Education System

Formal education in Ghana preceded colonization. The first schools were established by European merchants and missionaries. During the colonial period, a formal state education structure was modelled on the British system. This structure has been through a series of reforms since Ghana gained its independence in 1957. In the 1980s, further reforms have brought the structure of the education system closer to an American model. 

Ghana's educational System is highly centralized. The Ministry of Education and its agencies are responsible for the entire educational system in the country. Entrance to universities is by examination following completion of senior secondary school. Ghana has over 15,000 primary schools, 7,000 junior secondary schools, 700 senior secondary schools, 25 training colleges, 30 technical institutions and over 10 public and private universities. 


Though Public schools are suppose to be better than private because they receive funding from the state and therefore, have more equipment and supplies. Private schools which depend on tuition and receive no government aid are performing well than their public counterparts. Primary and junior secondary education is tuition-free and mandatory in the public schools. However, there is no way to enforce attendance since; there are not enough teachers and facilities available to accommodate all the students. Students begin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reforms implemented in 1987, the students, after primary school, pass into a new junior secondary school system for 3 years of academic training combined with technical and vocational training. 

The TIG factor on the Education System

A major negative factor on the quality of teaching in Ghana is the reliance on 24,000 untrained teachers in rural and underserved areas. Thirty seven percent of Ghana’s primary school level teachers do not meet national minimum standards for teaching. Only 52 percent of children reach the sixth grade; of those only 23 percent become proficient in English, Ghana’s official language and the main language of instruction. Ghanaian government has often been criticised for providing insufficient resources to basic education, resulting in low primary enrolment rates, untrained personnel, teacher absenteeism and high school fees. In addition, poor remunerations which are feature of most developing countries have worsened teacher shortages. Rural and underserved communities do not have the qualified teachers and community support to have a quality education. Moreover, the limited education available to girls has exacerbated the HIV/AIDS pandemic and negatively impacts the likelihood of families to encourage schooling for primary school aged children.