International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Academic Progression Paradox: Socioeconomic Determinants of the Mismatch between Boys and the Girl-Child Education in Rural Ghana
Stephen Ntim

This study investigated the cause of the mismatch in academic progression between boys and girls in rural Ghana as they climb the academic ladder from Junior High School to Senior High School. At primary level, there is gender parity but it begins to dwindle in the case of girls as they go higher. The findings suggest that the principal cause is socio-economic. The more the external locus of control in terms of resources, the likelihood it is for children to leave school to work to contribute to family resources or in the case of girls to resort to premarital sex and unplanned pregnancies precipitating early school exit. In situations, however, where the locus of control of resources is internal, parents are more likely to take care of their children, avoiding the likelihood of risky behaviours. The findings further suggest a synergy between three inter-related factors: a) lower socio-economic status is predictive of dropping out of high school especially in the case of the girl; b) socio-economic constraints increase the probability of learning difficulties and c) the interaction between the lower socio-economic status and learning difficulty tends to exacerbate the probability of dropping out of school in a cultural mindset more favourable to the education of the boy than the girl.

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