle and a method for ensuring that as many people as possible are involved in the social change process. It incorporates a strong desire for plurality, tolerance, and dissent, as well as the ability to comprehend and appreciate differences, with transparency as a prerequisite. In all areas of advocacy, it is a critical tool for initiating, informing, and inspiring change (Esman, 1994).
In 2004, the Balogatanga District in the Upper East Region was merged with the Talensi-Nabdam District to become the Talensi-Nabdam District. The district’s formation, combined with the area’s high poverty rate and poor infrastructure, has attracted over ten non-governmental organizations (CSOs), the majority of which have complex programs targeted at improving the quality of basic education. In the Talensi-Nabdam District, organizations like ActionAid, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Equitable Education for All (EQUALL), Community Link, and Bonatadu have education programs targeted at providing and promoting access to quality education. They accomplish this by improving school governance, advocating for female children’s education, tracking educational resources, providing supplementary meals, building school infrastructure, and facilitating community participation in the delivery of basic education.
Statement of problem
In the Talensi-Nabdam District, civil society organizations have been striving to promote and strengthen participation in order to ensure that resources intended for basic education delivery are completely accounted for and used appropriately. They devised programs to increase the involvement and commitment of primary and secondary stakeholders in the delivery of basic education. They create programs that strengthen communities’ ability to articulate and demand excellence, participate in educational improvement efforts, and actively contribute to the success of their local schools.
Despite CSO initiatives, teacher tardiness and absence, pupil absenteeism, retention and enrolment performance (particularly for girls), quality, and engagement in education delivery management remain major concerns. Unaccounted for resources, conflicting management duties at all levels, and inadequate civil society involvement have also resulted from severe management gaps and a lack of clear school performance improvement goals.
The challenge for the government, civil society organizations, and communities is to establish the environment for encouraging and deepening educational involvement in order to promote access to basic, high-quality education. A thorough understanding of the topic necessitates knowledge of the strides made by CSOs in boosting participation in basic education delivery.
This study examines the role of CSOs in encouraging participation in basic education in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, in light of this issue and the significant resources that CSOs have invested in promoting participation.
Objective of study
The following are primary objectives of this study:
i. To examine the nature of CSOs and their functions in promoting the participation of people in basic education delivery;
ii. To analyse the level of participation of key actors in basic education delivery;
iii. To assess the effectiveness of the participation of key actors in basic education delivery
This research questions guides this study:
i. What is the nature and function of CSOs in promoting the participation of people in basic education delivery?
ii. What are the levels of participation of key actors in basic education delivery?
iii. How do CSO programmes promote effective participation of key actors in basic education?
Significance of study
The purpose of this research is to learn more about the impact of CSO efforts on increasing participation in basic education in the Talensi-Nabdam District. The purpose of the evaluation is to gather data on the extent to which CSOs are involved in the promotion of basic education participation. This research is expected to be relevant to basic education providers who are looking to improve the architecture and delivery mechanisms of their programs. The study is supposed to shed information on the operations of CSOs, allowing for additional investigation. It will also be important for policymakers and other basic education players to develop a policy climate that encourages CSOs to participate in basic education delivery in the Talensi-Nabdam District and throughout the country.
Scope of study
This study focuses on examining the nature of CSOs and their functions in promoting the participation of people in basic education delivery. It also seeks to analyse the level of participation of key actors in basic education delivery. Lastly, this study will also assess the effectiveness of the participation of key actors in basic education delivery. This study is Limited to Talensi-Nabdam District Of Ghana.
Limitation of study
Finance,inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.
Definition of terms
Civil Society Organization (CSO) : A civil society organization (CSO) or non-governmental organizaiton (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Typically, they are organized around specific issues, such as the UN pillars of peace and security, human rights, and development.