Ghana - Education

Education

Main article: Education in Ghana Ghanaian Junior High School students in a classroom, March 2008

The adult literacy rate in Ghana was 75% in 2007, with males at 87.2% and females at 67.1%. Ghana has a six-year primary education system beginning at age six, and, under the educational reforms implemented in 1987 and reformed in 2007, they pass on to a three-year junior high school system. At the end of the third year of junior high, there is a mandatory "Basic Education Certificate Examination". Those continuing must complete the four-year senior high school program (which has been changed to three years) and take an admission exam to enter any university or tertiary programme.

Presently, Ghana has 21,530 primary schools, 8,850 junior secondary schools, 900 senior secondary schools, 52 public training colleges, 5 private training colleges, 5 polytechnical institutions, 4 non-university public tertiary institutions, 8 public universities and over 45 private tertiary institutions. Most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to primary and secondary education. These numbers can be contrasted with the single university and handful of secondary and primary schools that existed at the time of independence in 1957. Ghana's spending on education has varied between 28–40% of its annual budget in the past decade. All teaching is done in English, mostly by qualified Ghanaian educators.

The courses taught at the primary or basic school level include English, Ghanaian language and culture, mathematics, environmental studies, social studies and French as a third language are added, integrated or general science, pre-vocational skills and pre-technical skills, religious and moral education, and physical activities such as music, dance and physical education. The senior high level school curriculum has core subjects and elective subjects of which students must take four the core subjects of English language, mathematics, integrated science (including science, agriculture and environmental studies) and social studies (economics, geography, history and government).

The high-school students also choose three elective subjects from five available programmes: agriculture programme, general programme (arts or science option), business programme, vocational programme and technical programme. Apart from most primary and secondary schools which choose the Ghanaian system of schooling, there are also international schools such as the Ghana International School, Takoradi International School, Tema International School, Galaxy International School, The Roman Ridge School, Lincoln Community School, Faith Montessori School, American International 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).

Side view of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) College of Architecture and Planning in Kumasi

With over 95% of its children in school, Ghana currently has one of the highest school enrollment rates in all of Africa. The ratio of girls to boys in the total education system is 1:0.96, which for a West African country is a considerable achievement. That said, some 470,000 children still remain out of school because of corruption, which has led to resource constraints in building schools, providing adequate textbooks and training new teachers.

There are six national public universities in Ghana, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Education, University for Development Studies and University of Mines and Technology. Ghana also has a growing number of accredited private universities including Ashesi University College, Central University College, Catholic University College, Regent University College of Science and Technology and Valley View University.

The oldest university in Ghana, The University of Ghana, was founded in 1948. It had a total of about 29,754 students in 2008. Its programmes in the Arts, Humanities, Business, and the Social Sciences, as well as Medicine are the best in the country. The University has produced the bulk of lawyers and politicians in the country.

Unfortunately, the university's stiff opposition to the standard of a new senior secondary school system have seen a shift of its traditionally best students to the Kwame Nkrumah University. Since Ghana's independence, the country has been one of the most educational in sub-Saharan Africa. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been chancellor of the University of Ghana since 2008.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the second university to be established in Ghana, is the premier university of science and technology in Ghana and West Africa.

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