Doctorate renews Dorothy’s determination to give a voice to Ghana’s schoolchildren

During her two decades rising up the Ghanaian government’s education service (GES), Dorothy Glover became increasingly passionate about the role that schoolchildren could play in improving educational standards in her home country.

In 2008 she took the plunge and embarked on an International Doctorate in Education at the University of Sussex, on the recommendation of her mentor and former boss Dr Ato Essuman, who holds a PhD from Sussex.

She then spent the next seven years exploring student participation in decision-making within Ghanaian secondary schools.

Dorothy says: “This was of particular concern to me because students in senior high schools in Ghana were usually excluded from decision-making forums on aspects of school life that related to their welfare. Children’s voices were usually drowned.

 “Over the years, as I rose to higher levels within the GES, I interacted more closely with students and student representative councils. This made me realise that, given the right environment and education, students could play a very significant role in school decision-making, to the benefit of students and the school.

“Student participation in decision-making is a human rights issue that needs to be given more attention by both education policy makers and practitioners.”

She receives her PhD on Friday (22 January 2016) at the University’s winter graduation ceremony .

Dorothy juggled the demands of her doctorate with her challenging work at the GES, as well as her family and social commitments.

She says: “It took working extra hours, commitment and sometimes sacrificing what I considered the most important things in my life in order to meet timelines.

“It was never an easy road, but it was worth walking on it. The support from my supervisors was commendable.”

Dorothy is now co-ordinating a major project with the Ministry of Education, supported by the World Bank, to improve secondary education in Ghana.

In the future, she plans to explore further research opportunities in her continued determination to give students a voice at the heart of Ghana’s education system.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Monday, 25 January 2016