Secondary school education in Ghana is now free for all students after President Nana Akufo-Addo followed through on a key campaign pledge made last year. Whilst primary school education is already free in the country, it’s hoped that the move to also make secondary education more easily accessible will reduce the number of children dropping out of school.
400,000 students are expected to enter secondary school this year, where their tuition fees will now be funded by the Ghana government. Those students will also receive free textbooks, meals, and other benefits.
That being said, there remains concern amongst many in Ghana that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s expensive new scheme will be incredibly costly to run, especially for the already cash-strapped government. There’s also concern that those funding difficulties could lead to a decreased quality in education for students.
However, there’s similarly the promise that Ghana’s new move to make all secondary school education completely free, and therefore much more accessible, will give the country’s tech industry a major boost. It goes without saying that the more students who complete a full course of education in Ghana, the more potential the tech industries, and other industries like it, will benefit from.
Whilst primary education is largely focused on a wider spectrum of learning, secondary education allows students to focus more closely on specific subject areas. One of those subject areas likely to be of interest to many students is ICT.
Teaching ICT in secondary school will allow students to progress into a range of different roles within Ghana’s technology sector. The expanse of that teaching scope is yet to be seen, however, it could include teaching students how to write computer code, and developing their ability to work with touch sensitive electronics.
Whilst secondary education can’t necessarily provide students with all of the skills and experience needed to enter a career in the tech industry, it can provide a foundation for further education and a platform for the educational system to find students with the potential to become Ghana’s tech leaders of tomorrow.
The program, which will provide students in Ghana with free secondary education in ICT and a range of other subjects isn’t without its critics, however. Ghana’s Minority Leader Mr Haruna Iddrisu has claimed that the free secondary education policy promised and enacted by President Nana Akufo-Addo would significantly reduce the country’s quality of secondary education, whilst making students poorer.
Whilst the NPP (New Patriotic Party) government says that the aim of the free secondary education is to ensure no child is left behind after leaving primary school, Mr. Iddrisu said that Akufo-Addo’s cabinet had only projected that only 85 percent of students eligible for free secondary education would actually attend school. Mr. Iddrisu also claimed that the government hadn’t properly budgeted for the additional students who will enter secondary school this year through the scheme.
Whether or not President Nana Akufo-Addo’s free secondary education scheme in Ghana will be a success remains to be seen. However, more students receiving secondary education should positively impact the country’s technology sector.
Author Bio – Meet Morakhiya consults tech start-up businesses Accra, Ghana – advising them as to how to break into the international market.