Born Where, When and to Whom? A Cohort Analysis of Formal and Non-Formal Educational Attainment in Rural Ghana

Niels-Hugo Blunch, Washington and Lee University
Jeff Hammer, Princeton University

Previous studies have examined the relationship between educational attainment and individual and socioeconomic background variables mainly focusing at the formal education system and at factors such as parental education and place of residence. Using a cohort approach, this paper examines educational attainment in Ghana and its potential determinants, considering both educational attainment in the formal education system, as well as participation in adult literacy programs. The results reveal that the cohort born prior to the economic breakdown in 1983 that was roughly of primary school age at the time of the economic breakdown and the first few years thereafter peaked in terms of adult literacy program participation (whether as older children, youth, or adults) relative to later (and earlier) cohorts and similarly had lower formal educational attainment relative to later cohorts--consistent with interpreting adult literacy programs a (likely much poorer) substitute for childhood education in the formal education system.

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Presented in Poster Session 1