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Education in Ghana - statistics & facts

As of the 2019/2020 academic year, formal education up to the secondary level was free in Ghana, with 404,856 students enrolled as of March 2020. This was a result of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy launched by the government in September 2017, which took effect from the 2017/2018 academic year.

Educational policy and enrollment

It is mandatory for children in Ghana between the ages of four and fourteen to be enrolled in school for a period of 11 years, and this has been the case since 2007. Nonetheless, in 2019, the government announced plans for new legislation that would extend basic and compulsory education up to the secondary school level. English is the language of instruction in the country as it is the language of the state, except at the initial stages of education, where local languages may be used. Furthermore, the 1996 Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education Program (fCUBE) of the Ministry of Education in Ghana was aimed at providing quality and universal primary education for citizens. Despite this, 6.5 percent of children of primary school age were out of school in 2018. To this effect, over 8,000 girls and nearly 27,000 boys were not enrolled in primary school in 2019. Comparatively, for people between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2018, the literacy rate was higher among males than females. In general, the country spent about 3.99 percent of its GDP on education in 2018.

The educational system

Ghana‘s formal education system comprises primary, junior and senior secondary schools, and tertiary education. In 2019, the gross enrollment ratio stood at 104.84 for primary education, 64.57 for secondary education, and as of the same year, there were nearly 500 thousand tertiary students in the country.
Moreover, in 2018, the school completion rate among pre-primary and primary-age children was higher for females than males, while the opposite was true from the junior high school level onwards.
At the tertiary education level, the country boasted of nine private and public institution ownership types as of 2019, with more students enrolled in public universities than in other public and private-owned tertiary institutions and colleges of education. Consequently, in the said year, nearly 265 thousand students were registered in public universities in the country, which was more than half the number of students at this educational level. Programs offered by these institutions range from business, applied science, arts and social science to education and engineering but also nursing, among others. They were offered as regular, sandwich, or distance learning programs taught by over 15 thousand teaching staff as of 2019, who held titles such as professor, lecturer and tutor.

International student mobility

On the international tertiary education market in 2018, there were more outbound students in Ghana than there were inbound, recording a negative foreign student mobility net flow of 5987. Although foreign students in the country were mainly from Africa as of 2019, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, many students have come from other parts of the world to study in Ghana over the years. On the other hand, nearly 16 thousand Ghanaian students studied abroad in 2018.
Overall at the national level, the per capita consumer spending on education is expected to amount to a little over 208 U.S. dollars in 2025, while the total consumer spending on education is estimated to reach approximately 3.9 billion U.S. dollars by the end of the same year.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Education in Ghana" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Primary and secondary education

Tertiary education

International student mobility

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Education in Ghana".

Education sector in Ghana

Dossier on the topic

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Education in Ghana - statistics & facts

As of the 2019/2020 academic year, formal education up to the secondary level was free in Ghana, with 404,856 students enrolled as of March 2020. This was a result of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy launched by the government in September 2017, which took effect from the 2017/2018 academic year.

Educational policy and enrollment

It is mandatory for children in Ghana between the ages of four and fourteen to be enrolled in school for a period of 11 years, and this has been the case since 2007. Nonetheless, in 2019, the government announced plans for new legislation that would extend basic and compulsory education up to the secondary school level. English is the language of instruction in the country as it is the language of the state, except at the initial stages of education, where local languages may be used. Furthermore, the 1996 Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education Program (fCUBE) of the Ministry of Education in Ghana was aimed at providing quality and universal primary education for citizens. Despite this, 6.5 percent of children of primary school age were out of school in 2018. To this effect, over 8,000 girls and nearly 27,000 boys were not enrolled in primary school in 2019. Comparatively, for people between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2018, the literacy rate was higher among males than females. In general, the country spent about 3.99 percent of its GDP on education in 2018.

The educational system

Ghana‘s formal education system comprises primary, junior and senior secondary schools, and tertiary education. In 2019, the gross enrollment ratio stood at 104.84 for primary education, 64.57 for secondary education, and as of the same year, there were nearly 500 thousand tertiary students in the country.
Moreover, in 2018, the school completion rate among pre-primary and primary-age children was higher for females than males, while the opposite was true from the junior high school level onwards.
At the tertiary education level, the country boasted of nine private and public institution ownership types as of 2019, with more students enrolled in public universities than in other public and private-owned tertiary institutions and colleges of education. Consequently, in the said year, nearly 265 thousand students were registered in public universities in the country, which was more than half the number of students at this educational level. Programs offered by these institutions range from business, applied science, arts and social science to education and engineering but also nursing, among others. They were offered as regular, sandwich, or distance learning programs taught by over 15 thousand teaching staff as of 2019, who held titles such as professor, lecturer and tutor.

International student mobility

On the international tertiary education market in 2018, there were more outbound students in Ghana than there were inbound, recording a negative foreign student mobility net flow of 5987. Although foreign students in the country were mainly from Africa as of 2019, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, many students have come from other parts of the world to study in Ghana over the years. On the other hand, nearly 16 thousand Ghanaian students studied abroad in 2018.
Overall at the national level, the per capita consumer spending on education is expected to amount to a little over 208 U.S. dollars in 2025, while the total consumer spending on education is estimated to reach approximately 3.9 billion U.S. dollars by the end of the same year.

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