The Ghanaian Education System: An Overview

1. Introduction

The current education system structure in Ghana is 6-3-3-4, meaning 6 years of primary schooling, 3 – junior secondary schooling, 3 – senior secondary and 4 years of university schooling.
The Ghanaian educational system starts with kindergarten and goes all the way up to tertiary level.
There are both public and private institutions at every level of education in Ghana.
In this essay, we will take a closer look at each level of education in Ghana, starting with kindergarten and going all the way up to tertiary education.
We will also look at the admission process into each level of education and some criticisms of the current Ghanaian educational system.

2. The Current Structure of Education in Ghana
-Kindergarten

Kindergarten is not compulsory in Ghana but many children attend kindergarten before starting primary school. Kindergarten usually lasts for one year and helps children to transition into primary school.
-Primary Schooling
Primary schooling in Ghana starts at age 6 and lasts for 6 years. At the end of primary school, students sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The BECE is used to place students into different high schools according to their performance.
-Junior Secondary Schooling
Junior secondary schooling lasts for 3 years and starts at age 12. Students sit for the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSCE) at the end of junior secondary school.
The JSCE is used to place students into different senior high schools according to their performance.
-Senior Secondary Schooling
Senior secondary schooling lasts for 3 years and starts at age 15. Students sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at the end of senior secondary school.
The WASSCE is used to place students into different tertiary institutions according to their performance.
-Tertiary Education
Tertiary education in Ghana can either be academic or vocational. Academic tertiary education leads to a degree from a university while vocational tertiary education leads to a diploma or certificate from a polytechnic, technical institute or other similar institution. Tertiary education usually lasts for 4 years but can be shorter or longer depending on the course of study.

3. The Admission Process in Ghanaian Schools
-Kindergarten

Admission into kindergarten is usually based on an interview with the child and their parents.
-Primary Schooling
Admission into primary school is usually based on the child’s performance in a placement test.
-Junior Secondary Schooling
Admission into junior secondary school is usually based on the student’s performance in the BECE.
-Senior Secondary Schooling
Admission into senior secondary school is usually based on the student’s performance in the JSCE.
-Tertiary Education
Admission into tertiary education is usually based on the student’s performance in the WASSCE. However, some tertiary institutions also consider other factors such as the student’s interview performance, extra-curricular activities and family background.

4. The Ghanaian Education System: Some Criticisms

The Ghanaian education system has been criticized for being too reliant on rote learning and exams, for not being nurturing and for being elitist.
Rote learning is a method of learning that focuses on memorizing information without understanding it. This method of learning is not effective and often leads to students forgetting what they have learned soon after the exam.
The Ghanaian educational system has also been criticized for being too elitist. This is because only the wealthy can afford to send their children to private schools which often have better resources and therefore provide a better education than public schools.

5. Conclusion

The Ghanaian education system has its strengths and weaknesses but overall it is a good system that provides equal opportunities for everyone to receive an education.

FAQ

The main components of Ghana's educational system are primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

The educational system in Ghana has evolved over time to include more opportunities for formal education. However, the current system faces challenges such as high dropout rates and low levels of achievement.

Some of the challenges that the educational system in Ghana currently face include a lack of qualified teachers, insufficient resources, and poor infrastructure.