In Ghana, education started around 1957 which was the time Ghana had independence. Ghana has two distinct sectors of education. There is the formal system of education and there is the informal system of technical and vocational training. The former does not take place in classrooms and does not award recognized certifications. The latter, on the other hand, was very common in pre-colonial Ghana, where knowledge and skills were transmitted orally and by apprenticeship training.
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While Ghana has made strides toward improving educational opportunities, there are still many challenges to overcome. Classrooms are often overcrowded and facilities are lacking. There is a lack of trained teachers and school books. This leads to poor quality of education and poor student results. Disabled students and girls are particularly vulnerable.
The constitution of Ghana mandates free and compulsory basic education. The curriculum includes two years of kindergarten, five years of primary school, and three years of junior secondary school. At the end of the program, students complete a certification exam that includes English and mathematics. In addition, they can take electives. The curriculum also provides a foundation for further education and training.
Following Ghana’s 1957 independence, the Nkrumah regime began focusing on educational infrastructure and curriculum. It provided free textbooks for primary, middle, and secondary schools. It also encouraged parents to contribute to the purchase of books and teaching materials. However, after the early 1970s, the quality of basic education began to degrade. The country’s poor national economy led to the emigration of thousands of Ghanaian teachers to Nigeria.
The government of Ghana implemented a comprehensive basic education program in November 1995. It is estimated to cost $350 million, and the country will need international donors to support the effort. The program’s aim is to address a number of unresolved issues in the education system. The government has also emphasized the need for vocational education and the introduction of the National Accreditation Board for all tertiary institutions.
Senior secondary education
Ghana has long had a need to improve the quality of its education. The primary and secondary sectors consume most of the budget. The proposed tuition-free senior secondary education program will require substantial funds in the coming years. Further, there are few funds for major tertiary education reforms. Consequently, the government has to focus on improving the quality of secondary education first.
Ghana’s education system was restructured in 1987. It aimed to replace the British-based O-Level and A-Level systems. It was completed in June 1996. While O-Level and A-Level exams were the last to be administered in Ghana, remedial examinations were still offered until 1999. The first Senior Secondary School Certificate examination was administered in 1993.
The senior secondary education program in Ghana is comprised of three years, from grades 10 to 12. The curriculum is the same as the primary school program, with core subjects and electives from one of the specialization streams. Students can choose to specialize in the arts, science, or business. Some schools also offer vocational and technical education.
Currently, Ghana has over 500 public senior secondary schools. It is estimated that the secondary education system in Ghana is educating over 90 thousand students per year. In the past, there were only 300 senior secondary schools, graduating about 20,000 students every year. The number of graduates has quadrupled in the last 11 years.
Private tertiary education
The public tertiary education system of Ghana consists of four types of schools: universities, polytechnics, and teacher training colleges. Universities offer Bachelor’s degrees, while polytechnics offer three-year vocational diplomas. Approximately two-thirds of public school students are enrolled in university programs, while only six percent attend teacher training colleges. The rest of the students attend university-affiliated polytechnics.
The private sector in Ghana began to grow in the 1990s when the government permitted private institutions to start operations as affiliated colleges of public universities. While there are more than 80 accredited private institutions, only four are officially chartered as independent degree-granting institutions. Many are smaller, lesser-quality providers that absorb demand from students who cannot afford competitive public institutions.
University education in Ghana began in the 1940s when the British colonial authorities opened the University College of the Gold Coast. Later, it became the University of Ghana at Legon. In the 1960s, it awarded its first degrees. In 1951, the Government established the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), which later merged with the University of Ghana.
After Ghana achieved independence, the government’s budget for tertiary education started to become a problem. By forming formal collaborations between different institutions, universities and colleges can better coordinate their funding and sponsor needy students. This can also result in improved user-fee collection.
The education sector in Ghana suffered a great deal from the economic decline and political instability of the 1980s. It lost its leadership in educational attainment and literacy. The worst affected were the lower classes, although there was still a high standard and world-class competitiveness in the upper echelons.
Ghana has a long history of political instability. After independence, the country began implementing now-discredited structural adjustment programmes. This was in response to the decline of the manufacturing sector. This led to a decline in the nation’s economy. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have a hand in this decline. However, Ghana faces many challenges, including energy shortages.
The government introduced the Education Act of 1986 to address the economic decline. This act changed the way children learned and how long they spent in school. It also restructured the educational system to be more cost-effective. However, despite the new laws, quality of education declined. The lack of planning contributed to the decline.
Another reason for the decline in the economy is widespread inefficiency in the public sector. The first two generations of institutional reform failed to address the problem. Moreover, public sector employees’ livelihood concerns were neglected.
Since its start in 1960, education in Ghana has faced significant political instability. Political parties vie for votes on promises of infrastructure projects, reducing the price of petroleum and electricity, and eliminating school fees. However, neither party has consistently pursued these goals, and there is a lack of consistent policies. In addition, labor in Ghana has been vocal about matters affecting their pocketbooks, and successive governments have enacted policies such as Single Spine Salary adjustments and cuts to electricity and petroleum prices. Unfortunately, these policies are perceived as gifts from the government rather than necessary measures to improve the living conditions of citizens.
As of 2020, Ghana ranks 0.563 on the U.N.’s Education Index. Its gross enrollment ratio for primary and secondary education is above 100%, but has decreased in recent years. This is partly due to the introduction of free secondary education, which has increased the number of students who can receive education. In addition, tertiary education has become more accessible, and there are more universities and other institutions in the country. However, these private institutions have higher tuition fees.
The NPP and NDC are the main political forces in the country. While the NDC adheres to the socialist tradition of Kwame Nkrumah, the NPP adheres to a liberal-conservative tradition. This combination has created a political environment that is more favorable to the NDC.
Quality of education
Ghana’s educational system has undergone several reforms in the last few decades. It was originally structured with a basic education of six years, followed by four years of middle school and five years of secondary school and two years of A-level school. Later, a junior secondary school was introduced and the Dzobo Committee introduced a senior secondary school. By 1987, the country had a comprehensive education system that included 12 years of pretertiary education.
The number of tertiary education students in Ghana has increased in recent years. In 2014, enrollment at universities and polytechnic institutes rose by 7.1% and 3.4%, respectively. However, concerns remain about the quality of education. A report by the West African Examination Council in 2014 revealed that 70 percent of enrolled students did not pass the required grades. This has been attributed to curriculum problems, overcrowding, inadequate resources and absentee teachers.
Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan has made it a priority to provide universal basic education for all children and create an educational environment that is equitable. While this is laudable, the country still falls short in many aspects, including the quality of primary education, school management, mathematics and science education. However, there are many positive factors that can improve education quality in Ghana.
One study, conducted in Ghana, examined the nexus between education and poverty reduction. The authors used the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) round six in 2012 and round seven in 2016-2017, sample sizes of 14,009 and 16,722, respectively. They employed OLS regression and logit models to examine the impact of education on poverty reduction. The results showed that undereducation was more prevalent among agricultural workers.