The Impacts of Teacher Training and Parental Education on Kindergarten Quality in Ghana

Many students arrive at primary school already behind, experiencing a lack of skills that may compromise their long-term learning and wellbeing. One way to address this issue is through high quality pre-primary education. In the Greater Accra Region, Ghana, where enrollment in pre-primary education is high, researchers evaluated the impact of an affordable, in-service kindergarten teacher training. Results thus far have shown that the training improved the quality of pre-primary teachers’ instruction and classroom quality, and improved children’s “school readiness” skills. Researchers also tested the additional impact of a parent training component administered through schools. This program did not add value to the teacher-training program, and appeared to have negative effects on some aspects of teaching quality and child outcomes. Although most children across sub-Saharan Africa have gained access to free primary education, many students arrive at school without the skills they need to succeed there. The early childhood years represent a crucial window for development, as it is during these early years that children form the basis for future learning. Because of this research, there is a growing consensus that investments in early childhood have high returns, and that missed opportunities to promote early childhood development could lead to lasting deficits in children’s educational attainment and future wellbeing. Ghana has made great progress in increasing enrollment in pre-primary education, though the government as concluded that the quality is low. This research examined two approaches to raise the quality of preprimary education in Ghana: training kindergarten teachers, and educating parents about high-quality kindergarten education and investing in their children’s learning.