The study used national achievement data from Ghana to explore the extent pupils’ gender accounted for achievement differences in mathematics and English Language and how these differences were moderated by the types and locations of the schools they attended. The sample size comprised 16,429 primary 3 pupils drawn from 448 schools. A multilevel modelling technique was used to analyse the data. The study found statistically insignificant gender-linked differences in English Language but significant differences in mathematics achievement. The types and locations of schools significantly impacted pupils’ achievement but could not offset the statistically significant gender-related differences in mathematics. Girls in urban schools outperformed boys in English Language and mathematics, albeit insignificantly. Boys in rural, public and private schools did better than girls in English, although the differences were not statistically significant. However, there was a statistically significant difference in mathematics achievement by boys and girls in rural and public schools but not in urban and private schools. The study’s outcome suggests potential differential learning opportunities for boys and girls in some schools and localities, predominantly in rural schools in Ghana. The results imply that Ghana is yet to fully achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, which seeks to reduce attainment gaps between male and female learners to insignificant levels. Consequently, stakeholders need to re-examine and effectively implement our commitments to achieving inclusive education for all learners regardless of gender, school type, location and subjects.
Maxwell Nyatsikor, University for Development Studies, Ghana