Ghana’s free high school policy is getting more girls to complete secondary education: Survey

Ghana’s free high school policy is getting more girls to complete secondary education: Survey

Editors’ notes

This article has been reviewed in accordance to Science X’s
editorial job
and insurance policies.
Editors gain highlighted
the next attributes whereas ensuring the tell material’s credibility:


depended on source

written by researcher(s)


by Victor Osei Kwadwo and Rose Vincent, The Conversation

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Area

Training drives economic development and particular particular person well-being. Secondary education, in relate, performs a well-known role. In most up-to-date decades, this recognition has inspired several African worldwide locations to originate secondary education free. One instance is Ghana’s Free Public Senior High School (FreeSHS) policy, initiated in 2017.

The policy aimed to eradicate value boundaries to secondary education, including fees, textbooks, boarding and meals.

As students of public policy, we conducted be taught into the impact of the policy, particularly its cease on the different of girls polishing off secondary school. We emphasised the tutorial outcomes of girls due to they are at a disadvantage when gaining access to higher education in Ghana. The enrollment and retention of girls in school decrease with each tutorial level.

Socio-culturally, if a family has restricted sources, they tend to use more on boys’ education than on girls’ education and this is bolstered by the conclusion that girls’ labor across the condominium is more treasured.

The outcomes highlighted that the bid’s absorption of education fees had served as a essential incentive for students to complete secondary education —and more so for girls.

Our paper is the well-known to quantitatively review the policy’s impact on education outcomes. Moreover, by specializing in the policy’s impact on schoolgirls, our findings indicate how casting off value boundaries to education vastly enhances the odds of girls in polishing off secondary education. This is well-known due to with the exception of female education having particular particular person advantages, “to educate girls is to lower poverty”, as dilapidated UN secretary-popular Kofi Annan acknowledged.

Our findings contribute to the decision for greater schooling receive exact of entry to for girls.

Weighing up the pros and cons

Ghana’s Free Public Senior High School policy arose from an election marketing campaign promise made by President Nana Akufo-Addo at some level of marketing campaign trails in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Between 2017 and 2021 the govt. spent GH¢5.12 billion (US$392 million) on implementing the policy.

There has been controversy. Critics gain wondered the policy’s financial sustainability and raised concerns about deteriorating education quality, given the rising enrollment charges for the reason that policy’s inception.

Mild, public notion stays largely favorable. In accordance to the Afrobarometer test in 2020, 23.5% agreed and 63.1% strongly agreed that it had created opportunities for of us who otherwise shouldn’t gain been able to manage to pay for secondary education.

What we discovered

Our watch effect of abode out to estimate the impact of the policy on education attainment. We emphasised how it had affected, in relate, the completion rate of girls. We did this by estimating the substitute in secondary school completion charges with out the policy (2013 to 2016) and with it (2017 to 2020).

These charges will gain been influenced by a different of factors, now not correct free education. But they were the initiating level of our nuanced analysis.

Because all students benefited from the policy from 2017 we couldn’t merely estimate its impact by taking a test on the completion rate of of us who benefited and these that had now not.

So we when in contrast districts where more students took benefit of the policy. That is, where more students had previously been unable to manage to pay for schooling to districts where fewer did so. This helped us survey if the substitute in completion charges between these teams turned into once greater after the policy started. In most cases, or now not it is love comparing two gardens. Both receive further water (free schooling) and ride an amplify in development. Then again, one garden grew more than the quite loads of.

That distinction in “gardens” (school districts) allowed us to estimate the impact of the “water” (the policy) on education completion.

We discovered that the policy positively affected the tutorial attainment of both girls and boys. For girls and boys together, the policy elevated the completion of senior high school by 14.9 proportion parts.

There turned into once a 14 proportion level amplify in the rate of girls polishing off senior high school after the new policy. We did now not estimate the amplify for boys however the blended rate reveals this will be higher than 14 proportion parts.

We moreover discovered that after the policy turned into once in situation, girls enrolled in secondary high school at charges equal to or exceeding these of boys across all areas. Then again, this has now not yet translated into stout gender parity in completion charges.

The transient impact suggests that the policy on my own doesn’t erase all gendered constraints to education (as an illustration, social and cultural), but it completely has contributed to reducing them.

We did now not gain evidence that the policy improved the usual of education. Then again, we discovered that quality turned into once statistically insignificant in using completion charges.

Experiences of inadequate infrastructure and overcrowding impress at an unchanged and even declining quality of schooling.

Policy implications

Our findings gain four policy implications. To maximize the advantages of elevated enrollment and completion charges, Ghana must:

  • Take care of education quality concerns: An amplify in secondary high school completion charges might maybe silent now not be mistaken for quality. Quality ought to be enhanced to red meat up labor market competitiveness and long-term beneficial properties.

  • Put in power complementary insurance policies: Increasing enrollment and completion charges will lead to a higher pool of educated childhood. Labor market and tertiary education opportunities ought to be boosted to match the new demand.

  • Possess interventions to deal with relate wants of disadvantaged districts: Some areas, for occasion, the northern and western areas, had among the many lowest uptake charges for the free senior high school policy. There are underlying boundaries to education in these areas varied than fees. Lessons from Uganda gain proven that, with out reference to fashioned fee-free secondary education, the probability of enrolling in secondary education turned into once diminished by greater distance to the closest school, particularly in rural when in contrast to metropolis areas.

  • Originate FreeSHS a targeted intervention in preference to fashioned: The govt. must assemble more to systematically identify of us who can’t pay and originate secondary education free for them. The policy can moreover be worn to present incentives for the uptake of technical and vocational education and working towards. This can yield financial savings, generate sources for quality education investments and amplify employment opportunities.

This article is republished from The Conversation below a Artistic Commons license. Read the usual article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like