In many countries which were colonized and most especially the African nations, have for a long time been consuming the education systems designed by their colonial masters. Despite having said that a lot of changes have been adopted from the colonial type of education systems to those systems which are more likely focused on solving the problems of the local people and not the education which is focused on the objectives and solving the problems of their colonial masters. This is because the needs and problems of various countries vary greatly and thus the problems and the needs which are being addressed by a particular education system should also vary and be specifically designed for those particular problems and needs. A good educational system is the one which is able to prepare its young task to be in a position to fit well in the job market both nationally and also internationally and also equip the young people with the adequate skills to coexist well with their environment.
It was the retail business people from Europe who initially led to development of some schools called the castle schools along the coast regions of the Ghana and then progressively spread to the other parts of the country. With time the nationals of Ghana become so conscious of the need and importance of higher education and this led to the development of a national university in Fante land and this university reflected so much on Ghanaians people in terms of their passion for their language, traditional practices and institutions. In around 1920s people had extreme desire to form what was to be called West Africa University but when the colonial offices were requested by the then governor of Ghana they could not offer any financial support to the realization of the much desired West Africa University. As a result of frustration in failing to realize their dream they struggled and started the Achimota College which had good facilities in terms of land, good infrastructure and a compound which was richly beautified. The library of this college was also well stocked with adequate and most relevant books which made it to be voted as the best library in vote carried out in Britain in around 1940s.
The Achimota College prepared teachers for kindergarten, primary and secondary education training (Graff 1). This college also undertook some classes for university courses in order to prepare the learners for international examination on these courses. In this study we are going to look at the education system in Ghana. We will address the various levels of educational system in which the education system is divided in Ghana. Among these educational systems we have the kindergarten which is also called the nursery school, the primary school, junior secondary school, senior secondary school and the university level of education along with other tertiary colleges. The most current education system structure in Ghana is 6-3-3-4 with 6-representing the six years of primary schooling, 3-representing the three years of junior secondary schooling followed by the other three years representing the three years of the senior secondary and the final four years representing the average years of university schooling (Dickens 1).
In this level the pupils usually enroll at an age of between two years and seven years and thus representing the lowest level of education even though the most critical level of study in preparing the learners for future and more advanced learning. Here the children are equipped with basic skills of algebra which are strictly limited to simple mathematical operations ranging from additions and subtraction of numbers by using more practical examples like adding and subtracting loafs of breads. Also in this level the learners are taught how to memorize and how to write the various letters of the alphabet. The pupils can be taught all these items by more practical lessons such as making the letters of alphabet by use of clay because the small kid can only understand things which are real and in three dimensions so as to get clear picture of various letters of the alphabets. In Ghana the language of instruction which is highly recommended is English so that the pupils can start to understand the English language from the early stages of learning. The children are more involved with the recreation tasks which may include the acts of singing some songs which are incorporated with some learning aspects, painting of the objects such the images of the people and even the letters and numbers learned in the class work and also the acts of looking for answers in puzzles associated with pictures alongside many other recreation activities (Eyiah 1). The good manners are also greatly emphasized in this level of study in which the learners are taught the basic skills in promoting the personal etiquettes. This may include the use of words such as “excuse me’, “please”, “thank you”, “sorry” and many others.
The use of the school time table in which the pupils are doing specific tasks at given time instills the sense of displine among the young people since they learn how to be in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. The reciting of the national anthem is taught at this level and also the pledge along with the flag of the country. Also the pupils are also taught about the existence of the Supreme Being who is God and thus the need to always keep on offering prayers to the lord to guide them in their daily lives and in their future so that they can grow to become important people in the society. Generally in this level the children are equipped with good foundation to make them able to absorb the learning instructions in the higher levels and this level of study is free and compulsory to all children of Ghanaians (Kingsley 1).
Primary education level
This forms the part of what is referred to as the basic education and it is free and compulsory to all Ghanaians children. The children who enroll at this particular level of study are basically at an average age of about six to twelve years of age. In this level the learners are not given education which is geared towards perfection in any vocations or jobs but creates a platform for broader range of ideas and skills that assists them by instilling good attitudes which will make them to perfectly adapt to the environment and thus becoming importance assets which will help their country to develop in all aspects. Here several subjects are taught and it takes the learners six years to graduate from this level of education and then proceed to the next level which is the junior primary level of schooling (Fiebor 6).
Junior secondary level
The time frame taken by students at this level of study is usually three years and it is the third level of education and students are enrolled in this level after successfully graduating from the primary school level. This is also the last and the highest level of education in which the learners have legal right from the government to be given free and compulsory education. And the average age of enrollment to this level of education system is roughly between age thirteen and fifteen years in some instances.
Each schooling year is divided in to three terms whereby in the first term and the second term the learners usually do examination which are basically comprised of the content entirely taught during the first and the second term. In the third term the end of year examination usually cover all the content taught during the whole year of study. In this level of education several subjects are usually taught and some of them include mathematics, agricultural science, general science, music, dancing, English language, moral education, environmental studies and religious studies. In this level the learners are also given a chance to acquire technical skills, vocational skills and also the physical education is also given to learners (“Summary” 1). For example the learners acquire the skills of calabash decoration, sewing, cooking methods, sculpture making and graphic designing. In Ghana the private schools comprises of small percentage with the public school making the biggest percentage of total schools in Ghana. The learners in public schools usually wear a common uniform unlike in private school where the learners are allowed to go to school wearing casual wears. In the course of the academic year the schools usually organizes events in which the athletic and other sporting activities may take place and the selection of the best sportsmen and women to be done who in turn represents the school in the national competitions which are annually organized by the ministry of youth and sports.
At this level of completion the students who emerge to be the best are than considered to form a national team and then they can then proceed to participate in international competitions with the youth of the neighboring countries (“Educational System- Overview” 1). The learners who exhibits exceptional talents usually have great opportunities in terms of being offered scholarships by various organizations and even being in a position to absorbed by commercial teams whereby they practice their talents as a means of earning themselves living. The moral standards in the Ghanaian schools are highly held because most of the schools are sponsored by the Christian faith which lays a very strong foundation in moral teachings. The availability of chaplains in all schools who constantly continue to counsel and guide the students helps greatly in fostering the moral lives among the students. Appropriate punishment is usually administered among the learners when they go wrong. This punishment can be administered in terms of whipping, suspensions, instilling of fatigue and many other ways. The national examination which is called the basic education certificate examination is administered by the West African examination council at the end of the three academic year of the junior secondary schooling.
This examination accesses the learners grasping capacity of ideals and concepts and it is this examination which graduates the learners to move to the next level of education only if the learner has outstandingly performed satisfactorily to the required grades (Ablakwa 1). It is also at this level whereby the government has initiated the program of information communication and technology in schools in order to produce the youth who can fit well in job market of this modern world.
Junior secondary level
In this level of schooling the learners usually enroll at a rough average age of between fifteen years and nineteen years of age. The duration which the learners take to complete the study at this level is three years and the learners usually enroll in this level of education after satisfactorily passing the basic education certificate examination. At this level the apprenticeship programs are availed to the learners together with other subjects such as the grammar, agricultural training and also other skills are fostered to the learners such as the vocational and the technical skills. In this level the education is not free and thus the government has no legal obligation to fund for the education of the learners and thus here responsibility lies with the parents and guardians. At the end of this level of education the learners sits for an examination called the senior secondary certificate examination which if satisfactorily well done will offer the learners to join the university level of education.
Here the training is mainly focused on preparing the learners for adoption in the job market and thus the incorporation of the information communication and technology in the syllabus is very high as compared in the junior secondary school level which does not focus on training the young task on job adoption. After this level one can either join university or other tertiary colleges (“The Educational System” 1).
At the university level the administration does not exercise a lot of control over the students and thus the students are given some freedom unlike in the both senior and junior secondary levels of education.
The learners usually enroll in this level of education after they have successfully written the senior secondary certificate examination. This forms the highest level of education and also one of tertiary form of education. The average age in which the learners enroll at is approximately at around nineteen years and above. Here the time frame which one is supposed to take before completing his or her own degree varies depending with nature of course one is undertaking but the average age is usually four years. Some examples of the courses offered at degree level in Ghana include administration, journalism, engineering, law, medicine and many others. There are about four publicly owned universities and the university council usually has strict rules on some drugs abuse. For those students who are from poor families and thus not in a position to pay for tuition fee the government offers some loans to such students in order to be able to cater for their sustenance at the university and also pay for their tuition fees also those students who participate in various sporting activities such as the basket ball, cricket, soccer and many other sporting tasks usually stand high chances of getting scholarships for their undergraduate degrees or for their masters degree. At the university the duration of study is divided into levels and one takes a whole year to finish one level and thus one to complete his first degree in medicine he or she has to go up to level 400 which takes about four years and go for masters degree and then after attaining his or her master’s degree he or she can start working (Wright 1).
This level of education focuses more on producing professionals who are highly qualified to meet the job market expectations in this modern world and thus the computer literacy is highly emphasized at this level. The people who have attained this level of education are able to get jobs with a lot of easy unlike those who have acquired the senior secondary education. After successful attainment of first degree one can proceed for further studies and get masters degree which takes roughly a minimum of two years and after that one can also advance for his or her PhD degree which usually takes a minimum of three year for one to complete (Wright 1).
Despite the fact that the education system of Ghanaian people have undergone some changes from the old system initiated by colonial masters it is evident that the education of Ghana has shown promising trend and in the near future it may be amongst the best globally recognized education. This is because the government of Ghana has heavily invested on information communication and technology in their education system. It is also very clear that a good educational system is the one which answers the needs of the local people.
Here we have seen education system in Ghana and this education system is divided in various levels such as the kindergarten, primary, junior secondary, senior secondary and university.
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