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This historical study addresses the question of inconsistency in the Educational policies of Ghana focusing on the impact on Senior Secondary School Education. It examines the persistent adjustment of Educational reforms witnessed in Ghana whenever there is a change in government. The study acknowledges the frantic efforts made by successive governments since independence to reform the educational system of Ghana to meet the basic requirements to meet the developmental needs of the country. The study traces the his tory of colonial education and the tremendous contributions of missionaries in the establishment of formal education in the region. The effort of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to inculcate African Studies into the British inherited system of Education is discussed in this study. Various adaptations of foreign models of education were also examined. Using qualitative approach and secondary sources, the study highlights the structure of Ghana’s Educational System and the major educational reforms introduced by both Military and Civilian Governments. The study further highlights the fundamental reasons behind the implementation of various reforms by governments when in power.
Journal of Education and Human Development
September 2016, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 158-172
ISSN: 2334-296X (Print), 2334-2978 (Online)
Copyright © The Author(s). All Rights Reserved.
Published by American Research Institute for Policy Development
DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v5n3a17
Educational Reforms in Ghana: Past and Present
Samuel Adu-Gyamfi1, Wilhemina Joselyn Donkoh2 & Anim Adinkrah Addo3
This historical study addresses the question of inconsistency in the Educational policies of Ghana focusing on
the impact on Senior Secondary School Education. It examines the persistent adjustment of Educational
reforms witnessed in Ghana whenever there is a change in government. The study acknowledges the frantic
efforts made by successive governments since independence to reform the educational system of Ghana to
meet the basic requirements to meet the developmental needs of the country. The study traces the history of
colonial education and the tremendous contributions of missionaries in the establishment of formal education
in the region. The effort of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to inculcate African Studies into the British inherited
system of Education is discussed in this study. Various adaptations of foreign models of education were also
examined. Using qualitative approach and secondary sources, the study highlights the structure of Ghana’s
Educational System and the major educational reforms introduced by both Military and Civilian
Governments. The study further highlights the fundamental reasons behind the implementation of various
reforms by Governments when in power
Key Words: Education, Senior High School (SHS), Reforms, Ghana
1.0 Introduction
Education is the act of transferring knowledge in the form of experiences, ideas, skills, customs, and values,
from one person to another or from one generation to generations. Education is widely acknowledged as the
foundation of civilization and development. Reform is used to describe changes in policy, practice or organization.
Reforms also refer to intended or enacted attempts to correct an identified problem. This study defines Educational
Reforms as changes and policies initiated to better educational structure or systems in a country. This paper aims to
trace some of the major changes which have taken place in Ghana’s educational system since the country gained
Independence in 1957, which would be 60 years in March 2017.
Although Ghana’s educational system had previously been regarded as one of the most highly developed and
effective in West Africa, by the 1980s it was in near collapse and viewed as dysfunctional in relation to the goals and
aspirations of the country [1]. Since March 6, 1957 when Ghana attained independence from British colonial rule,
education has been a major priority on the agenda of successive governments. It has also been subjected to series of
changes, constantly in search of the model which would fit the needs of the country and the expectations of the
citizens [2]. Formal education in Ghana dates back to the colonial period, initial attempts to introduce formal
education were made by the many European merchants, especially the Danes, Dutch and English. The European
merchants and Christian missionaries established schools in the mid-eighteenth century to not only eradicate the high
level of illiteracy but also to propagate the gospel to the indigenous people [3].
1 Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana.
2 Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana.
3 Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana.
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 159
Some historians claim that the Portuguese started one such school at Elmina Castle around 1529 while the
Dutch who evicted them from the castle are believed to have opened their own school in 1644 [3]. Christian
missionaries notably among them were the Basel and Wesleyan who contributed immensely to the provision of quality
education in Gold Coast, for example: The Basel Mission had forty-seven schools and the Wesleyans had eighty four.
In 1874, the British Government had full colonial authority of the Gold Coast colony. Already great progress had
been made in the educational sector as a result of the various Mission schools established [3]. However it is key to
bring to light the fact that in 1882, the government drew the first plan to guide the development of education as a
results of numerous observations which testified that these various missions including the Basel and Wesleyan among
others adopted a system of education varied from one and the other hence, lacking consistency in the educational
sector [3]. The three models of Secondary education in Ghana since colonial times are the Mfantsipim School
founded by the Church (mission) in 1876, Achimota School in 1927 established by the British Colonial government
and the Post- Colonial Junior and Senior Secondary School introduced by the Provincial National Defence Council
(PNDC) under the leadership of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings (1981-1992) [4]. Governments in Ghana since
independence have made enormous efforts to provide quality education to its citizens. However, the structure of the
Ghanaian Educational System before and after independence had not followed the same pattern but been subjected to
several changes.
The present structure of education, which starts at the age of six years, is a six-three-three-four (6-3-3-4)
structure representing, six years of primary education, three years of Junior Secondary School, three years of Senior
Secondary School and four years University course. Furthermore, students who successfully pass the Senior
Secondary School Certificate Examination (S.S.S.C.E) now West African Secondary School Certificate Examination
(WASSCE) can also pursue courses at a Polytechnic, Teachers Training College or other tertiary institutions [5]. It is
significant to note that the current educational system may undergo some changes if there should be a change in
governance. In the year 2000, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) under the leadership of Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour
changed the senior secondary education from the three years system to a four years system. However in 2008, the
change in government saw the National Democratic Congress (NDC) reverted the decision back to three years. With
respect to the various educational institutions in Ghana, this work focuses on all educational sectors and particularly
directs its argument to Senior High School Education.
Several Educational Reforms have been initiated over the years aimed at finding lasting solutions to problems
concerning education in Ghana [4]. For example, the number of years a student is supposed to spend in the second
cycle institution has not been permanent. During the National Redemption Council (1974) under the leadership of
Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, the second cycle institution was four years [4]. However, the Provisional National
Defense Council (1987) changed this period from four years to three years of secondary school education. On the
other hand, the New Patriotic Party (2000) reversed the decision back to four years but only to be reverted to the
three years system under the National Democratic Congress administration from 2009 till present [6]. This issue of
the number of years students spend in Senior High School Education has been a challenge for the Ghanaian
educational system. However, leaders in government do not determine the number of years students should spend at
the second cycle level alone. There are other actors or agents of change toward this end.
Fullan and Stiegelbauer (1991) arguing on Educational change focused on the human participants taking part
in the change process [7]. Fullan (1982, 1991) also focuses on the roles and strategies of various types of change
agents [7,8]. Ellsworth (2001) has stated that the issues that Fullan’s model helps the change agent to deal with include
the questions- what are the implications of change for people or organizations promoting or opposing it at particular
levels? And what can different stakeholders do to promote change. Fullan views every stakeholder in the educational
change as a change agent. We infer that the stakeholders in Ghana’s Education includes the executive arm of
government, the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ghana Education Service (GES) as well as Parents or Guardians
could serve as external change agents not neglecting the fact that it is the students themselves that reforms or policy
affects. Fullan further identifies the fact that there are four phases in the change process namely initiation,
implementation, continuation and outcome. The test for these phases no matter the country or institution is for them
to be able to understand the existence and quality of innovations, access to innovation, and advocacy from central
administration, teacher advocacy and external change [7, 8]. The Pre-and Post-Independence governments were
continually struggling with problems of the structure and quality of education.
160 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
The inconsistency of the structure of Ghanaian educational system is as a result of “over politicization”.
Political parties after gaining power seek to provide reforms that they deem fit especially regarding their quest to
provide quality education for Ghanaians [5]. The objective of this paper is to highlight the continuities and
discontinuities in educational reforms in Ghana from past to preset.
Secondary Education in Ghana bears the responsibility of providing a systematic introduction to knowledge
including technical know-how; to train high-level workers in order to provide highly skilled future university
graduates. These objectives will be effective if the Secondary Education in Ghana is very consistent to the various
mechanisms introduced into the sector. Several Educational Reforms have been initiated over the years to find lasting
solutions to problems concerning education in Ghana [4]. The dilemma is that, there is no guarantee that the number
of years students spend in school at the Senior Secondary School level shall not change with a change in Government.
This paper focuses on the various educational reforms initiated by governments to effect change or provide
quality education to Ghanaians centring on Senior High School Education. For the purposes of this study, qualitative
method was used as the main research methodology. Relevant information from journals, articles, internet,
newspapers, committee reports etc. was used. Again, various newspapers with reportage on education in Ghana were
reviewed. These stories in the newspapers were extracted and analyzed to corroborate or add to the findings of the
research. Reports from various committees’ appointed by governments since independence with the sole
responsibility of providing reforms which sought to provide quality recommendations and programmatic policies to
Ghanaians were reviewed and used as well.
The Ghana Education Service and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in Ashanti region were
consulted to secure reliable data with facts and figures of some of the Senior Secondary School Certificate
Examination (SSSCE) and West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) examination results.
These figures emanating from reliable sources mentioned above helped to critically access the performance of
students at the Senior Secondary Education level with regards to students who attended school for three (3) years and
those who did same in four (4) years. The various approaches adopted by this study helped to adequately analyze the
various educational reforms introduced into Secondary Education and how it impacted students and Ghana in
This paper is divided into three themes; the first theme covers the relevant themes from the literature on the
History of Colonial Education in Ghana, Education during Self Governance, and Adaptation of Foreign Models into
Ghana’s Educational System. The second theme focuses on the Structure of Primary, Junior, Senior High School (
Also used interchangeably as Senior Secondary School) and Tertiary Education in Ghana. The third theme also covers
major educational reforms in Ghana: Past and Present.
2.1 History of Colonial Education in Ghana
According to Djamila and Djafri, the whole process of colonial education in the Gold Coast (Ghana) was as a
result of the British quest to wheel their industry with raw materials. The objective of colonial education from the
author’s point of view was to provide an impulse to economy at home [9]. During the whole period of the Nineteenth
Century, Christian Missionaries were recognized as instructors to the natives. The British were convinced that the
native education should have been under the supervision of the colonial administration. British officials present in the
Gold Coast dates back to as early as 1821 [9].However, the first Europeans, mainly the businessmen and the
missionaries who had settled on the West African Coast, were the first to introduce western education. The literature
further states that, the form of education by the colonial masters was only for the mulatto children, children of chiefs
and those of local wealthy merchants or traders. According to Djamila and Djafri, the sole objective of the Europeans
was the search for minerals and natural commodities as well as to secure market for their manufactured goods. It is
essential to note that, it was through commerce that the Europeans intended to civilize the natives of Africa or the
little interest of educating them [9].
Djamila and Djafri argue that colonial education became one of the colonial administrations major concerns
in the early 1880’s which received greater attention from the government for education to be more diversified in its
objectives than that of the missionaries whose sole interest was preparing good churchmen. [9] The two authors
further advance their argument as to why the British attitudes towards colonial education changed.
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 161
According to Djamila and Djafri, it was partly as a result of reports from Matiew Arnold who worked as an
inspector of elementary schools from 1851 to 1856, criticizing the colonial government’s indifferent position towards
the field of education. [9] This led to the Enactment of The Education Act of 1870 set as a system of co-operation
between voluntary and government schools. [9] It aimed at building schools in areas lacking Educational facilities. The
literature is significant to this research as it traces the main ideologies behind the quest of the British and various
missionaries to introduce western education in Gold Coast. The paper further educates the mode or criteria to which
education was rendered to the people of Gold Coast. However, though education was established in Gold Coast, it
was not for all citizens but particular sects of people in the country. This literature helped to understand how
education started in Ghana and how far we are now.
In his book “Ghana: Evolution and Change in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century’s” Adu Boahen argues
that the Europeans came to the coast of Ghana from the 1470s as their quest to spread the propagation of Christian
gospel. He further states the various attempts by the missionaries to establish schools to educate the local indigenes
for example; Jacabus Elisa Johannes Capitein of Ivory Coast descent started two schools in Elmina in 1742 which
comprised of one school for the mullato children and the other for Africans, however both schools collapsed after his
death in 1747 [10].It is equally significant to make mention of Philip Quacoe’s main contribution to Education which
was to have kept his school opened in 1766 until his death [10]. He emphasized that the greatest activities of the
missionaries were in the evangelical and educational fields. The missionaries took interest in not only primary,
elementary, secondary education and also technical and teacher-training in Ghana. Adu Boahen however
chronologically arranges in sequence, the various secondary schools established by the missionaries in the field of
education. The Wesleyan mission in 1876 was the first to build Secondary School in Ghana now properly known as
Mfantsipim School [10].The second Secondary School was the Adisadel College formerly known as “The Church of
England Grammers School which was started in Cape Coast in 1910 [10].The Catholic mission in 1930 founded St.
Augustine’s college while in 1938 the Presbyterian mission established the Odumase-Krobo Secondary School. Adu
Boahen makes clear indications of the enormous contribution of the missionaries’ activities to Education in Ghana
[10].However, Adu Boahen also gave recognition to the fact that the missions saw to the promotion of only
Christianity and Western Education but also the promotion of agriculture and legitimate trade. This contradicts the
point Djamila and Djafri established in their article “The Role of Colonial Education in Retrospect: The Gold Coast
Case in the Era of Imperialism” that it was the sole interest of the Europeans in acquisition of raw materials to feed
their industries and hence introduced Western Education in the region. According to Adu Boahen, the missions in
Ghana did not only subject themselves to saving the souls of Ghanaians and educating them but also attended to their
physical well-being by promoting agriculture and trade and to a large extent the abolition of some inhuman practices
in the Ghanaian society [10]. Adu Boahen’s account explicitly outlines and gives details of the various missionary
schools established in Gold Coast to help the educational sector. This information is very vital for this study as it
illuminates the contributions and hard work of the missionary activities in Gold Coast.
Furthermore, one of the appointed governors of Gold Coast, Sir Gordon Guggisberg, is generally regarded as
the most active and successful governor of the colony’s history. David Williams wrote that the governor was very
passionate with the critical importance of education. He argues that Guggisberg in his own words expressed the need
for education as the “keystone of progress” [11]. According to David Williams, Gordon Guggisberg referred to the
system of the education in Gold Coast (Ghana) as:
“…rotten to the core. Not only is it inadequate in not going far enough, but it has proved inefficient in its
results. Inadequate, because it fails to provide facilities for that secondary and higher education which is
essential…Inefficient, because the character training necessary to citizenship and leadership has been largely omitted
in the existing system [11].”
Guggisberg stated that, the foundation of primary education has seriously failed to give good results. He went
on to say that Africans who had attended primary school for manual work. Gordon Guggisberg laid much emphasis
on the essence of primary education within the framework of education [11]. Though primary education is the
stepping stone to secondary education should be treated as something important in itself. According to David
Williams, Guggisberg took measures in the provision of good teachers as the basis of his priority in executing his
proposed reforms. In addition, attention was given to vocation and technical field to help Ghanaians provide for
themselves which goes against the colonial policy [11].
162 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
However, according to Moses K. Antwi, there was an erroneous perception that before the arrival of the
Europeans, Africa had no history or in other words had no form of education. Moses further explained that the term
education was used specifically to communicate formal instruction in European-type of schools[12].He argues that,
the significance of Traditional Education in Ghana was and continues to play important role of introducing all
institutions taboos, values and functions to the society [12]. Antwi emphasizes that traditional education is an effective
type of education because it is intertwined with life activities in the community. This form of education is done
through participation, imitation and observation of productive activities family life and group activities. With respect
to traditional setting, the family educates the child before the age of six with the support of parents [12]. Furthermore,
between the ages of seven and ten there is intense physical and mental activity. He added that:
“…..The nature of traditional and practical education varies according to the needs of a particular society and
the demands of its environment. Within a finishing community a child is given the necessary orientation to make him
a resourceful and effective member of that particular group. In a community of hunters, the training is directed at the
skills which sharpen the sense of the youth so that they develop their responses to the stimuli of the environment”
In the traditional community, various rituals associated with different facets of life have their respective
educational function. This is evident during celebration of marriages, births, funerals, festivals among others where
specific ideas and mode of behavior are stressed [12]. It is essential to note that, participation in some of these
numerous activities in the community or society helps participants invariably learn new things. Antwi highlighted the
existence of traditional forms of education before the arrival of the Europeans in an attempt to eradicate the assertion
that Africa had no history before the arrival of Europeans. Graham argues that, Portuguese influence on the Gold
Coast is evident in the history of Ghana. Portugal was among the European Countries whose activities in the region
had great impact on the economic and educational life of the country [13]. He further states that, the aim of the
Portuguese to make converts to the Catholic faith probably made them the first to open a school in Gold Coast now
Ghana. Furthermore, Graham states that the seizure of the Elmina Castle by the Dutch also led them to recognize the
school in the Castle. The Dutch also had similar aims as the Portuguese, to help children who were ready to learn and
progress in the Christian faith. All Christian schools constructed under “The Dutch Charter of 1621” were to teach or
educate children with the Reforms of the Church or the teachings and doctrines of the Dutch Church [13].
Graham again advanced an interesting argument that there was an urgent call from the Royal African
Company to have literate interpreters to enhance the activities of trade hence establishing a school at Cape Coast in
1694 [13]. He added that, Christian missions played important role to educate citizens in the Gold Coast despite its
greater beneficiary being mulattoes as compared to the “blacks”. Graham made mention of African people who were
sent to England to be educated and return to Gold Coast and impacted in all diverse ways [13] It is important to point
out that Graham did a comprehensive work on the topic under study by giving account of the tremendous role played
by the Crown (colonial government) and the missionaries with respect to education in Ghana. Akyeampong has also
argued that, Ghana under the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was no exception to many countries that
strategically reformed their educational sector to accelerate economic and social development.
According to Akyeampong, at independence Ghana had drawn plans of how education was going to
effectively support the efforts to become a prosperous economy [14]. He went on to say that, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
spelt out his governments’ vision which has education at the centre to the old Legislative Assembly. Nkrumah’s
“development of education was to achieve three goals: first, it was to be used as a tool for producing a scientifically
literate population. Secondly, for tackling mainly the environmental causes of low productivity; and thirdly for
producing knowledge to harness Ghana’s economic potential” [14]. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was noted to be
determined to initiate educational policies that were useful for the growth of the economy. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah paid
particular attention to technical education in Ghana. He believed that technical education was essential to Ghana’s
route for accelerating technological and economic growth [14]. Akyeampong further argues that through
apprenticeship schemes with industries, technical education was linked to labour market requirements and outstanding
students were encouraged to pursue their education to university level. Akyeampong agrees with David Williams’
perspective of Gordon Guggisberg being keen on how important primary education and qualified teachers are
necessary for the growth of education in Ghana [14].
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 163
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah recognized primary education as preparations for higher levels of education. However,
in 1960, the introduction of fee-free compulsory primary and middle school education and also investment in good
teachers all geared towards the promotion of quality primary education. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s plan for education
was to reduce poverty through increased economic productivity with advanced science and technology. Akyeampong
has added that another greatest achievement by Nkrumah’s administration was the establishment of a Ghana
Education Trust to support the rapid expansion of secondary schools and technical education [14].
Again, according to Stanislaus Kadingdi, there was an Accelerated Development Plans (ADP) in 1951 which
gained legal backing through the introduction of the 1961 Education Act. The Act sought to provide free, universal
and compulsory basic education for all children from six years of age [1]. The first nationalist government led by Dr.
Kwame Nkrumah assumed office with respect to the promulgation of a new constitution in 1951. The Accelerated
Development Plan for Education was introduced by the Nkrumah administration immediately when they assumed
office in 1951 [12]. This plan was implemented in January 1952 basically to provide quality education or enhance the
rapid development of education at all levels. Antwi’s commentary emphasises that Amissah’s Committee Report led to
the introduction of a free-tuition for children between ages of six (6) and twelve (12) and the amendments in the post-
primary system [12].
Antwi argues that, from 1952-1957 primary and middle school places increased and also the improvement in
the field of technical education [12]. Also, there were number of difficulties associated with the number of classrooms
available and the required teachers. However, under Nkrumah administration, the Seventh Standard School Leaving
Certificate Examination was replaced by an internal assessment of Middle Form Four (4) pupils [12]. According to
Moses K. Antwi, from 1953, a country-wide Middle School Leaving Certificate Examination organized by the West
African Examinations Council was instituted to replace the internal assessment of Middle Form Four (4) pupils. It is
key to note that this change enhanced the quality of both the examination and its certificates [12]. According to Moses
K. Antwi, new Secondary Schools were built by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Educational Trust in 1958. Also, Free and
Compulsory primary and middle school Education for all children of school-going age began in September 1961 [12].
Adu Boahen hinted that Nkrumah’s administration recorded tremendous improvements in the field of education. In
his first period, he prioritized the promotion of education at all levels to benefit Ghanains [10]. He further provides
details from the statistical point of view to illustrate the various changes which took place in the educational sector
under the area of study. He argues that, in 1957, the number of primary schools had increased from three thousand
five hundred and seventy-one (3,571) to three thousand seven hundred and thirteen (3,713) in 1959. Also, the same
period saw an additional eighty three (83) middle schools to the existing one thousand three hundred and eleven
(1311) [9]. In 1958, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah established an Educational Trust which contributed to the building of
secondary schools in the country [10]. From independence to the time of Ghana being a Republic, there were fifty-
nine (59) approved government secondary schools and also fifty-two (52) private schools [10]. These improvements in
the secondary schools resulted in total increase of enrollment. According to Adu Boahen, expansion of teacher
training resulted in the establishment of National Teacher Training Council in 1958 to see the interest of teachers.
During Nkrumah’s administration, attention was paid to the two existing university colleges thus University College of
the Gold Coast and the Kumasi College of Arts, Science and Technology [10].
2.2 Adaptation of Foreign Models into Ghanaian Educational System.
The various secondary-education models implemented in Ghana since colonial era can be attributed to
“educational transfer and adaptation” [4] These educational transfers from England and other states such as Japan and
United States of America had a huge influence on Ghana’s development [4 ]. Quist contended that, foreign models
that were adapted have been significant instruments for the human-resources and socio-political development of
Ghana but their emphasis on academic type of education has tended to create a situation of dependency with respect
to techno-scientific and economic development [4]. There were three models of secondary education transferred and
adapted in Ghana since colonial times that are of interest. These include the church missions symbolized as
Mfantsipim School, the British colonial government’s Achimota School, the junior and senior secondary school
introduced by Provision of National Democratic Congress [4]. Quist further states that among the three models of
educational transfer and adaptation policy, the British colonial government’s prototype (Achimota) was of immense
interest [4]. The church model was the first to be transferred from England and adapted to the Ghanaian context.
164 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
The literature states that, the educated elites quickly accepted the model and attempted to modify it through
their own process of cultural adaptation. However, Quist points out that the educated elites who accepted such
“model” studied and trained in England where English academic (grammar) type of education was emphasized [4].
Again, the curriculum at Mfantsipim School became a major issue to tackle, pointing to the struggle and
tensions between cultural nationalism and the contradictions surrounding “educational transfer and adaptation”[4]. It
is significant to note that, Mfantsipim’s curriculum envisioned to bridge the gap between the transferred academic
type of education and a colonial Ghanaian cultural renaissance [4]. Quite ironically, the cultural adaptive medium for
creating the new Ghanaian secondary school that would not implement the church models, interestingly rather
implemented the church models and stressed on colonial and metropolitan language –English [4]. Also, Achimota
model introduced and adapted into the Ghanaian cultural context by the British colonial government of Sir Frederick
Gordon Guggisberg (1919-1927) was totally different from the church’s (Mfantsipim) model [4]. According to Quist,
this model was a combination of two different components of secondary education: the more dominant English
"public" school pattern based on the Eton and Winchester model, and the less dominant Hampton-Tuskegee pattern
from the United States of America [4]. Comparatively, the Mfantsipim model was very direct and free from complex
nature. Hubert Quist further argues that, the model was meant as a reform of the entire secondary educational system
in Ghana with the determination of making it more responsive to emerging and modernizing Ghanaian socio-cultural
context. According to Quist, for Governor Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Achimota unlike any other institution
in British colonial empire was to be the “First Educational Research Station planted by our Colonial Empire in
Africa” with the most important research area being in the field of agriculture [4]
Furthermore, in Gita SteinerKhamsi and Hubert O. Quist “The Politics of Educational Borrowing:
Reopening the Case of Achimota in British Ghana”, the two authors argue that although Achimota first adopted this
model of adapted education in the Gold Coast, the model was soon to have a greater impact for the entire African
continent. However, in 1925, this adapted education model became the ideological focus of the British colonial White
Paper entitled ‘‘Education Policy in British Tropical Africa.’’[15] According to Gita SteinerKhamsi and Hubert O.
Quist, they reopen this classic case of educational transfer and examine Achimota from a new perspective thus the
perspective of the politics of borrowing. The two authors argue that there was some political agenda principal to the
transfer of educational models.
According to SteinerKhamsi and Quist, the immediate plan of building Achimota was to have a first-class
secondary school that would be both similar and different from what the missionaries had already initiated at Cape
Coast in the Central Region [15]. For years, the church’s model and the British colonial model were in competition
with each other in different directions and trying to influence newly opening secondary schools to reproduce their
particular models of education [15]. Mfantsipim stood for solid academic education, whereas Achimota built a
reputation for emphasizing manual labor and agricultural education. It is significant to note that, the Gold Coast
educated elite strongly criticized Achimota for training generations of individuals to remain in the rural areas forever
thus to be prepared for a life of servitude to the colonial master and for freedom to tribal life [15]
Also, Agbemabiese contented that Ghana has approximately sixty (60) indigenous distinct languages which
helps in communication with respect to various ethnic groups. These languages include Akan, Ewe, Nzema, Dagbani
and Hausa among others [16]. The multiple main languages in Ghana present problems in the field of education,
national development and communication as a whole. Agbemabiese argues that, after Ghana gained independence
from Britain in 1957, there has been a problem of the appropriate language policy for Ghana in education [16]. This
problem however can be attributed to the fact that Ghana inherited an educational system based on English language
system. It is on record that Ghana under the colonization of the British made English language the official language
employed by the government to document both governmental policies, laws and business affairs [16]. Padmore
further states that, English language was used by colonizers to transact official duties whereas the various local
languages were permitted only in the marketplace and households. Ghanaian school children were not only
confronted with the adaptation of the English culture but to also deal with different languages [16]. However,
Gbedemah described this problem of dealing with multi languages not only for the educational system but also for the
political implications:
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 165
“In a country where many languages co-exist the difficulties of communication between and across ethnic
boundaries are compounded. To this must be added the nations that have language of their own but by force of
historical and political circumstances have to receive modern education through foreign language whose roots and
operational system are unrelated to any of their local or indigenous languages.”[17]
Gbedemah stresses that a country like Ghana in which the English language was not their traditional language
but rather introduced to them by their colonizers made teaching and political administration very difficult to practice
[17]. Gbedemah further argues that a particular language for a country has the tendency of unifying under the notion
of one people, one nation and one cultural heritage. It is essential to give preference to the fact that the main idea by
the colonial masters was to use the English language as a unifying factor for the various ethnic groups. However this
plan could not be materialized [17].
3.1 The Structure of Primary, Junior, Senior Secondary School and Tertiary Education in Ghana
The existing structure of education system in Ghana comprise of six (6) years of primary education made up
of three (3) years lower and three (3) years upper primary, three (3) years Junior High School, three (3) years Senior
High School and four (4) years University Education (6-3-3-4).
Since the introduction of formal education system in Ghana, the number of years spent in primary school is
six (6) years. The inception formal education around the 16th century, various reforms introduced and implemented
by governments have not affected the number of years in primary school. The number of years in primary school has
been consistent till today. Currently, education in Ghana starts with a two (2) years in kindergarten which is
incorporated into the formal system to help children receive basic foundation level which prepares them for easy
transition from home to primary school. However, primary education covers a period of six (6) years which builds
upon the two years of Kindergarten education. Primary education is divided into two sections thus the lower and
upper primary, these stages helps in the growth and development of the child. Furthermore, the lower primary
constitutes the first three (3) years and the upper constitute the last three (3) years. These stages in the primary
division helps children to acquire knowledge develop attitudes and skills to enable them solve problems and also
satisfy their curiosity [19].
There are various objectives of primary education in Ghana education system. Among them are: to Develop
sound moral attitudes and appreciate one’s cultural heritage and identity, inculcate good citizenship in children to
enable them participate in National development, develop an understanding of how to lead a healthy life and achieve a
good health status and lay the foundation for inquiry, creativity and innovation [19].
The content of primary education comprise of subjects such as English Language (Reading, Writing,
Comprehension, Dictation), Ghanaian Language (Reading, Writing, Comprehension, Dictation), Mathematics,
Integrated Science, Introduction to Information Communication Technology (ICT), Religious and Moral Education,
Citizenship Education, Creative Arts [19]. The colonial government administration structure of education in Ghana
was similar to the system practiced in their motherland. Since the introduction of formal education, pupils were
enrolled into the four (4) years Middle School. The middle school system continued after Ghana gained independence
until 1987 reforms which replaced the four (4) years Middle School with three (3) years of Junior Secondary School.
The Junior Secondary School (JSS) now Junior High School constitutes a three (3) years post primary education. It is
the transitional period from basic to secondary education. It introduces students to basic scientific and technical
knowledge and skills and prepares them for further academic work and acquisition of technical/vocational skills at the
secondary level. These are the various subjects studied in junior high school: English Language, Mathematics,
Ghanaian Language, Social Studies, Pre-Technical Drawing, Integrated Science, Agricultural Science, Religious and
Moral Education and Pre-Vocational Skills [20]. It is relevant to note that, students in final year of all junior high
school in Ghana are examined by the Basic Education Certificate Examination in order to select students who are
eligible to further their level of education in the Senior High Schools.
The structural system since the introduction of formal education in Ghana saw the Secondary School to five
(5) years and an additional two (2) years for “Ordinary level” and “Advance level” certificates. The various reforms
introduced by governments reduced the seven (7) years of Secondary School to three (3) years of Senior Secondary
Education in the 1980s.
166 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
Various reforms introduced into the education system in Ghana have had more effects on Senior Secondary
Education in terms of the years spent in this section, the name for this level of education and the content of the
curriculum as compared to the Universal Basic Education level. The senior high school enrolls qualified students to
further advance their education in building their knowledge acquired in the junior high school. Ghanaian students take
the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) at the end of JHS three (3), students who meet the demands and
terms of the admission requirements of various senior high schools were admitted to pursue their program of choice
[20] The duration of this level of education is three (3) or four (4) years depending on the current reform. In the
public schools, it is compulsory for all students to take a Core curriculum consisting of English Language, Integrated
Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies [21].
It is essential to note that each student also takes three or four Elective subjects, chosen from one of the
seven categories: Sciences, Arts (social sciences and humanities), Vocational (visual arts or home economics),
Technical, Business and Agriculture [21].
Some of the elective subjects in the various categories comprise of: Sciences (Elective Mathematics, Elective
Biology, Elective Physics and Elective Chemistry), Arts (Government, History, Geography, Literature, French,
Elective Mathematics, Akan, Christian Religious Studies and Economics), Visual Arts (Sculpture, General Knowledge
of Arts, Textiles, Graphic Design, Economics), Home Economics (Food and Nutrition, General Knowledge of Arts,
Elective Biology, Management in Living, Economics), Business (Elective Mathematics, Accounting, Costing,
Economics, Business Management), Agriculture (Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Elective Physics, Elective Biology,
Elective Mathematics, Elective chemistry),Technical (Elective Physics, Elective Chemistry, Elective Mathematics,
Technical Drawing, Wood Carving, Metal Works, Building Technology) [22].
At the end of Senior High School, all students take the West African Senior Secondary Certificate
Examination (WASSCE) previously called Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) until the end of 2005
when it was changed to WASSCE in each of their seven or eight subjects. These exams are conducted nationwide
annually in May-June each year and candidates can access their results in the month of October [22]. However,
grading is exceptionally tough with the minimum university standard for admission to post-secondary education being
a ‘C’ (average) on the WASSCE results with passes (A-E) in all subjects. Some of the various senior secondary schools
in Ghana includes; Prempeh College, Achimota School, Mfantsipim School, Presbyterian Boys School, Abuakwa State
College, Wesley Girls School, Aburi Girls Secondary School among others [22].
The introduction of Tertiary Education in Ghana launched in 1948, was a great initiative by the British. Upon
the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Oxford and Cambridge universities, there was the establishment
of University College of Gold Coast. Tertiary institutions in Ghana enrol students for undergraduate, graduate,
certificate in diploma programs with regards to other academic and professional fields. There are seven (7) public
universities in Ghana, these includes; University of Ghana at Legon-Accra, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science
and Technology, Kumasi, University of Cape Coast, University of Education at Winneba, University of Development
Studies, Tamale, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration/Greenhill College, Accra and University
of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa [22].
Ten public polytechnics offer three-year Higher National Diplomas in courses such as Purchasing and
Supplying, Marketing, Accounting, applied science among others. The HND is not equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree
but undergraduate transfer credit can be awarded as well as the case for Teacher Training Colleges and other tertiary
non-degree programs [22].
3.2 Major Educational Reforms after Independence
The subsequent paragraph discusses into details the various educational policies initiated by successive
governments after independence with the quest of providing Ghanaians with a good and workable educational
system. These reforms includes; The Accelerated Development Plan of 1951 and Education Act of 1961, Reforms of
the National Liberation Council, The New Structure and Content of Education of 1974, The 1987 education reforms,
New Educational Reform of 2007.
3.2.1. The Accelerated Development Plan of 1951 and Education Act of 1961
This is the first educational reforms initiated when self-governed under the leadership of Dr. Kwame
Nkrumah. This plan was approved in August 1951 immediately Nkrumah assumed office.
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 167
His main aim was to rapidly expand the educational system, and also recognize the importance of teacher
training colleges/schools to have good trained teachers to educate in schools. The plan did not abandon the service of
“pupil” teachers to help staff the classroom until trained teachers were produced [6]. However, it is relevant to
acknowledge the fact that, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s proposed reforms after self-governing was to ensure the African
identity by embarking on a system which trains teachers from the African perspective. This was perhaps an attempt to
eradicate western thoughts and cultural realities in the minds of Ghanaians with this initiative [6].
Again, Nkrumah’s reforms introduced subjects pertaining to African Cultural identity, values and practices. It
is key to note that the local vernacular was used as a medium of instruction in the lower primary to groom the
children before receiving English as a medium of communication in upper primary and other high levels of education
The Accelerated plan provided assistance to the expansion of secondary education. The central government
approximately built fifteen (15) new secondary schools in built-up localities [6]. On the other hand; technical
institutions were established in Accra, Tarkwa, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi among others to boost the
Technical/Vocational sector for effective productivity. It is on record that by February 1962, the second phase of
developments in educational sector begun. The seven-year plan for national Reconstruction and development also
recognized elementary education, expansion of teacher training among others [6]. The plan laid much emphasis on the
expansion of secondary education and postsecondary technological and managerial training in technical institutions
and universities to meet the needs of expanding industry, agriculture and other sector of the economy. The plan also
introduced a complete structural process which comprised of six (6) years of primary education [6].
3.2.2. Reforms of the National Liberation Council
A new regime emerged after the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s government, the National Liberation
Council which comprised of both military and civilian officers. The organized coup d’etat on 24 February 1966 was
spearheaded by Major A.A. Afrifa and General E.K. Kotoka. This exercise was the first mode of acquisition of power
in the history of Ghana [23]. To salvage the grave economic situation in the country, the NLC made few major
decisions with respect to the educational sector. On March 7, 1966, the government appointed a new Education
Review Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the entire formal educational system [6]. However, the
government was quick to scrap off the Seven-Year Development Plan initiated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Again, the
NLC modified the free textbook scheme to allow parents to pay part of the cost of the distribution of textbooks to
students [21, 6].
Also, the government took practical steps to slow down the rate of primary school expansion and to cut cost
of university education in their quest to bring Ghana out of its economic crisis. It is significant to note that, the NLC
aimed at reducing the cost of education by effecting changes in various policies [21]. The policy initiated since 1968
sought to correct the imbalance of the educational system by first, expanding the secondary level (including technical
and teacher education), secondly consolidating and improving the quality of primary education and finally controlling
the growth of university education and relating it more directly to development needs [6]. The structure of the
education system under the NLC was such that the ten (10) years of elementary education by Nkrumah was structured
to an eight (8) years basic course to prepare students for secondary schools entry and a further two (2) year
continuation course of middle school. The basic requirement of entry into secondary school rested on the Common
Entrance Examination by students in final eighth year. The secondary school lasted for five (5) years to prepare
students for School Certificate of the West African Examinations and the university education was four (4) years [21,
3.2.3. The New Structure and Content of Education of 1974
From the time when Ghana gained independence, succeeding governments have revealed their recognition of
the significance of education to national growth. However, the education system had been critiqued as being elitist in
nature as well as structured similarly to the British grammar schools. The National Redemption Council (NRC) led by
Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong succeeded the Busia government. The new military-police government carried out a
review of the educational system, and formed the Dzobo Committee to recommend appropriate measures to recover
the situation [6].
168 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
The Dzobo Report of 1973 led to the publication of the New Structure and Content of Education (NSCE) in
1974, which introduced the concept of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) and the Senior Secondary School (SSS). The
Ghana Teaching Service (GTS) later to be called the Ghana Education Service (GES) was set up in 1974 to
implement various policies or reforms. The ‘NSCE’ reduced the duration of years an individual should spend in the
pre-tertiary education from seventeen (17) years to thirteen (13) years [1]. It is key to note that, the six (6) years of
primary education remained the same, the four years of middle school which is equivalent to junior secondary school
was reduced to three years [1] Also, the five years of senior secondary school was reduced to four years thus lower
stage was reduced to two (2) years and the period of senior secondary remained two (2) years (ie, it went from a
pattern of 6-4-5-2 to one of 6-3-2-2) [1].
The central idea behind these reforms was to enable school leavers to develop skills which will enable them
secure job opportunity or be employable irrespective of the time of exit from the system. The enactment of this
reform began on an experimental basis where new subjects such as Tailoring, Woodwork, Catering, Dressmaking,
Metalwork, Technical Drawing Masonry and Automobile Practice were introduced. The reforms, however, did
achieve the target envisaged though its contribution to the system could not be left out [3].
3.2.4. The 1987 Education Reforms
Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings organised a coup d’état which overthrew President Limann and his
government. He set up a committee to review the structure of the current educational system under the leadership of
Evans Anform in 1987. The main objective of the reforms was to expand and improve the level of quality education
in the sector, make basic education free and compulsory and also strategically reduce the length of pre-tertiary
education from seventeen (17) years to twelve (12) years (6-4-5-2 to 6-3-3) [11].
Some of the key policies introduced in the reforms include the nine (9) year basic education consisting of a
six (6) year primary school and a three (3) year Junior Secondary School (JSS). In addition, a three (3) year senior
secondary school was introduced [11]. The academic year comprised of three terms for both JSS OR SSS whiles
terminal examinations were conducted at the end of the term. However, Junior Secondary School three (3) pupils
were mandated to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior Secondary
Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for Senior Secondary School finalist, these reforms were enacted to replace the
General Certificate of Examination (G.C.E.) [22]. Evans Anfom Committee aimed to vocationalize the education
system by shifting focus from an academic orientated field to a more practical and technological environment.
Furthermore, the reforms diversified the secondary school programmes into five (5) curriculum thus (a)
Agriculture (b) General Arts and Science (c) Business (d) Technical (e) Vocational, where students were allowed to
select three (3) or four (4) elective subjects in addition [11]. However, the reforms proposed the upgrade of
polytechnics into tertiary institutions. Significantly, the National Council for Tertiary Education contributed to the
establishment of the University for Development Studies (Tamale) and the University College of Education
(Winneba) Ghana [11].
3.2.5. Educational Reforms of 2007
The New Patriotic Party (N.P.P.) won power in the 2000 general elections in Ghana. After two years in
government, President John Agyekum Kuffour inaugurated a presidential committee to review the existing education
system in Ghana under the chairmanship of Professor Josephus Anamuah-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of University of
Education, Winneba [24]. The key principles underlying the introduction of this reform includes: formation of human
capital for industrial growth, preservation of cultural identity/traditional indigenous knowledge or creativity and also
improvements in science and technology [24].
The John Agyekum Kuffour led administration introduced a new education system which did not only to
review the content of the system but also extended the duration of Senior High School from three (3) years to four (4)
years. It is vital to note that, the first year in the SHS was dedicated to study “core subjects” such as English
Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Social Studies
[21]. Recommendations made by the Anamuah-Mensah report were not entirely different from that of the 1987
reforms by Evans Anfom. The only difference was the inclusion of two (2) years Kindergarten into the Universal
Basic Education hence making it eleven (11) years of Universal Basic Education [19]. The Universal Basic Education
was structured into two (2) years of Kindergarten, six (6) years of Primary Education, three (3) years of Junior High
School (JHS).
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 169
Other major highlights of the reforms include the medium of instruction in Kindergarten and lower primary
to be in Ghanaian Language [19]. Also, emphasis was placed on Literacy, Numeracy and Creative Arts at the basic
level and the change from three (3) years of Senior Secondary School (SSS) to four (4) years of Senior High School
(SHS) [19]. The committee’s ideology to this change of years in SHS is to ensure that teachers should be able to finish
the syllabus and also give students adequate time to prepare for the West African Secondary School Certificate
Examination (WASSCE)
It is worth to note that, the change in governance after the 2008 general elections saw the New Democratic
Congress (NDC) barely a year in office reversing the decision made by the NPP with respect to four (4) years in
Senior High School back to three (3) years as it was under the Provincial National Democratic Council led by Flt.Lt.
Jerry John Rawlings [24]. Irrespective of the anticipated change in educational policies with change political
administration; successive governments in Ghana since independence have placed much faith in education as a major
instrument for rapid social and economic development. Governments prioritize education which leads to several
changes in its reforms.
4.1 Discussions
Studying the preceding literature it can be inferred that reforms introduced by governments comprise of two
types of implementations, first there are reforms that cut across the length and breadth of the country without any
form of biases. For example: Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE). Secondly, there are radical
reforms where the government might want to play “some politics” with reforms. This is where selected sectors or
places in the country become beneficiaries of reforms, which the civilian government undertake to satisfy the promise
made by them to win the votes of the adult masses. This notwithstanding, it is anticipated that the desire of every
good government is to leave a “legacy” behind and not just to satisfy promises made in their manifestos. For instance,
during the attainment of independence in 1957, there was only one Northerner who had received formal education in
the whole Northern Region of Ghana. This made Dr. Kwame Nkrumah introduce the free school system where most
of the people in the North were now educated in large numbers.
The other leg of the discourse is whether a non-partisan organization like the Ghana Education Service
(GES) could initiate reforms. The available information points to a GES whose strength lies with aiming at
implementation of approved national policies or programmes at the pre-tertiary level [25]. The Ministry of Education
(MOE) is responsible for the management of Ghana’s education with the help of Ghana Education Service (G.E.S).
Their core duty is to help the country run its educational system hence responsible for the initiation and
implementation of reforms in the country [25]. The question is whether when these reforms are initiated, they end up
duly adopted by governments without recourse to party interest and political expediency. It is envisaged that when
technocrats initiate reform process the intentions although could be political, should stand the test of meeting the
common aspirations or interest of society.
Politicians should help manage the reforms in the educational sector but technocrats or individuals with
specialized skills should have a critical say in policy formulation. The people of Ghana cannot be oblivious of the fact
that education remains a pertinent or key social issue in the Ghanaian political discourse. For instance, in the 2008
general elections campaign in Ghana, messages from the two major political parties with regards to the education
sector resonated with the masses. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) used “FREE EDUCATION” as their cardinal
message to garner votes. The NPP’s fulcrum of “free education” was countered by the National Democratic Congress
with “QUALITY EDUCATION” to also acquire votes. Again the dilemma of either three or four years of Senior
High School Education depending on the government in power in Ghana shall continue to generate a debate. The
three (3) years system did not provide students with the adequate time to study and prepare for their exams. However,
the same period spent in SSS did not also allow teachers to teach their students very well and to finish their syllabus in
other to help students pass their final exams [26]. This adequately caused teachers to speed up their teaching with the
sole purpose of finishing the syllabus to help students pass. For instance, The Math syllabus was too loaded which did
not give teachers the ample time to systematically teach topics such as Algebraic Expressions among others [26]. In
addition, the three (3) years period in SSS did not prepare students adequately for university life. The calendar for
Senior Secondary Education continues to run even when the time the results of the Junior Secondary School (JSS)
candidates and the computerized system of placement of students to Senior High Schools (SHS) are delayed.
170 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 5(3), September 2016
This delayed process had a negative effect on the effective number of years actually spent within these three
years of SHS education [27]. The Math shows that, students in SHS spent two and half years of effective academic
exercise to prepare for a major national exam that will “define their destinies” [27]. According to Professor Ivan
Addae-Mensah, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, the issue of cost which was often cited by those
in favour of the three- year programme was not tenable and urged governments not to sacrifice quality of education at
all levels on the altar of cost. He added that, the four years will allow students from the JHS to adapt into the SHS
system and provide students with longer period to meet the requirements of the West African Examination Council
Significantly, among the reasons of the Dzobo reforms of 1987 was the reduction of the length of years in the
Ghana Education System from seventeen (17) years to twelve (12) years. The old structure of Senior Secondary
Education comprised of seven (7) years, this involves five (5) years of Ordinary level (“O” level) of education and
additional two (2) years of Advanced level (“A” level) of education made students stay much longer in Senior
secondary which demanded parents to pay more to educate their wards. The three years was designed to complete the
same task of the seven years system. However, proponents of the three year system argue that the additional year to
allow students to learn core causes was flawed because it did not allow students to change the causes or the
programme they were admitted into in the first instance. In an interview on the duration of SHS with the Minister of
Education, Mr. Tettey-Enyo on Joy FM in 2009, he hinted that the four-year programme was not the solution to poor
performance in some SHS. According to him, “what we really need to do now to improve on our educational
standards is to strengthen the Junior High School with qualified teachers and infrastructure to lay a good foundation
for the students at the JHS, rather than increase the duration to four years”. Again, Mr. Tettey-Enyo added that, the
ministry still believes that students will be able to study and prepare well within three years and therefore four years
will be overwhelming [28].
Concerning education, Dewey has argued that the subject matter of education consists of bodies of
information and of skills that have been worked out in the past; therefore the chief responsibility of the school is to
transmit them to the new generation [29]. Comparatively, in Bostwana length of years spent in school had the
tendency to reduce HIV infection [30]. This could be just one of the additional benefits in length of stay at the
secondary school apart from the potential benefit of allowing the students to effectively learn and pass their
examinations. Essentially, the work of Glewwe on the “Economics of School Quality Investments in Developing
Countries: an Empirical Study of Ghana” points to some basic issues concerning the human capital model and rates
of return to education as well as the need for alternative model [31]. Although we find that the impact of investments
in school quality on cognitive skills is apparent, the sense of political euphoria in the Ghanaian socio-political space
seem to give credence to how one year taken from or added to length of years students spend in secondary school
impacts upon their performance than the need to further ascertain the level of quality of teachers who train the
students as well as the requisite facilities that would help accentuate some of the gains that could be made in the area
of education and secondary education in particular.
Again, the arguments of Lloyd and Gage-Brandon are in alignment with the argument for quality in terms of
education as well as population or family size. They project this discourse by stating that availability of educational
opportunities and poor school quality in the community of residents also affects enrolment [32]. This also has the
tendency to affect the general outcomes or performance during examination. The question of access and equity is also
at the heart of the educational discourse especially when higher fertility affects the level of access to school between
siblings by sex and birth order [32]. The corpus of information shared from the literature points at several variables
that contribute to effective performance or non-performance of students. Length of years one spends in school is just
one of the visible variables with respect to Ghana because of the political currency political parties decide to make
either with the entrenched position to change or maintain the number of years students spend in school, and the
persistent criticisms that emanates from main opposition parties at a particular point in time. These criticisms are
excoriated when students perform well, they are held up by the masses especially the followers of the main opposition
party (NPP/NDC at any instance).
Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh & Addo 171
5.0 Conclusion
Ghana’s case points to the fact that investments in quality has led to quality improvements [33]. Referring to
Rado’s work, Blakemore suggested in the 1970s that the African school system’s primary function was to act as a
recruitment sieve for employers rather than to actually improve upon the pool of skills and expertise in the labour
force [34, 35]. Even if that was the case quality was not sacrificed. For the Europeans needed high calibre manpower
or personnel. For quality is not intrinsically in length of year or duration per se.
Concerning the old Form Five or Ordinary Level and Sixth Form, Bibby and Peil have drawn our attention to
the fact that people who went to private secondary schools or had private studies for instance could take the ordinary
level examination for several times [36]. The current system that exists has also allowed some private candidates
through the remedial schools to write and pass examinations. So we infer that though a consistent plan should include
the number of years, the success in Secondary School Examination and Education in general is contingent upon
several variables. For example the question of classroom size, students’ ratio to teachers, teacher absenteeism and
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Bibby, J, and M. Peil. "Secondary education in Ghana: Private enterprise and social selection." Sociology of Education
(1974): 399-418.
... Ghana experienced a high rate of increase in expected years of schooling from the year 2004 until 2012. One of the major reasons for this high increase in Ghana was the educational reform in 2002 which added 2 years of pre-school to the initial basic education years of 9 years, making basic education 11 years (Samuel, Wilhemina, and Anim, 2016). For Nigeria however, between the years 2009 and 2011, the security situation among other factors resulted in a sharp decrease in the expected years of schooling (World Education Services, 2017). ...
... Just like Nigeria, some empirical studies confirmed that the Ghana school feeding program implemented in 2006 improved the expected years of schooling (Victor, Beattie, Michael, and Francisco, 2011). Other reforms are the launch of four-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme to improve teacher training, increase in staffing levels, rehabilitation and building of primary and secondary schools to improve access to education, and introduction of the medium of instruction in pre-primary and lower primary school to be in Ghanaian language (Samuel, Wilhemina, and Anim, 2016). ...
... Sharp reductions in expected years of schooling for Nigeria can be attributed to security challenges and the economic recession of 2015 and 2016 (World Educational Services, 2017). Educational reforms such as school feeding programme for both countries, establishment of Universal Basic Education for Nigeria, use of local languages as the language of instruction for pre-primary and primary school pupils among others, are responsible for the increase in expected years of schooling over the years (Duro and Ayodele, 2009;Samuel, Wilhemina, and Anim, 2016;Damilola, Olabisi, and Bolanle, 2021). ...
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This study investigates the effect of public debt on expected years of schooling in Nigeria and Ghana using annual time series data from 1990 to 2019 sourced from World Bank, and United Nations Development Programme. Trend analysis was done for external debt stock and expected years of schooling variables. Other variables in the study are external debt servicing stock and real effective exchange rate. Pre-econometric test for unit root was undertaken using Phillips-Perron and Augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test methods. Econometric test for long run cointegration was undertaken using long run form and bounds test method within the ARDL framework. The long run cointegration test showed absence of long run cointegration among the variables for Nigeria, but there was long run cointegration among the variables for Ghana. The test for causality using Granger causality showed unidirectional causality from expected years of schooling to external debt stock for Ghana. In both countries, borrowing for infrastructural projects is prioritized over borrowing for investment in social sectors. Even where there is an investment in the social sector using external debt, it is not enough to create a significant effect. As recommendation from the findings, external debt should be used to improve expected years of schooling as much as it is used for infrastructural investment. This is because of the importance of developing the manpower that will manage the infrastructure that is financed by external debt.
... One of the long term measures in their report was to replace the "O" level and "A" levels system inherited from Britain with the junior secondary school and senior secondary school. The four year middle school was to be replaced by the three years Junior Secondary school (now called junior high school) [5]. ...
... The second cycle education is to provide opportunity for junior high school graduates to access a 3year advance education [4]. The second cycle education is also to provide efficient foundational knowledge as well as skill training to prepare high-ranks manpower in order to make available highly skilled prospect tertiary graduates [5]. The tertiary education comprises university, polytechnic and colleges of education accredited by National Accreditation Board [4]. ...
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Ghana's 2010 educational/ curriculum reform on senior high school textile training. The study employed descriptive survey design. The sample size for the study was 22 (16 textile teachers, & 6 HoDs of visual arts department). The research instruments used for the study were semi-structured interview and documents analysis. The study found out that the students were interested in studying textiles but the 2010 curriculum review, which led to new policy on the visual arts subjects' combination has resulted in the collapse of textile training in most senior high schools which used to offer textiles. The study recommended that the policy on visual arts subject combination which forces learners to pursue visual arts subjects they were not interested in studying should be abolished to enable the students' who are interested in studying textile pursue it and any other visual arts subjects they intend to study. Also, Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ghana Education Service and textile industries should institute scholarship package for creative and excel textile students as a means of attracting more students to study textiles.
... The restrictions displaced several livelihoods, especially in the private education sector. In the educational system, most schools are privately owned, and the closure meant the owners and the teachers would no longer have their regular sources of income which are fees paid by students (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2016). In most cases, some teachers were immediately laid off because the employment system in the private school sector is based on the availability of school fees and other maintenance charges by parents of wards. ...
... Despite the significant number of people employed in the private education sector in the country (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2016), during the COVID-19 pandemic policy interventions, the focus on education safety nets was towards public school teachers in Ghana with little or no support from private school teachers. Teachers in the public sector paid their salaries during the closure of schools, while the same cannot be said for all private school teachers in the country. ...
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The study investigated how the Government of Ghana’s educational policies during COVID-19 had excluded private school teachers and contributed to their vulnerability. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey. The population was private school teachers in Ghana. Non-probability sampling technique was used to select the sample size. The cluster sampling technique was adopted to select one municipality in the Greater Accra region: based on the recorded number of COVID-19 cases and economic activities. The study involved 150 private school teachers. The analytic tool used in the analysis is inferential and descriptive statistics. The study found that COVID-19 severely impacted private school teachers' livelihood and income stream in the selected municipalities despite government intervention policies. The study recommends that political leadership, as well as the management of private school teachers, should develop innovative systems that will serve as safety nets for future crises. Keywords: Education policy, vulnerability, private school teachers, COVID-19 pandemic Studi ini membahas bagaimana kebijakan pendidikan Pemerintah Ghana selama COVID-19 telah mengeksklusi guru sekolah swasta dan berkontribusi pada kerentanan mereka. Penelitian ini merupakan penelitian deskriptif cross-sectional survey. Populasi dalam penelitian ini adalah guru sekolah swasta di Ghana. Teknik non-probability sampling digunakan untuk memilih ukuran sampel. Teknik pengambilan sampel klaster diadopsi untuk memilih satu kota di wilayah Greater Accra: berdasarkan jumlah kasus COVID-19 yang tercatat dan kegiatan ekonomi. Penelitian ini melibatkan 150 guru sekolah swasta. Alat analisis yang digunakan dalam analisis adalah statistik inferensial dan deskriptif. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa COVID-19 sangat berdampak pada mata pencaharian dan sumber pendapatan guru sekolah swasta di kota-kota tertentu meskipun ada kebijakan intervensi pemerintah. Studi ini merekomendasikan bahwa kepemimpinan politik, serta manajemen guru sekolah swasta, harus mengembangkan sistem inovatif yang akan berfungsi sebagai jaring pengaman untuk krisis di masa depan. Kata kunci: Kebijakan pendidikan, kerentanan, guru sekolah swasta, pandemi COVID-19
... This is evident in Ghana's 2019 National Pre-Tertiary Education Curriculum Framework's expansion of its central focus from three (3Rs) to four (4Rs) key areas: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Creativity (MOE, 2019). Even though Ghana recognises creativity in education through reforms, policy documents, curriculums and syllabi (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2016;Amponsah et al., 2019;Atiku & Boateng, 2019;CRDD, 2007CRDD, , 2009MOE, 2007MOE, , 2019, it has received negligible attention with its inculcation in the secondary schools (Eshun & Amoako-Agyeman, 2016). Discourses and texts about creativity in the policy documents and educational materials such as textbooks are key agents for educational reforms as well as serve as reference material for the teaching and development of creativity in the secondary visual arts programme. ...
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Developing creativity in learners is contingent on how teachers define and understand creativity. This qualitative multi-site case study investigated secondary visual arts teachers’ perceptions and understanding of creativity in Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana and the influences that impact their perceptions. Data were gathered from 16 secondary visual arts teachers in Ghana using interviews and documents review. It was evidenced that the secondary visual arts teachers’ perceptions and understanding of creativity are limited and built on historical Ghanaian educational materials. The findings suggest teacher training materials and school-based educational resources in Ghana must be upgraded to extend teachers’ understanding of creativity within education.
... This process is known as curriculum transaction. Education stakeholders in Ghana have shown concern for effective curriculum transactions (Adu-Gyamfi & Adinkrah, 2016). For effective curriculum transactions in schools, teacher competency is required through effective supervision (Akyeampong, 2017). ...
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This study investigated the roles and challenges of the School Improvement and Support Officer (SISO) as curriculum leader in Pru East district and the way forward. A cross-section survey design was adopted for the study. The tools used for collecting the needed data were a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire was designed for SISO, headteachers and teachers to collect data about their current status as supervisors and roles of the SISO in schools. They were asked to rate the items on 5 points Likert scale. The semi-structured interview was conducted for only the nine selected SISOs about the challenges affecting supervision in the Pru East district and suggested appropriate improvement solutions. The data that were obtained from the questionnaire were analyzed by using descriptive statistics viz., frequency and percentage while the steps involved in the inductive analysis approach was followed to analyze the data obtained from the semi-structured interview. The major findings of the studies revealed that the majority (5) of the SISOs have work experience of more than ten years and mostly played roles such as; monitoring and implementing new educational policies in schools, serving as experts of curricula activities, and advising teachers on the preparation of scheme of work and lesson plans. Also, challenges that militate against effective supervision include; lack of means of transport to schools in the hinterland, no offices for the SISOs at the circuit level where teachers could easily locate them in times of need, inadequate logistics like safety boots, raincoats, life jacket motorbike and fuel for the SISOs to visit all the schools, overburdened with workload due to many schools under their supervision, and inadequate higher qualification (Master of Education in School Supervision). Appropriate suggestions were provided to improve supervision in schools.
... Though Formal education in Ghana during the British Colonial administration was to serve a variety of purposes ranging from preaching the gospel to forming an elite group to administer the country, today, education in Ghana is aimed towards training citizens with the necessary skills to meet the demands of industries. Ghanaian education today follows a six-three-three-four (6-3-3-4) framework, with six years of elementary education, three years of junior high school, three years of senior high school, and four years of university education beginning at the age of six (Adu- Gyam et al. 2016). Students who pass the West African Secondary School Certi cate Examination (WASSCE) can go on to universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, nursing training institutes, or other tertiary institutions to further their studies. ...
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This study had the following objectives; 1) to outline the challenges University of Cape Coast students faced with using e-learning platforms during the pandemic; 2) to test whether there is a relationship between ICT training input and the ability to use e-learning platforms effectively for learning 3) to compare students’ scores before and after taking a lesson through a blended e-learning format and 4) assess students’ satisfaction with using the blended e-learning format. Using means, the Chi-Squared Test of Association and the Paired Sample T-Test , the study revealed that students at the University of Cape faced challenges with the cost associated with using e-learning platforms, lack of stable internet connectivity, lack of physical connection with others, and the inability to navigate the platforms effectively. The study also revealed that there is a significant association between having ICT training and the ability to use e-learning platforms effectively. Results from the experiment also revealed that the blended e-learning instruction was highly effective and that the students recorded a high posttest score of 24.73 compared to the pre-test score of 17.7. Finally, the students’ satisfaction questionnaire also revealed that the students were generally very satisfied with the use of the blended e-learning approach.
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Implementing curricula that parallel children's cultural histories and language and Ghana Education Service's (GES) approved creative arts resources precipitated the need to review materials listed in the new national creative arts curriculum (2019). This study explores the availability, accessibility, and cultural alignment of creative arts materials and shows how using folk resources serves as an incentive for culturally sustaining resource development in Ghana's music and visual arts education. A semi-structured interview of six creative arts teachers revealed that while teachers use Ghanaian folklore-informed books on the market, schools have infrastructure needs and lack indigenous music instruments and visual arts materials for the new curriculum. Highlighting the quality and availability of folk resources, we recommend optimizing community human and material resources, engaging education research professionals and classroom teachers in dialogue, and monitoring and evaluating school programs.
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Education in Ghana has undergone various curricular and educational revisions and reforms since Ghanaian leaders had a voice in creating and implementing educational policy during the colonial era. Many studies have shown that all the various reforms and revisions in Ghanaian education have failed to center Ghanaian languages, histories, knowledge, and cultures decades after colonial occupation ended. Students who fail to adequately embody literacies and proficiencies in English are unlikely to progress academically yet literacies and proficiencies in Ghanaian languages are not central to the teaching and learning process including the curriculum even though research shows it increases student success. To understand further why Ghanaian languages and literacies are silenced, devalued, and marginalized in the curriculum, I conducted a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of public interviews and speeches of educational leaders at a time of educational and curriculum reform in Ghana. A CDA analysis was crucial in understanding what educational leaders believe is important to include and exclude in the curriculum to better serve students. Findings from the analysis reiterated the need for decolonizing school leadership in Ghana.
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Die Hauptexkursion verfolgte das übergeordnete Ziel, neben physiologischen, ökologischen, kulturellen und sozialen insbesondere raumwirtschaftliche Muster und Strukturen Ghanas (dabei insbesondere der Hauptstadtregion bzw. Hauptstadtagglomerationen rund um Accra als auch der Peripherien abseits dieser Orte) auf zahlreichen Maßstabsebenen aufzuzeigen, zu beschreiben, zu erklären und im besten Falle bewerten zu können.
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An estimated 2·1 million individuals are newly infected with HIV every year. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have reported conflicting evidence for the association between education and HIV risk, and no randomised trial has identified a causal effect for education on HIV incidence. We aimed to use a policy reform in secondary schooling in Botswana to identify the causal effect of length of schooling on new HIV infection. Data for HIV biomarkers and demographics were obtained from the nationally representative household 2004 and 2008 Botswana AIDS Impact Surveys (N=7018). In 1996, Botswana reformed the grade structure of secondary school, expanding access to grade ten and increasing educational attainment for affected cohorts. Using exposure to the policy reform as an instrumental variable, we used two-stage least squares to estimate the causal effect of years of schooling on the cumulative probability that an individual contracted HIV up to their age at the time of the survey. We also assessed the cost-effectiveness of secondary schooling as an HIV prevention intervention in comparison to other established interventions. Each additional year of secondary schooling caused by the policy change led to an absolute reduction in the cumulative risk of HIV infection of 8·1 percentage points (p=0·008), relative to a baseline prevalence of 25·5% in the pre-reform 1980 birth cohort. Effects were particularly large in women (11·6 percentage points, p=0·046). Results were robust to a wide array of sensitivity analyses. Secondary school was cost effective as an HIV prevention intervention by standard metrics (cost per HIV infection averted was US$27 753). Additional years of secondary schooling had a large protective effect against HIV risk in Botswana, particularly for women. Increasing progression through secondary school could be a cost-effective HIV prevention measure in HIV-endemic settings, in addition to yielding other societal benefits. Takemi Program in International Health at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, Belgian American Educational Foundation, Fernand Lazard Foundation, Boston University, National Institutes of Health. Copyright © 2015 De Neve et al. Open access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Evidence from Ghana is presented to show the possibility of downward mobility of elite children through lack of success in a selective educational system and the ability of children from lower status homes to use this system to overcome their initial disadvantages.
Despite Ghana's record investment in education, in 2008, only 40% of students passed the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) at the end of junior high school and gained admission into senior high school. Urban schools continue to outperform rural schools and the gap between Ghana‟s best and worst performing schools continues to widen. This study investigated the effectiveness of education policy implementation and how this has impacted on education reform in one rural district of Ghana‟s Upper West Region. The research investigated the status of education in Junior High Schools, the impact of Reform 2007 and the factors that influenced the implementation of the reform initiatives. Following analysis of Ministry of Education policy documents, a questionnaire elicited detailed background information from head teachers about junior high schools and the impact of the reform on their schools. Interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders were used to assess the extent of coherence in purpose, policy and program implementation at district, regional and national levels. It is evident from research data that the low academic standards and low pass rate at BECE is the result of inexperienced head teachers, the lack of qualified teachers, low teacher professionalism, low community support for education and inadequate resources. Reform 2007 refocused attention on curriculum, teacher education and supervision initiatives. However, the hierarchical structure and values of Ghana Education Service, poor communication especially at District level, lack of professional learning opportunities to interpret the policies, inadequate human and material resources to implement programs were factors that limited the implementation of the reform initiatives. The current study has added to existing knowledge on implementing education policy to support reform initiatives. This study addresses the gap in the literature on the implementation of education policy through programs and its impact on performance in JHSs in a rural district of Ghana. Recommendations have been developed for reform of program implementation that will lead to enhanced educational outcomes for JHSs.