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Youth Education in Ghana

Youth Education in Ghana
Ghana is an African country located on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. Youth education in Ghana has been steadily improving in recent years thanks to government programs that have helped improve the education sector.

Youth Education in Ghana in Numbers

The education sector in Ghana has seen improvements in a number of educational levels. Primary school completion rates have raised from 80 percent of the total population in 2008 to close to 100 percent in 2016.

The out-of-school rate for children in primary school has fallen from 25 percent of the population in 2008 to 15 percent of the population in 2016. The amount of teachers trained for primary and secondary school has also risen by 5 percent in this time span.

While these improvements are certainly noteworthy, there is still much work to be done. Nearly 623,500 children are not enrolled in primary school and one out of four children are not enrolled in preschool. It is also estimated that 20 percent of children with physical disabilities are not attending schools.

School System in Ghana

Schools in Ghana operate on a 6-3-4-4 system. This means that the education is consisted out of six years of primary school, three years of junior high school, four years of senior high school and four years for a university bachelor’s degree. Admission to the senior secondary school is fairly competitive, allowing only for 150,000 students to admittance to the 500 public and 200 private national secondary schools. Ghanaian students may also enroll in public boarding schools for senior secondary education, but there are only a half dozen international private secondary schools in the country that have around 300 student graduates on a yearly basis.

The curriculum for public national schools includes English Language, Integrated Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. Students also take three or four electives chosen from seven categories: Sciences, Arts, Vocational (visual arts or home economics), Technical, Business and Agriculture. After finishing senior secondary school, students take the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The exam is difficult, with only 4 percent of students receiving A’s.

Government Role in Youth Education in Ghana

The Government of Ghana is currently in the process of finalizing the new Education Strategic Plan 2018-2030, with the goal of ensuring education plays a large role in the national development agenda.

The main priorities of the program include allowing equal opportunities for accessing education in a conducive environment, achieving a high level of educational standards across all age groups, more relevant instructional model that will allow education and skills to be taught depending on community and individual needs and finally more efficient management of resources that will focus on low wastage of money in achieving goals and ensuring a sustainable balance of continual development of the education system.

Improving educational standards is a very important factor in the strategic plan. Overcrowding in classrooms, low access to clean water and a shortage of reading material are obstacles to a successful learning environment. 

The system will look to address some of the underlying educational issues in Ghana, such as enticing students to return to school after dropping out and improving early grade education. These problems are directly correlated with the youth of Ghana and it can help them break the cycle of poverty.

Youth education in Ghana is an important factor in eradicating poverty in the country. Knowing that education can be the key to improving the living standard of the citizens, the government has taken and plans to implement different programs to educate its population.

 – Casey Geier
Photo: Flickr