Education in Ghana

Joined Commonwealth: 1957

Population: 23,837,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: 2.2% p.a. 1990-2009

UN HDI 2010: world ranking 130

Net primary enrolment: 76.2% (2009)

Net secondary enrolment: 46.1% (2009)

Gross tertiary enrolment: 8.6% (2009)

Adult literacy: 66.6% (2009)

There are nine years of compulsory education starting at age six. Gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined was 63.3% in 2009 with a primary female-male ratio of 0.99:1 and a secondary female-male ratio of 0.89:1 (2009). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 33:1 and for secondary 18:1 (2009). Some 73% of pupils complete primary school (2008). The school year starts in September.

For those proceeding to tertiary education, the nine years of basic education are followed by three years of senior secondary school. Public examinations are managed by the West African Examinations Council, which was established in 1952 by four Commonwealth governments, The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with its headquarters in Accra, Ghana.

There are six public universities, including the most recently established University Education in Winneba and University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa. There are also many teacher-training colleges, polytechnics and specialised tertiary institutions. The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 0.31:1 (2009). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 80% (2009).

The Education Strategic Plan 2003-2015 embodies targets and strategies aimed at achieving the UN’s Education for All goals. The education ministry is working in partnership with other governmental and non-governmental organisations to achieve sector-wide goals and objectives. One such organisation is the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, an NGO with a network of over 100 groups and professional individuals working to promote quality basic education for all Ghanaian children.

Responding to the acute demand for trained teachers in rural areas, the Ministry of Education engaged distance education as a cost-effective and efficient way of training untrained teachers, enabling a large number to become qualified within a reasonable period of time.