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Education

Ghana has 12,130 primary schools, 5,450 junior secondary schools, 503 senior secondary schools, 21 training colleges, 18 technical institutions, two diploma-awarding institutions and more than five universities serving a population of 24 million; this means that most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to good education. In contrast, at the time of independence in 1957, Ghana had only one university and a handful of secondary and primary schools. In the past decade, Ghana's spending on education has been between 28 percent and 40 percent of its annual budget.

Basic Education

Primary and middle school education is tuition-free and will be mandatory when enough teachers and facilities are available to accommodate all students. Students begin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reforms implemented in 1987, they progress into a new junior secondary school system for 3 years of academic training combined with technical and vocational training.

Senior Secondary Education

After basic school, pupils may enter senior secondary (or technical/vocational) schools for a three-year course which prepare them for university education. Students usually study a combination of three (in some cases, four) 'elective' subjects and a number of core subjects. For example, a science student could study Additional Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics as his 'elective' subjects. An arts student may study Georgraphy, Economics and Literature as his elective subjects. In addition to the elective subjects, there are 'core' subjects, which are those studied by all students in addition to their 'electives'. The 'core' subjects include Mathematics, English and Science.

At the end of the three-year senior secondary course, students are required to sit for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). Students who obtain aggregate 18 or better (six is best) can enter the university. Usually, the score is determined by aggregating the student's grades in his/her elective subjects. The aggregate score is then added to the aggregate score of his/her best 'core' subjects, with scores in English and Mathematics considered first.

So if an arts student scores 'A' in Geography, 'B' in Literature and 'C' in Economics, he/she would obtain an aggregate score of 6 for the electives (i.e. A=1; B=2 & C=3...F(fail)=6). The best of the electives are then added. If he/she obtains 'B' in English, 'C' in Mathematics and 'A' in Social Studies, his/her best 'core' aggregate will be six. Therefore, his/her overall aggregate score will be 12 and he/she qualifies for admission into a university. Once again, an overall aggregate score of six is best.

Tertiary Education

. Entrance to universities is by examination following completion of senior secondary school. School enrollment totals almost 2 million: 1.3 million primary; 107,600 secondary; 489,000 middle; 21,280 technical; 11,300 teacher training; and 5,600 university. Education is mainly in English

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