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PROMOTING EQUITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN GHANA: THE CASE OF UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA

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Title: PROMOTING EQUITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN GHANA: THE CASE OF UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA


1
PROMOTING EQUITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN GHANA
THE CASE OF UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA
WILHELMINA TETE-MENSAH
2
INTRODUCTION
  • Gender equity - a topical issue in the
    educational sector in Ghana and indeed across the
    world.
  • It has been defined and re-defined over the
    years to include issues on diversity, race,
    sexuality and ethnicity

3
  • Gender equity is a human right issue and a
    condition for promoting social justice.
  • Women constitute over 51 of the Ghanaian
    population but remain invisible in the public
    arena.
  • Need to promote equity and to provide even
    playing field therefore paramount
  • Various approaches to promote equity-equip women,
    create equal opportunity, value difference,
    cultural change

4
POLICY PROVISION
  • A cursory look at policy documents reveal that
    very little has been done in terms of specific
    policy to promote equity at the tertiary level.
  • The 1992 constitution (article 172)
  • Ghana government a signatory to several
    conventions on the elimination of discrimination
    against women.
  • There is however a wide gap between these
    policies and what exists in practice

5
  • The only clear policy directive from government
    has to do with equity in terms of access. All
    the public universities are therefore working
    towards achieving a 5050 ratio in terms of
    male/female student enrolment.

6
Higher Education Sector In Ghana
  • Admission to all 6 public universities is by
    examination
  • 10private degree awarding universities
  • 10 Polytechnics awarding Higher National Diplomas
  • These exclude initial Teacher Training and
    Nursing Training Colleges

7
Gender situation in the Public Universities
  • A remarkable feature of the H.E sector in Ghana
    is the under representation of women at all
    levels.
  • In spite of reverse discrimination policies in
    place in all the universities, inequity still
    exists.
  • Absence of clear policy guidelines to support
    rights and promote equity issues.
  • Individual research and involvement in debates on
    gender issues
  • Universities themselves not scrutinised to ensure
    that they put their houses in order
  • Despite the multi-cultural and diverse background
    of staff and students, no systematic auditing of
    facilities has been done to ascertain their
    suitability to various groups, especially women

8
Some statistics
  • University of Cape Coast- female students
    33,Female faculty 10, non-teaching staff 33
  • University of Ghana, Legon- Females constitute
    19.9of entire staff female faculty 18, with
    female students constituting 39.44
  • University of Science Technology -Female students
    28, female faculty 9

9
Some efforts at promoting equity-UG
  • Revision of statutes- to ensure that benefits
    conferred on only women and the physically
    challenged are upheld. One other provision
    mandates the governing council to create and
    maintain an environment that promotes equal
    opportunity for all
  • Office for second pro-vc created to see to
    diversity issues among others
  • Centre for Gender Studies established with a view
    of institutionalising gender and promoting gender
    studies
  • Again, clear policy guidelines to promote equity
    in a systematic manner is lacking

10
  • A few scholarships specifically targeted at women
    exist in all the universities

11
Uew in brief
  • Established in 1992
  • Autonomy in 2004
  • Multi-campus system
  • Amalgamation of 7 erstwhile Teacher Training
    Colleges
  • Vision- become a pre-eminent Teacher Education
    University
  • Mandate- train teachers for all pre-tertiary
    educational institutions, including initial
    teacher training colleges

12
Gender situation in uew
  • Female student enrolment-19 till 2003 when it
    increased to30. Currently 36
  • Distance Education-60 females
  • Female mostly under represented in traditionally
    male dominated areas-science, maths, technology
    and agric
  • Hostel facilities- greater number of males in
    residence

13
ENROLMENT AS AT 2006
14
FULL TIME STUDENTS ENROLMENT BY FACULTY
15
TREND IN FULL TIME ENROLMENT
16
  • The situation not better when we turn attention
    to staff

17
Teaching Staff by Sex
Female, 13
Male, 87
18
Teaching Staff Category by Sex
86
86
14
95
14
5
19
WHERE ARE OUR WOMEN?
20
Current interventions
  • Laptops for female faculty on hire purchase
  • Post graduate studies with women in focus
  • Scholarship scheme for 20 female senior members
    to pursue Phd
  • Scholarship fund for female post-graduate
    students

21
  • Short term appointment for female professors to
    support post-graduate programme and serve as
    mentors to staff and students
  • Sensitisation of union leaders to use the
    negotiation table as a tool for promoting equity

22
The Research
  • Focus group discussions and questionnaires used
    in gathering data on the perceptions of staff on
    gender equity
  • Selected documents analysed to identify possible
    gaps
  • Interview and admission processes, etc were
    questioned

23
The gaps
  • Lack of credible data system
  • Grey areas in recruitment, promotion procedures
  • Low level of understanding of gender issues
  • Wrong notions about gender
  • Absence of gender/ affirmative action policy
  • Some Key data not disaggregated
  • Lack of support structures for balancing the
    personal and the professional
  • Generational gaps
  • Discriminatory practices based on sex, religion
    and ethnicity
  • Sexual harassment and use of sexist language
  • Over reliance on norms and the lack of documented
    practices
  • Inadequate representation of women on key bodies
  • Fewer women in the sciences at the pre-tertiary
    level

24
challenges
  • Lack of understanding of gender issues
  • Inadequate support from management
  • Financial constraints
  • Lack of expertise

25
Conclusion
  • Clearly the university is still a mans world
  • Lack of adequate policy frame work problematic
  • Institutional capacity
  • Gender mainstreaming-is it a solution?
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