Education in Ghana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Education in Ghana
Flag of Ghana.svg
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Higher Education
National education budget (2010)
Budget23% of government expenditure[1]
General details
Primary languagesEnglish
System typeNational
Literacy (2010)
Enrollment (2012/2013[2])
PrimaryPre-primary: 1,604,505, Primary: 4,105,913, JHS: 1,452,585
SecondarySHS and TVI: 904,212
Post secondary261,962 (including universities: 109,278)

Education in Ghana was mainly informal,[3] [4] and based on apprenticeship before the arrival of European settlers, who introduced a formal education system addressed to the elites . Pre-Independent Ghana was known as the Gold Coast.[5] The economy of pre-colonial Gold Coast was mainly dependent on subsistence farming where farm produce was shared within households and members of each household specialized in providing their household with other necessities such as cooking utilities, shelter, home, clothing and furnitures.[6] Trade with other households was therefore practised in a very small scale.[6] This has made economic activities in pre-colonial Gold Coast a family institution/customs; family-owned and family-controlled.[6] As such, there was no need for employment outside the household that would have otherwise called for discipline(s), value(s) and skill(s) through a formal education system.[7] Pre-colonial Gold Cost therefore practised an informal education (apprenticeship) until it was colonized and its economy became a hybrid of subsistence and formal economy.[7]

Education indicators[8] in Ghana reflect a gender gap and disparities between rural and urban areas, as well as between southern and northern parts of the country. Those disparities drive public action against illiteracy and inequities in access to education. Eliminating illiteracy has been a constant objective of Ghanaian education policies for the last 40 years; the difficulties around ensuring equitable access to education is likewise acknowledged by the authorities.[9] Public action in both domains has yielded results judged significant but not sufficient by national experts and international organizations [10]. Increasing the place of vocational education and training and of ICT (information and communications technology) within the education system are other clear objectives of Ghanaian policies in education.


In pre-colonial times, education in Ghana was informal. Knowledge and competencies were transmitted orally and through apprenticeships.[11] The arrival of European settlers during the 16th century brought new forms of learning; formal schools appeared, providing a book-based education.[11] Their audience was mainly made up of local elites (mulattos, sons of local chiefs and wealthy traders) and their presence was limited to the colonial forts, long confined to the coasts.[12]

Castle Schools[edit]

The Portuguese intentions to establish schools was expressed in imperial instructions, that encouraged the Portuguese Governor of the castle at Elmina in 1529 to teach reading, writing and the Catholic religion to the people [13] [14]. The best-known Castle Schools on the Gold Coast included the operated by the Danish at the Osu Castle formerly known as Fort Christianborg, The Dutch school at the former Portuguese fortress at Elmina, and the British school at Cape Coast Castle.[15][16]

18th Century[edit]

In 1765, Philip Quaque set up a school in his house at Cape Coast which will later go on to be the first formal elementary school in Ghana.The Philip Quaque boys school has produced many renowned men and women who have gone on to make their mark on Ghana. The motto of Philip Quaque boys school which is written in Fante dialect is "Nyansa ahyese ne Nyamesuro" which translate to the English language as The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.[17][18][19]

Mission schools[edit]

The 19th century saw the increasing influence of Missionaries. With the arrival of more missions into the country came an explosion in mission schools across the length and breadth of southern Ghana. The Wesleyan and Basel missionaries established schools in Cape Coast, Accra, Anomabu, Dixcove, Akropong and all along the coast in 1830s to 1850s respectively. The Ashanti Region of Ghana will not see any form of formal education until 1831 when two Asante Prince were sent to Cape Coast Castle school to be educated at the expense of Captain George Maclean, the then governor of the Gold Coast. [20] They were Owusu Kwantabisa, the son of the Asantehene, Osei Yao (1824-34), and Owusu Ansah, son of his predecessor, Osei Bonsu (1800-24). The two princes were later sent to England for further studies, for three years. By the 1840s, Wesleyan missionaries had moved to Kumasi to establish missionary schools.[21][22]

By the turn of the century, Great Britain had gain influence over Ghanaian territories that led to the establishment of the Gold Coast Colony in 1874.[23] With it came a growing number of mission schools and merchant companies, the Wesleyan and the Basel missions being the most present .[24] The Wesleyan mission stayed on the coasts with English as main language. The Basel mission expanded deeper inland and used vernacular languages as the medium of proselytizing.[24] With the support of the British government, missions flourished in a heavily decentralized system that left considerable room for pedagogical freedom. Missions remained the main provider of formal education until independence.[12] Under colonial rule, formal education remained the privilege of the few.[24]

January 1957: students with a senior tutor outside Legon Hall, one of the Halls of Residence at the University College of the Gold Coast, near Accra

Ghana obtained its independence in 1957. The new government of Nkrumah described education as the key to the future and announced a high-level university providing an "African point of view", backed by a free universal basic education.[25] In 1961, the Education Act introduced the principle of free and compulsory primary education and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology was established.[26][27] As a result, the enrollment almost doubled the next year.[28] This sudden expansion was, however, hard to handle; Ghana quickly fell short of trained teachers[29] and the quality of the curriculum (lacks in English or in Mathematics) was put into question.[28] The fall of Nkrumah in 1966 was followed by stronger criticisms toward the expansion of education at the cost of quality.[25] Despite the rapid increase of school infrastructures, the enrollment slowly declined until 1973.[28] The year 1974 saw attempts of reforms. Based on the “Dozbo committee report”, they followed 2 goals: reducing the length of pre-tertiary education (The structure primary school/Junior High School/Senior High school was created)[30] and modifying programmes in order to promote more practical contents at school.[11][28] Those reforms were, however, very partially implemented due to financial limitations and political instability.[11][28][30] The economic situation of the country worsened at the beginning of the 1980s.[25][30] Into an economic downturn, the country was failing at solving the deficit of teachers, maintaining the infrastructures and convincing the parents to bet on school instead of a paid work.[28][31] Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) dropped sharper in response, falling below 70% in 1985.[28]

The year 1987 marked the beginning of new series of reforms: The military coup of Jerry Rawlings in 1981 had been followed by a period of relative political stability and opened the way to broader international support.[25] The Rawlings government had gathered enough founds from numerous international organizations (including the World bank) and countries to afford massive changes to the educational system.[30] The 1987 Education Act aimed at turning the 1974's Dozbo committee measures into reality:[30] a national literacy campaign was launched,[31] pre-tertiary education was reduced from 17 to 12 years and vocational education appeared in Junior High School.[30] Education was made compulsory from the ages of six to 14. The reform succeeded in imposing a new education structure, as well as to increase the enrollment and the number of infrastructure.[32] Yet the promise of universal access to basic education was not fulfilled.[33] Vocational programmes were also considered as a failure.[32] The return to constitutional rule in 1992, though still under Rawlings government, gave a new impulse by reclaiming the duty of the state to provide a free and compulsory basic education for all.[34] The local government Act of 1993 initiated the decentralization in education administration, by transferring power to district assemblies.[34] The Free, Compulsory and Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) provided an action plan for the period 1996–2005, focusing on bridging the gender gap in primary-school, improving teaching materials and teacher's living condition.[30] It was later completed by significant acts, like the creation of the "Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training" in order to promote vocational education(2006), or the founding of the national accreditation board (2007), introducing a national accreditation for all tertiary level institution.[34] In 2007–08, the two years in kindergarten were added to the free and compulsory education (which is now from the age of four to 14).[34]

Evolution of enrollment and infrastructures in compulsory education since 1968
x 1968(public sector only)[35][28] 1988[35] 2001[36] 2007[37] 2012[38]
Pupils 1,397,026 x 4,154,374 5,024,944 7,465,208
Teachers 47,880 97,920 155,879 229,144 268,619
Schools x x 32,501 46,610 56,919


Ghana's spending on education has been around 25%[1] of its annual budget in the past decade.

The Ghanaian education system from Kindergarten up to an undergraduate degree level takes 20 years.[39][40]

Ratio of females to males in education system.
Females and males out of education system.

Ghana scored 1 on the UNESCO Gender Parity Index (GPI) for Primary and Secondary school levels in 2013.[41] The adult literacy rate in Ghana was 79.04% in 2018, with males at 78.3% and females at 65.3%.[42]Ghana's rapid shift from an informal economy to formal economy made education an important political objective in Ghana.[5] The magnitude of the task, as well as economic difficulties and political instabilities, have slowed down attempted reforms. The Education Act of 1987, followed by the Constitution of 1992, gave a new impulse to educational policies in the country. In 2011, the primary school net enrollment rate was 84%, described by UNICEF as "far ahead" of the Sub-Saharan average.[43] In its 2013–14 report, the World Economic Forum ranked Ghana 46th out of 148 countries for education system quality. In 2010, Ghana's literacy rate was 71.5%, with a notable gap between men (78.3%) and women (65.3%).[44] The Guardian newspaper disclosed in April 2015 that 90% of children in Ghana were enrolled in school, ahead of countries like Pakistan and Nigeria at 72% and 64% respectively.[45] [46] The youth female and male ages 15–24 years literacy rate in Ghana was 81% in 2010, with males at 82%,[47] and females at 80%.[48]

Since 2008, enrollment has continually increased at all level of education (pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education).[49] With 84% of its children in primary school, Ghana has a school enrollment "far ahead" of its sub-saharian neighbor's.[50] The number of infrastructures has increased consequently on the same period.[51] Vocational Education (in "TVET institutes", not including SHS vocational and technical programmes) is the only exception, with an enrollment decrease of 1.3% and the disappearance of more than 50 institutions between the years 2011/12 and 2012/2013.[52] This drop would be the result of the low prestige of Vocational Education and the lack of demand from industry.[53]

Enrollment and GER in pre-tertiary(2012/2013)[54]
Enrollment 1,604,505 4,105,913 1,452,585 842,587 61,496
GER in % 113.8 105.0 82.2 36.8 2.7
Number of structures in pre-tertiary education (2012/2013)[55]
Public 13,305 14,112 8,818 535 107
Private 5,972 5,742 3,618 293 74
Total 19,277 19,854 12,436 828 181

Ministry of Education statistics showed 261,962 tertiary students during the 2011/2012 schoolyear:[56] 202,063 in the public sector and 59,899 in the private sector, attending 142 institutions.[56]

In 2011, the primary school net enrolment rate was 84%, a figure described by UNICEF as "far ahead" of the Sub-Saharan average.[57] In its 2013-14 report, the World Economic Forum ranked Ghana 46th out of 148 countries regarding the education system quality.[58]

Structure of formal education[edit]


Education structure of Ghana

The Ghanaian education system is divided in three parts: "Basic Education", secondary cycle and tertiary education. "Basic Education" lasts 12 years (age 4–15), is free and compulsory.[59] Education in Ghana is divided into three phases: basic education (kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school), secondary education (upper secondary school, technical and vocational education) and tertiary education (universities, polytechnics and colleges).[60] The language of instruction is mainly English. The academic year usually runs from August to May inclusive.[61] It is divided into Kindergarten (two years), primary school (two modules of three years) and Junior High school (three years). The junior high school(JHS) ends on the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).[59][62] Once the BECE achieved, the pupil can pursue into secondary cycle.[63] Secondary cycle can be either general (assumed by Senior High School) or vocational(assumed by technical Senior High School, Technical and vocational Institutes and a massive private and informal offer). Senior High school lasts three years and ends on the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Other secondary institutions leads to various certifications and diplomas. Tertiary education is basically divided into university (academic education) and Polytechnics(vocational education).[64] [65] The WASSCE is needed to join a university bachelor's degree programme.[66] A bachelor's degree lasts four years and can be followed by a one- or two-year master's degree. The student is then free to start a Phd, usually completed in 3 years.[67] Polytechnics are opened to vocational students, from SHS or from TVI.[68] A Polytechnic curriculum lasts two to three years.[68] Ghana also possesses numerous colleges of education.[69] New tertiary education graduates have to serve one year within the National Service Scheme.[70][71] The Ghanaian education system from Kindergarten up to an undergraduate degree level takes 20 years.[72]

The academic year usually goes from August to May inclusive.[61] The school year lasts 40 weeks in Primary school and SHS, and 45 weeks in JHS.[73]

Basic Education[edit]

Basic Education lasts 12 years.[59] The curriculum is free and compulsory (age 4-15) and is defined as "the minimum period of schooling needed to ensure that children acquire basic literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills as well as skills for creativity and healthy living".[59] It is divided into Kindergarten, Primary school and Junior High School (JHS), which ends on the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).[63]

Kindergarten lasts two years (ages 4–6).[59] The programme is divided into six core areas:[59] Language and Literacy (Language Development), Creative Activities (Drawing and Writing), Mathematics (Number Work), Environmental Studies, Movement and Drama (Music and Dance), and Physical Development (Physical Education)

Primary school lasts six years (age 6-11).[59] The courses taught at the primary or basic school level include English, Ghanaian languages and Ghanaian culture, ICT, mathematics, environmental studies, social studies, Mandarin and French as an OIF associated-member; integrated or general science, pre-vocational skills and pre-technical skills, religious and moral education, and physical activities such as Ghanaian music and dance, and physical education. There is no certificate of completion at the end of primary school.[61]

Junior Secondary School lasts three years (age 12-15).[62] The Junior High School ends on the Basic Education Certificate(BECE), which covers the following subjects:English Language, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Social Studies, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Basic, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, French (optional), Religious and Moral Education.[63]

Secondary cycle[edit]

Ghana High school Students of the Accra Academy; Learning Science and undertaking Scientific tests in Science Laboratory.

Students who pass the BECE can proceed into secondary education, general or vocational.

The secondary general education is assumed by the Senior High School (SHS). The SHS curriculum is composed of core subjects, completed by elective subjects(chosen by the students). The core subjects are English language, mathematics, integrated science (including science, ICT and environmental studies) and social studies (economics, geography, history and government).[72] The students then choose 3 or 4 elective subjects from 5 available programmes: agriculture programme, general programme (divided in 2 options: arts or science), business programme, vocational programme and technical programme.[72][74]

The Senior high school's curriculum lasts 3 years, as a result of numerous reforms: Originally a three-year curriculum, it was extended to four years in 2007.[75] However, in early 2009 this reform returned SHS to a three-year curriculum.[76] The length of the SHS is still a disputed question.[77][78]

The SHS ends on a final exam called the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), formerly called Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSSC) before 2007.[79] A SHS ranking is established every year by the Statistics, Research, Information, Management and Public Relations (SRIMPR) division of the ministry of Education, based on the WASSCE results.[80]

Vocational and technical Education (also called “TVET”) take different forms. After obtaining the BECE, students who wish to pursue in vocational Education have two main possibilities: Following the vocational and technical programmes as elective courses in a SHS, or joining a technical and vocational institute(TVI).[68] SHS students follow the usual SHS three-year curriculum. They can then – provided sufficient results at the WASSCE – join a university or polytechnic programme.[68][81] TVI students usually follow a 4-year curriculum, divided into two cycles of two years, leading to “awards from City & Guilds, the Royal Society of Arts or the West African Examinations Council".[81] They can then pursue a polytechnic programme.[68] The state of vocational education sector remains however obscure in Ghana: 90% of the vocational education is still informal, taking the form of apprenticeship.[81] The offer of formal vocational education within the private sector is also hard to define[52] and the Ministry of Education recognizes its incapacity to give a clear overview of the public vocational education, many ministries having their own programmes.[52]

International schools also exist in Ghana: the Takoradi International School, Tema International School, Galaxy International School, The Roman Ridge School, Ghana International School, Lincoln Community School, Faith Montessori School, American International School, Association International School, New Nation School, SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College and International Community School, which offer the International Baccalaureat, Advanced Level General Certificate of Education and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).[39]

Tertiary education[edit]

Front view of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) North Campus in Winneba.
Ghana University students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, February 2011.

Tertiary education in Ghana has been notably growing during the last twenty years, both in terms of enrollment and infrastructures.[69] A substantial part of this development come from the private sector.[69][82][83][84]

Universities(6 public and 49 private institutions)[69] offer an academic education, from bachelor to Phd. Students are admitted based on their performance at the W.A.S.S.C.E (West African Senior School Certificate Examination"): A maximum of 24 points is generally required in order to apply to a Bachelor degree programme (see Grading system in Ghana). A bachelor degree is usually completed after four years of majoring in a specific field of interest.[85] Master degrees are of two sorts: A one-year programmeconcluded with a final paper based on a literature study, or a two-year programme, concluded with a final paper based on one year of independent research.[85] Both can lead to a Ph.D., usually achieved in three years within a doctoral programme.[85]

Polytechnics (10 institutions)[69] offer a vocational education. They propose three-year curricula, leading to a Higher National Diploma(HND). The students have then the possibility to follow a special 18-month programme to achieve a Bachelor of Technology degree.[68]

Ghana also possesses many "colleges of education", public or private.[69] They are usually specialized in one field (colleges of agriculture p.e) or in one work-training (Nursing training colleges, teacher training colleges, p.e).[69]

New tertiary education graduates have to serve one year within the National Service. Participants can serve in one of the eight following sectors: Agriculture, Health, Education, Local Government, Rural Development, Military and Youth Programmes[70][71]

Admission into tertiary education

For admission into colleges of education, applicants are required to make payment of one hundred and fifteen cedis, fifty pesewas (GH₵ 115.50) into the colleges of education account at approved banks nationwide, to acquire a personal identification number (PIN) and an admission application serial number, to be used to access and fill an online application form on the colleges of education admission portal[86] Applicants would then select three colleges of their choice for their program in order of preference, on the online application form. In the event that they do not gain admission into the first choice, the second and third choice may be considered. [87] RECENT

Grading system[edit]

Ghana's grading system is different at every point in education. Through the kindergarten to the junior high, every grade a student gains is written in terms of numbers instead of alphabets. There is no system of pluses and minuses (no "1+"’s or "6+"’s as grades).[88]

Senior high school

Until 2007, Senior secondary High school ended with the Senior Secondary School Certificate(SSSC).[73] Its grading system went from A to E.[79] In 2007, the SSSC was replaced by the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).[73] The WASSCE grading system adds numbers to the letters, offering a larger scale of evaluation. In both systems, each grade refers to a certain number of points. In order to join a Bachelor's degree programme, applicants are usually asked not to exceed 24 points at their WASSCE/SSSC.[79]

Senior Secondary High School grading system[79]
SSSCE grades (before 2007), [in points] WASSCE grades (since 2007), [in points] Description
A[1] A1[1] Excellent
B[2] B2[2] Very good
C[3] B3[3] Good
D[4] C4[4] Credit
x C5[5] Credit
x C6[6] Credit
E D7 Pass
x E8 Pass
F F9 Fail

Tertiary education

The grading system varies from institution to institution.[79] Almost all the tertiary institutions are based on the Grade Point Average (G.P.A) as a way of assessing whether a student is failing or passing. But individual schools have their own way of calculating GPA's, because of their individualized marking schemes. For example, a mark of 80 may be an A in a school but may be an A+ in another school.

Private education and private-public partnership In Ghana[edit]

The Ghanaian government cannot bear alone the costs of education, thus private institutions and individuals build and operate private institutions to help the government deal with costs in education.[89] The Ghanaian government is incapable of providing increasing educational services.[90] Education in Ghana has therefore become a shared effort by both the government and private institution, in order to make up for financial inefficiency, on the side of the government and make education accessible to all.[89] There is a call for public-private partnership in education in most developing countries due to the growing involvement of private actors in education.[91]

The structure of this joint effort by the public and private sectors to address the problem of financing education at the basic or elementary level is as follows:[89]

Agency Role
Public sector:
Central Government Responsible for remuneration of teachers who teach in public schools

Responsible for the provision of free textbooks for pupils in public schools, from primary 1 to 6

Responsible for the provision of supplies, equipment and tool sneeded for basic public schools

District AssembliesProvide educational infrastructure
Private sector:
Parents Responsible for payment of textbook user fees for children at the Junior High School level

Responsible for furniture, food, and transportation to and from school

Communities Classroom maintenance and provision
Churches and NGOs Provide basic school buildings and structure, furniture
Private Institutions/Individuals Founding and managing private schools solely operated by founders, without any financial or infrastructural help from the government
International Organizations Provide financial and technical assistance for basic education in Ghana

Private involvement in education has led to establishment of private schools and institutions which have affected education in Ghana.[92] Private primary and junior high schools in Ghana outnumber the public schools in Ghana.[93] 74.7% of 779 primary and junior secondary schools were identified as private schools in a census conducted in the Ga district of Ghana, while the remaining 25.3% were identified as government or public schools.[94] Over the past 20 years, private school attending students in developing countries, increased by 11%; from 11% to 22%.[95]



Education in Ghana is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. Implementation of policies is assumed by its numerous agencies: The Ghana Education Service (GES) is responsible for the coordination of national education policy on pre-tertiary education.[34] It shares this task with three autonomous bodies, the National Inspectorate Board (NIB), the National Teaching Council (NTC) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).[96] The terminal examinations of the pre-tertiary education are conducted by the West African Examination Council (National Office, Ghana): it includes the BECE and the WASCCE but also foreign professional examination.[97] The Council for Technical and vocational education and Training is dedicated to the management of TVET.[68] The collection and analysis of educational data is handled by the Education Management Information System (EMIS).[34]

Policies are implemented in cooperation with the local offices: Ghana is divided into 16 regions and 230 district offices.[34] The Ghana Education Decentralization Project (GEDP), launched in 2010 and ended in 2012, has increased the influence of local authorities over management, finance, and operational issues when it comes to educational matters.[96]


The Ghanaian State has dedicated 23% of its expenditure to education in 2010.[98] More than 90% of this budget is spent by the Ministry of Education and its agencies: Primary education (31% of the expenditure) and tertiary education (21.6%) are the most provided.[98] The expenditures are partly funded by donors. Among them can be found the World Bank, the United States (through the USAID), the United Kingdom(through the DfID) and the European Union.[99] Their participation is usually project-focused and granted under certain condition, giving them a certain influence.[99] This influence can provoke debates when it comes to key-reforms:[99] For the FCUBE project, the World Bank imposed book charges in primary schools and reduced feeding and boarding costs in secondary schools. Facing criticisms, the Bank insisted on the “strong domestic ownership” of the reform and the necessity to ensure “cost recovery”.[99] Between 2005 and 2012, the part of donors in the Ghanaian budget has fallen from 8.5 to 2.5% of the total education expenditure.[98]

Teacher training[edit]

Colleges of Education are the main teacher training institutions: There are 38 public and 3 private "CoE" split in then 10 Ghanaian regions.[100] They offer a three-year curriculum that leads to the Diploma in Basic Education (DBE).[100] The education is described as “uniform” and with a “national focus” even if CoE are present in every Ghanaian regions.[100] The final examinations granting the DBE are conducted by the public University of Cape Coast's Institute of Education.[100] The holders of the DBE are allowed to teach at every level of nasic education (kindergarten, primary school, junior secondary school).[100]

Apart from the colleges of education, two universities (Cape Coast and Winneba) train teachers. A specific four-year bachelor's degree allows to teach in any pre-tertiary education (most graduates choosing secondary education).[101] A specific master's degree is needed for teaching in CoE.[100] Universities also offer to DBE graduate a two-curriculum granting the right to teach in secondary education.[100]

Distance education is also possible: the programme lasts four years and leads to the Untrained Teacher's Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE).[100] It was introduced to increase the number of basic education teachers in the rural area. Serving teachers can also benefit of continuing education (in-service training, cluster).[100]

Public action and policies[edit]

Adult literacy, non-formal education[edit]

Public action against illiteracy started more than 50 years ago in Ghana. Initiated in the 1940s by the British rulers, its eradication was raised to top-priority at the independence in 1957.[102] Political unrests however limited political actions to sporadic short-term programmes, until 1987 and the creation of the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED), whose goal was to eliminate illiteracy by 2000.[102] After a convincing try in 2 regions, the Functional Literacy Skills Project (FLSP) was expanded to the whole country in 1992. In 2000, the programme was taken over by the National Functional Literacy Programme (FNLP), which is still active nowadays.[102] Those programmes focus on gender and geographical inequalities. Women and people living in rural area are their main targets.[103] In 2004, there were 1238 “Literacy centers”, situated mostly in non-urban area.[103]

The successive projects led to statistical progress.[103] In 1997, 64% of women were illiterate for 38% of men, for a global literacy rate of 54%.[102] In 2010, female literacy was 65% and the global literacy rate had increased to 71.5%.[42] Academics, however, pointed out the insufficient progress of literacy among women and the difficulty for those who graduated to upkeep their new skills.[103]

Evolution of literacy rate over time[104]
x Adult literacy(15+) Youth literacy (15-24)
Av M F Av M F
2000 57.9 66.4 49.8 70.7 75.9 65.4
2010 71.5 78.3 65.3 85.7 88.3 83.2
2015(projection) 76.3 81.5 71.0 90.6 91.3 89.9

Other forms of non-formal education are also conducted by the NFED: "Life-skills training" (Family planning, hygiene, prevention on AIDS) targeting adolescent and young mother, "Occupational skills training" for unemployed adults or "civil awareness" seminars (on civil rights and duties) addressed to illiterate adults.[103]

Development of technical and vocational education[edit]

There is an informal education sector in Ghana, which is usually made up of which is usually made up of training, vocational, and technical institutions. These training, technical, and vocational institutions are informal because they do not take place in a classroom setting; these trainings usually take the form of apprenticeship, direct learning, practice, and supervision from trainers. There is usually no official or recognized certification or qualifications given to trainees.[105]

Developing technical and vocational education and training(TVET) is considered a priority by central authorities in order to tackle poverty and unemployment.[106][107]

TVET in Ghana face numerous problems: low completion rate (in 2011, 1.6% of the population got a TVET degree whereas 11% of the population followed a TVET programme),[106] « poorly trained instructor » and lack of infrastructure.[107] The Ghanaian industry also criticizes the lack of practical experience of the formal graduates and the lack of basic skills(reading, writing) of informal apprentices.[106] In 2008, the OECD reproached the opacity of the qualifications framework and the multiplication of worthless TVET certificates.[107] The official council for TVET observed that informal or graduated TVET students struggle to find a job, and then have to deal with income volatility or low wages.[106] TVET, therefore, suffer from a poor reputation among students, parents and employers.[106][108]

In 2005, a micro-credit system in favor of low-skilled unemployed youth was implemented (STEP programme).[107] In 2006, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) was created and entrusted with the mission of coordination "TVET policies" in Ghana.[68] The council introduced a National Youth Found in 2006, and proposed a TVET qualifications framework in 2010.[106] It tries besides to frame the informal sector through a National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP)[68] and to strengthen guidance and counselling at basic education level.[109]

Impacts are, however, difficult to assess :[52] TVET in Ghana is still hard to grasp. 90% is informal[106] and both the public and private sectors are highly segmented.[52][107] The ministry of Education itself admits its incapacity to provide a global statistic view of the TVET sector in Ghana.[52]

Equity in access to tertiary education[edit]

With the rise of enrollment in secondary education, competition for joining higher education institution has globally increased: In 2001, the university of Ghana had admitted 96% of the relevant applications it had received. In 2011, this acceptance rate had fallen to 52%.[110] This increasing selectivity highlights inequalities in Ghana regarding Education: Being a woman[111] or living in a rural area[112][113] can reduce the chance of reaching tertiary Education. Socioeconomic status is also a factor of exclusion, as studying at the highest level is expensive: Public universities have no tuition fee but usually demand payment for other charges: registration fee, technology fee, examination fee, academic facility user fee, medical services fee.[114] These charges can lead to self-censorship behaviors, some students choosing, for instance, Teacher Training Colleges (where students can receive stipends) instead of joining a university.[114]

Policies has been developed to limit those inequalities: Some universities have, for instance, lowered their minimum entry requirement or created scholarship for students from the "less-endowed secondary school".[115][116] A "Girls Education unit" has been created by the government within the Ghana Education Service, in order to reduce gender-biased disparities: The unit tries to tackle the problem at its source, focusing on "basic education" to avoid high female school drop-out from JHS to SHS.[117] Progresses have been made: The proportion of girls in Higher Education has increased from 25%(1999) to 32%(2005).[118]Yet gender still generates inequality, for numerous reasons: Hostile school environment, priority given to the boys in poor families, perpetuation of "gender roles" ("a woman belongs to the household"), early customary marriages, teenage pregnancy...[118]

Higher education is more heavily male than female and more wealthy than poor:

HE in Ghana is disproportionately ‘consumed’ by the richest 20% of the population. Male students from the highest income quintile (Q5) are more than seven times more likely to enter and successfully complete HE than those from the poorest quintile (Q1). The situation is even more precarious for the female category where students come from only the richest 40% of the population.

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat launched an online scholarship application and administration system to help eliminate the inconvenience that scholarship applicants experience seeking government sponsorship in education and also help the Secretariat to properly and efficiently administer scholarships to applicants. In just four steps, any applicant can apply for scholarship online, from the comfort of their homes, then take an aptitude test after the online application and be interviewed in their own districts afterwards, without having to travel to Accra for interview as was done in the past.[119] RECENT

ICT in education[edit]

Some University of Ghana students engaged in a Wikipedia outreach

Computer technology used for teaching and learning began to receive governments’ attention in the past decade. The ICT in Education Policy of Ghana requires the use of ICT for teaching and learning at all levels of the education system. Attempts have been made by the Ministry of Education to support institutions in the teaching of ICT literacy. Most secondary, and some basic, schools have computer laboratories.[120] Despite the interest in ICT, computers are very limited and are often carried around to ensure that they do not get stolen.[121]

A recent study on the Pedagogical integration of ICTs from 2009 to 2011 in 10 Ghanaian schools indicates that there is a gap between the policy directives and actual practices in schools. The emphasis of the official curricula is on the development of students’ skills in operating ICTs but not necessarily using the technology as a means of learning subjects other than ICTs. The study also found that the Ministry of Education is currently at the stage of deployment of ICT resources for developing the needed ICT literacy required for integration into teaching/learning.[120]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Public spending on education, total (% of government expenditure)". World Bank. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, pages 9-12; table 46 (p. 78).
  3. ^ 122108447901948 (2018-10-03). "Schools under trees deserve national priority". Graphic Online. Retrieved 2020-01-11.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Glavin, Chris (2017-02-06). "History of Education in Ghana | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  5. ^ a b Lord, Jack (2011). "Child Labor in the Gold Coast: The Economics of Work, Education, and the Family in Late-Colonial African Childhoods, c. 1940-57" (PDF). The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. 4: 88–115. doi:10.1353/hcy.2011.0005.
  6. ^ a b c Hymer, Stephen (Spring 2018). "Economic Forms in Pre-Colonial Ghana". Economic History Association. 30 (1): 33–50. doi:10.1017/S0022050700078578. hdl:10419/160011. JSTOR 2116722.
  7. ^ a b Akurang, Kwabena-Parry (2002). ""The Loads Are Heavier than Usual": Forced Labor by Women and Children in the central province, Gold Coast (Colonial Ghana), CA. 1900-1940". African Economic History. 30 (30): 31–35. doi:10.2307/3601601. JSTOR 3601601.
  8. ^ "Ghana". 27 November 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  9. ^ Glavin, Chris (2017-02-06). "Education in Ghana | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  10. ^ "Forum". Association of African Entrepreneurs. 2019-08-17. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  11. ^ a b c d Joe Adu-Agyem; Patrick Osei-Poku (November 2012). "Quality Education In Ghana: The Way Forward". International Journal of Innovative Research and Development. pp. 165–166. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b Denis Cogneau; Alexander Moradi (November 2012). "Borders that divide: Education and religion in Ghana and Togo since colonial times" (PDF). The African Economic History Network. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  13. ^ Ansah, Solomon (2017-10-02). "History of Education in Ghana". GhanaCulturePolitics. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  14. ^ "Ghana |". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  15. ^ "Ghana - History Background". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  16. ^ "Brief History of State-Organized Education in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  17. ^ "Brief History of State-Organized Education in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  18. ^ "Philip Quaque School carries history of Ghana's education". Graphic Online. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  19. ^ "First School In Ghana In Ruins". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  20. ^ "Brief History of State-Organized Education in Ghana". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  21. ^ McWilliam ; Kwamena-Poh, H O A ; M A (1975). The Development of Education in Ghana. London: Longman. ISBN 9780582607644.
  22. ^ "Brief History of State-Organized Education in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  23. ^ "Ghana, a country study" (PDF). Federal Research Division Library of Congress. November 1994. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  24. ^ a b c C. K. Graham (1971). The History of Education in Ghana: From the earliest time to the declaration of independence. F. Cass. pp. 181–185.
  25. ^ a b c d Kwame Akyeampong. "Educational Expansion and Access in Ghana: A Review of 50 Years of Challenge and Progress" (PDF). Centre for International Education, University of Sussex. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  26. ^ Ghana Education Service (GES) (2004). "The development of Education, National report of Ghana" (PDF). UNESCO-IBE. p. 2. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  27. ^ Daniel, G. F. (1997–98). "The universities in Ghana". The Commonwealth Universities Year Book. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h Abena D. Oduro (2000). "Basic Education in Ghana in the post-reform period" (PDF). Center for Policy Analysis (CEPA).
  29. ^ "International Year Book of Education" (PDF). UNESCO-IBE. 1969. p. 79. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g Nii Moi Thompson; Leslie Casely-Hayford. "The financing and outcomes of Education in Ghana" (PDF). University of Cambridge. pp. 9–14. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  31. ^ a b John Macbeath (October 2010). "Living with the colonial legacy: The Ghana story" (PDF). Center for Common Wealth Education. p. 2. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  32. ^ a b Nii Moi Thompson; Leslie Casely-Hayford. "The financing and outcomes of Education in Ghana" (PDF). University of Cambridge. p. 26. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  33. ^ Joshua J.K. Baku, ERNWACA (2003). "Critical Perspectives on Education and skills in eastern Africa on basic and post-basic Levels". NORRAG. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g "World Data on Education" (PDF). UNESCO-IBE. September 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  35. ^ a b D. K. Mereku (2000). "Demand and supply of basic school teachers in Ghana" (PDF). University College of Education of Winneba. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  36. ^ "National Profile - 2001 / 2002 School Year Data" (PDF). Ministry of Education, Ghana. Retrieved 25 September 2014.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "National Profile - 2007 / 2008 School Year Data" (PDF). Ministry of Education, Ghana. Retrieved 25 September 2014.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "National Profile - 2012 / 2013 School Year Data" (PDF). Ministry of Education, Ghana. Retrieved 25 September 2014.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ a b "Education in Ghana"
  40. ^ "What to know about the National Accreditation Board (NAB)". Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  41. ^ "Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education (%)". Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^ "Making tertiary education free: a priority of all university students". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  44. ^ Inc, Eddies Teddies. "A Charity that Empowers Children to dream". Eddies Teddies Inc. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  45. ^ Rustin, Susanna (7 April 2015). "Almost 90% of Ghana's children are now in school". Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  46. ^ "F.I.R.E - Project Ghana". F.I.R.E - Project Ghana. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  47. ^ "Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)". World Bank. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  48. ^ "Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)". World Bank. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  49. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, Table (p. 9), Table 6 (p. 30), Table 46 (p. 48).
  50. ^ "UNICEF – Basic Education and Gender Equality" (PDF). United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  51. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, Table 2 (p. 25), Table 4 (p. 27), Table 6 (p. 30), Table 26 (p. 55).
  52. ^ a b c d e f Ministry of Education 2013, p. 65.
  53. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, p. 66.
  54. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, Table (p. 9), Table 6 (p. 30).
  55. ^ Ministry of Education 2013, Table 2 (p. 25), Table 4 (p. 27), Table 6 (p. 30), Table 26(p. 55).
  56. ^ a b Ministry of Education 2013, Table 46 (p. 78).
  57. ^ "Fact sheet, Education in Ghana" (PDF). UNICEF. October 2012. p. 1, table comparing sub–sahara to Ghana. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  58. ^ "Global competitiveness report" (PDF). World Economic Forum. 2014. p. 196. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  59. ^ a b c d e f g "Basic Education curriculum". Ghana Education Service (GES). Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  60. ^ Glavin, Chris (2017-02-06). "Education in Ghana | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  61. ^ a b c NUFFIC 2013, pp. 4–5.
  62. ^ a b "Basic curriculum Education: The Junior High Education". Ghana Education Service. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  63. ^ a b c West African Examinations Council(corporate site: Ghana). "BECE". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  64. ^ BUABENG, PAUL (2019-07-15). "Structure of Formal Education in Ghana". FOS Publishers. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  65. ^ Glavin, Chris (2017-02-06). "Structure of Formal Education | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  66. ^ NUFFIC 2013, p. 7.
  67. ^ NUFFIC 2013, p. 9.
  68. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Vocational Education in Ghana". UNESCO-UNEVOC. July 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  69. ^ a b c d e f g Atuahene, Ansah 2013, p. 2.
  70. ^ a b "Country profile: Ghana" (PDF). International Association for National Youth Service. 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  71. ^ a b "Mandate of the NSS". National Service Scheme (NSS). Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  72. ^ a b c "A Brief History of the Ghanaian Educational System". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09.
  73. ^ a b c NUFFIC 2013, p. 5.
  74. ^ West African Examinations Council (WAEC) (2012). "WASSCE - subjects for examination". Archived from the original on 2 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  75. ^ Modern Ghana. "The 2007 education Reform and its challenges". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  76. ^ Ghanaweb (2 September 2009). "3-year SHS programme starts next year". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  77. ^ TV3 Network. "Bring back the 4 year SHS system". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  78. ^ Ghana Web (5 June 2013). "The fate of Ghana's Education system". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  79. ^ a b c d e NUFFIC 2013, p. 11.
  80. ^ Expose Ghana (March 2014). "2013 WASSCE SHS Rankings- Full List". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  81. ^ a b c "From prejudice to prestige: Vocational education and training in Ghana" (PDF). Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  82. ^ "The development of Education: National report of Ghana" (PDF). IBE. 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  83. ^ "Ghana private tertiary institutions offering degree program" Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  84. ^ "Private Colleges of Education". National Accreditation Board (NAB). Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  85. ^ a b c NUFFIC 2013, pp. 9–10.
  86. ^ "April 13, 2020 – St Francis College of Education". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  87. ^ Tetteh, Cherko (17 March 2020). "Official Admission Forms For All Colleges Of Education In Ghana And How To Apply 2020 / 2021". Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  88. ^ Glavin, Chris (2017-02-06). "Structure of Formal Education | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  89. ^ a b c Nsiah-Peprah, Y. (1 January 2004). "Assessment of the role of private schools in the development of education in Ghana. A study of the Kumasi Metropolis". Journal of Science and Technology (Ghana). 24 (2): 54–75. ISSN 0855-0395.
  90. ^ Adoma, K., & S. Yeboah (2014). "Privatization of Education in Ghana: An International Comparison with the Dutch Educational System". International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 3(1).
  91. ^ Akyeampong, Kwame (2009). "Public–private partnership in the provision of basic education in Ghana: challenges and choices". Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 39 (2): 135–149. doi:10.1080/03057920902750368 – via Taylor & Francis Online.
  92. ^ University of Birmingham (April 2014). "The role and impact of private schools in developing countries - Bibliography and literature reviews" (PDF). Institute of Education, University of London. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  93. ^ "Private schools for the poor". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  94. ^ Tooley, James; Dixon, Pauline; Amuah, Isaac (1 July 2007). "Private and Public Schooling in Ghana: A Census and Comparative Survey". International Review of Education. 53 (4): 389–415. Bibcode:2007IREdu..53..389T. doi:10.1007/s11159-007-9042-3. ISSN 0020-8566.
  95. ^ Abdul-Hamid, Husein; Baum, Donald Rey; De Brular, Laura Lewis; Lusk-Stover, Oni; Tettey, Leslie Ofosu. 2017. Ghana Engaging the Private Sector in Education: SABER Pilot Country Report 2015. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
  96. ^ a b "Ghana Education Decentralization Project (GEDP): Operational Framework for National Teaching Council (NTC)" (PDF). Ministry of Education. February 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  97. ^ "About the WASSCE". WASSCE. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  98. ^ a b c "Education Finance Brief, Ghana". Ministry of Education. November 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  99. ^ a b c d Nii Moi Thompson; Leslie Casely-Hayford. "The financing and outcomes of Education in Ghana" (PDF). University of Cambridge. pp. 16–17. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  100. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kwame Bediako Asare; Seth Kofi Nti (April 2014). "Teacher Education in Ghana: A contemporary synopsis and matters arising". SageOpen. Retrieved 25 July 2014.[permanent dead link]
  101. ^ "Research overview: Teacher preparation and continuing professional development in Africa (TPA)". University of Sussex. 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  102. ^ a b c d "National Functional Literacy Programme (NFLP)" (PDF). Overseas Development Institute. 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  103. ^ a b c d e Francis Owusu-Mensah (2008). "Ghana non-formal Education" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  104. ^ "Adult and youth literacy: National, regional and global trends, 1985-2015" (PDF). UNESCO-UIS. June 2013. p. 51 (Table 6). Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  105. ^ Sherry K. Amedorme, Yesuenyeagbe A.K. Fiagbe (June 2013). "Challenges Facing Technical And Vocational Education in Ghana". International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research. 2: 256. CiteSeerX
  106. ^ a b c d e f g "From prejudice to prestige: Vocational education and training in Ghana" (PDF). Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). 2011. pp. 19–35. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  107. ^ a b c d e "Ghana country profile" (PDF). OECD. 2008. pp. 341–342. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  108. ^ Adam Dasmani. "Challenges facing technical institute graduates in practical skills acquisition in the upper East region of Ghana" (PDF). Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education (APJCE). p. 2. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  109. ^ "Skills advocate: Quarterly COTVET newsletter" (PDF). COTVET. March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  110. ^ Atuahene, Ansah 2013, fig. 1 (p. 3).
  111. ^ Atuahene, Ansah 2013, p. fig. 3(p. 4).
  112. ^ Manuh T.; Sulley G.; Budu J. (2007). Change and transformation in Ghana's publicly funded universities. Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PDF). Oxford, UK: James Currey and Accra.
  113. ^ "Addae-Mensah says inequalities in basic education system is dangerous". Modern Ghana. 23 February 2000. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  114. ^ a b Atuahene, Ansah 2013, p. 9.
  115. ^ "University of Ghana to admit students from less endowed SSS". Ghana Web. March 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  116. ^ "KNUST implements scheme for admitting students from less endowed schools". August 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  117. ^ "Girl's Education". Ghana Education Service. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  118. ^ a b Atuahene, Ansah 2013, pp. 5-6.
  119. ^ Tetteh, Cherko (16 April 2020). "Apply For Scholarship In Ghana And Abroad Using Government's Online Application Process". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  120. ^ a b K. D. Mereku, I. Yidana, W. H. K. HORDZI, I. Tete-Mensah; Williams, J. B. (2009). Pedagogical integration of ICT: Ghana report. [1]
  121. ^ Marshall, Lillie. "Fun Facts about Ghana's School Systems". Around the World L. Retrieved 17 May 2016.


External links[edit]


Data and reports from external institutions