Assessing the impact of Complementary Basic Education at Ghana National Education Week

61% of CBE graduates have an excellent attitude towards learning.


At the annual Ghana National Education Week (10-14 October 2022), Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo – Senior Adviser to the President – reiterated the government’s commitment to improving education outcomes. The event, themed “Re-assessing educational policies for effective service delivery and national transformation”, was adorned with efforts of quality and inclusion with a sign-language interpreter for all the speakers.

Montrose, represented by researchers Dr Leslie Casely-Hayford and Mohammed Amin Dawuda along with our Deputy Director of Programmes, Rebecca Evans, presented findings from the FCDO-funded longitudinal study of Complementary Basic Education (CBE) graduates who transitioned into formal schools in the 2017/2018 academic year. The study findings revealed a positive attitude towards learning from CBE graduates and that CBE is indeed a viable pathway to inclusion and access to equitable quality education for children and young people in Ghana.

The event, coinciding with the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October 2022, was also an opportunity to highlight gender-specific challenges and success factors affecting the transition and retention of CBE learners into formal education identified by the study. Early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and lack of access to sanitary products during menstruation are hindering factors unique to girls. The discussions continued throughout Ghana National Education Week, where the research team engaged in a technical dialogue with Ministry officials and development partners on the future policy and implementation of complementary and inclusive education. These discussions are crucial in preparation for the launch of the Ghana Education Outcomes Project (GEOP), on which Montrose is an implementing partner.

While the study found that children still face challenges staying in school, it also found positive factors that promote retention, particularly for children who have graduated from the CBE programme. Positive student-teacher relations, participation in extra-curricular activities, and a supportive home and community environment were identified as factors that promote retention and completion of education. GEOP recognises that community engagement supports out-of-school children in CBE transition and completing formal education.

The involvement of parents, the community and teachers is paramount for children to feel supported to complete school. This motivates students to attend regularly and engage in learning. However, the quality of teachers, availability of teaching and learning materials, and participation in extra-curriculum activities are also vital.

For the successful transition of CBE students into formal education and then for students to stay in school and achieve better learning outcomes, the study recommends improvements to teacher education, pre- and in-service continuous professional development focusing on differentiated learning, and how to make schools more child friendly. This needs to be accompanied by the provision of teaching and learning materials, and social protection provisions such as ensuring children are well-nourished and girls have access to sanitary facilities and products. Montrose is excited to be part of the next phase of CBE in Ghana with the Ministry of Education through GEOP and to be able to continue to work towards bringing out-of-school children in Ghana back to education.

Read the full reports and summary reports here:

Full reports

Executive summaries

The Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum (third left), Co-ordinator of the Ghana Education Outcomes Project, Hajia Nana Fatima High (second right), Montrose Deputy Director of Programmes, Rebecca Evans (second left), among other delegates