Proximate Determinants of Literacy and Numeracy Skills in Ghana

Niels-Hugo Blunch, World Bank Group

Previous studies of the determinants of literacy and numeracy skills in Ghana and elsewhere have mostly been limited to considering (1) proficiency in one language, only, and (2) the impact on skills acquisition from child schooling only, that is, disregarding the possible impact from adult literacy course participation. Analyzing a recent household survey for Ghana, this paper addresses both of these issues. To take the possible endogeneity of schooling and adult literacy course participation into account an IV-based estimation strategy is proposed. The results indicate that skills determinants differ across the type of skills examined and also point to differences in skills acquisition related to gender, religion, ethnicity and geographical location. Formal schooling is found to be relatively more efficient in producing skills, pointing towards a strengthening of the quality of adult literacy programs as a potentially important priority for future education policy in Ghana.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture