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A Look into the Education System of Ghana

A Look into the Education System of Ghana

Ghana is a West African country with a population of about 31 million people. It has a rich and diverse culture, history, and natural resources.

 

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Education is one of the key sectors that contributes to the development and prosperity of Ghana.

The education system of Ghana is divided into four levels: basic education, secondary education, tertiary education, and lifelong learning. In this article, we will explore some of the features, challenges, and opportunities of each level.

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Ghana education

Basic Education

Basic education in Ghana consists of pre-primary, primary, junior high school (JHS), and senior high school (SHS). It is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15.

Basic education aims to provide learners with basic literacy and numeracy skills, as well as general knowledge and values. The sole official language of instruction throughout the basic education system is English.

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Students may study in any of eleven local languages for much of the first three years, after which English becomes the medium. Students continue to study a Ghanaian language as well as French as classroom subjects through at least the ninth grade.

The basic education curriculum covers six core subjects: English Language, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Civic Education, and Life Skills. Each subject has a prescribed number of hours per week that students are expected to attend classes.

The curriculum also includes various co-curricular activities such as clubs, sports, music, art, drama, and community service.

The basic education system faces some challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, low quality teaching and learning materials, high dropout rates especially among girls and rural students, and limited access to information technology (IT) resources.

However, there are also some opportunities for improvement such as increasing teacher training and motivation, enhancing parental involvement and community participation, promoting gender equality and social inclusion, and integrating IT into teaching and learning.

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Ghana education

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Ghana comprises JHS (three years) and SHS (three or four years). It is optional for students who have completed basic education or have passed certain examinations such as the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) or the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Secondary education aims to provide learners with more advanced skills in specific subjects such as sciences, arts, vocational or technical fields.

The curriculum also exposes students to different cultures through foreign languages such as French or Spanish.

The secondary school transcript should contain a letter or percentage grade for each subject for each term for three years. Students’ term reports contain rank in class for each subject as well as grades for classwork and end-of-term exams.

The grading system is tough: 80-100% is usually an A grade rarely awarded; 4% of grades are A’s; while 80% of grades are passes; only 53% of grades are credit passes; C’s can be quite competitive grades; F’s are failing grades; D7-E8 are very poor grades; F9 is failing with penalty points; PASS means no credit; FAIL means no pass.

The secondary school system faces some challenges such as overcrowded classrooms due to high enrollment rates especially among girls3, lack of adequate facilities such as libraries, laboratories, computers, and sports equipment, low quality teaching and learning materials, high dropout rates especially among rural and disadvantaged students, and limited access to higher education opportunities due to high fees, poor infrastructure, and limited scholarships and financial aid programs.

However, there are also some opportunities for improvement such as increasing teacher training and motivation, enhancing parental involvement and community participation, promoting gender equality and social inclusion, integrating IT into teaching and learning, expanding access to higher education through public universities or private colleges, and improving quality assurance mechanisms such as accreditation and certification systems3 .

 

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in Ghana comprises universities (four years) or colleges (two years). It is optional for students who have completed secondary education or have passed certain examinations such as the WASSCE or other national examinations recognized by universities.

Tertiary education aims to provide learners with specialized knowledge and skills in various fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, medicine, law, business, agriculture, etc.

The curriculum varies depending on the level of study: undergraduate programs usually consist of core courses and elective courses; graduate programs usually consist of coursework and research projects; doctoral programs usually consist of coursework dissertation defense.

The curriculum also exposes students to different cultures through foreign languages such as French or Spanish.

The tertiary school transcript should contain a letter or percentage grade for each course taken during each semester or year.

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