Formal education in Ghana started before colonization. The early schools were built by European missionaries and merchants. The education that was established was just a replica of the British educational system.This model has been through a lot of reforms since Ghana's independence in 1957. Later reforms was geared towards the American Educational System.The Americanisation of the British replica started in the 1980s.
The Ghanaian educational System favors centralization where the Education Ministry and its agencies are responsible for the entire educational system in the country.The educational journey is broken down to levels in the following order
Primary /Elementary School
JHS(Junior High School)
SHS(Senior High School)
The educational structure of of Ghana
Ghanaian education starts from the kindergarten level.The average Ghanaian child starts his/her education by age 2. He is taught basic concepts languages and mathematics through singing,story telling,poems and rhyming words.This is in line with the Ghana Education System beliefs that communication is the basis of all education.Mathematical concepts are also taught by practical means which may differ from school to school due to the teachers innovations and the needs of the students.The kindergarten education also mainly seeks to record the talents expressed by the students for through the numerous activities the students partake.This individual strength are mainly hypothetical and reports of such talents are given to parents to help in the development of the child's interest.After spending three years in the school, the child is now assumed to be ready for elementary/primary education.
This level of the education is the most important and compulsory for all Ghanians.Primary education in Ghana start from the age of six on the average for every Ghanaian.Here the education system focuses on improving the basic concept introduced to the students during their three years stay in the kindergarten.Mathematical concepts are taught progressively as the child understanding slowly opens.The sciences are also taught with specific emphasis on the applied sciences.This is also due to the aim of the Ghana education service which seeks to increase innovation and technology through science.Students spend a total of six years for the primary education.Usually,belief systems of the individual student are established here.Promotion to another class is based on ones ability to pass the end of term examination which seems to be the norm of all the levels of education throughout the world.
Junior High School
By this time the student is thirteen years old on the average.The junior high school level is just two and half years.Everything taught in the elementary/primary school is solidified and more societal beliefs system are incorporated into the students.The students by now are in their early teens and therefore all social education are geared towards educating the child on what it means to be a teenager.The curriculum mostly is about preparing the students for the senior high school level.At the end of the two and half years, students are made to take a national exams which examines students on all the things they have learned from kindergarten to the Junior High School level.This examination is popularly known as Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). The organization in Charge of this examination is the West African Examination Council (WAEC)
Senior High School
The senior high school years are the one of the most sensitive years of the Ghanaian students life.The total years for this education have been changed by governmental reforms between 3 and 4 years. Currently, students spend three years in the senior high school.By the time the average Ghanaian student enter the senior high school,he or she is seventeen years at least.The senior high school system follows two schools of thought.The single sex school camp and the mixed school camp.The single sex school camp as the name implies believe that it is better for the Ghanaian teenager to be with people of his sex for better growth through mutual impartation of the traits of the the age group at point in time. This system has been tested out by the establishment of single sex schools throughout the country.The mixed school camp also believe that it is better for the Ghanaian teenager to be with the opposite sex to ensure better societal tolerance and better growth through mutual impartation of traits of from the opposite sex for every age group at any point in time.At the high school level, students can be day students or boarders.A lot of people prefer to be boarders in senior high school. Being a senior high school boarder has a lot of advantages since the boarding environment is a complete new experience for all students.At the senior high school,students are prepared for life itself. All lasting social values are developed here. Self confidence and self esteem are also learned and developed here.It is at this age that students plan for their future and make lifetime friends.Though the boarding school is good, it has it disadvantages as students can pick up damaging habits from their peers due to pressure.Being a day student in senior high school also have its advantages of living in the comfort of your home while having the experience of your life.Cultural and geographical locations do not have any impact on where you would attend senior high school.The only decider of the choice of senior high school is the students choice of school and a corresponding performance in the Basic Education Certificate examination (BECE). Final year students at the senior high school level take part in a sub-regional exams organized by the West African Examination Council for the West African Sub Region.The examination is well known as the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSSCE). Students who pass this examination can now apply to any Tertiary institution of their choice.
Tertiary education in the country are of different kinds and for different purposes.The tertiary sector is mainly there to prepare senior high students for the corporate world or job market.Certification is varied and mostly dependent on the field of study. There training colleges,polytechnics universities,professional institutes etc. Students apply to these institutions based on what they wish to do with their lives after high School.Tertiary Institutions offer specialized courses like medicine,pharmacy and general courses in the sciences, business and arts. On the average, tertiary education lasts for about 4 years after which students are awarded a degree. This degree might get you a job or put you in a better position for post graduate studies.
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