School performance: The role of early stage learning environments

Policy brief State

  • Research shows Ghana’s schools are some of the lowest performing in the world. Students reportedly struggle in the areas of problem solving, reasoning, and using concepts.
  • These skills are thought to be important for low-income economies because they promote innovation and enhance workers’ skills.
  • This brief evaluates the influence of the school learning environment on students’ academic outcomes by assessing the quality of the learning environment in the classroom and determining the extent to which it affects pupil performance.
  • The researchers find that class size is negatively correlated with teaching outcomes, structural classroom environments disadvantage kindergarten students compared to lower primary students, and privately educated students have a higher attainment rate which increases over time.
  • The researchers provide five policy proposals for improving academic outcomes in Ghanaian schools.