""Books, Buildings, and Learning Outcomes" examines the impact of
World Bank-supported educational reforms introduced in Ghana since
1986 and related investment projects in support of basic education.
A nation-wide survey of households, schools, and teachers found
that both the quantity and quality of schooling has improved over
the last fifteen years. Enrolments in basic education have
increased by over 10 percent compared to 15 years ago. And whereas
15 years ago nearly two-thirds of primary school graduates were
illiterate, less than one in twenty are so today. These
improvements in learning outcomes are clearly and strongly linked
to better welfare as measured by higher income, better nutrition,
and reduced mortality.
The gains in educational outputs can be directly linked to
better school quality, manifested in improved infrastructure and
greater availability of school supplies. Today it is the norm to
have one textbook per child for math and English: rather than one
per class as was common before the advent of reforms. Increased
school quality can in turn be linked to the Bank's support which
has financed the construction of 8,000 classroom blocks and
provided 35 million textbooks over the last 15 years. Moreover Bank
support helped sustain initially unpopular reforms, demonstrating
the efficacy of working in partnership with a government committed
to a well-defined sectoral strategy."
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