The New Structure of Pre-tertiary Education in Ghana

SCHOOLS School: Pre-tertiary Education in Ghana

Until recently, formal Basic Education was for all Ghanaian pupils from Kindergarten to JuniorHigh School 3 (KG to Grade 9), after which learners could progress to formal Senior High education, vocational education and training, direct entry into employment or distance learning.

However, in the current education reforms, Basic Education has been redefined as a concept to include Senior High School.

Check This Out: CCP Curriculum: BECE to be restructured; top changes in JHS,SHS Education in Ghana


The system is thus subdivided into five key phases as follows:


Key Phase 1 [Foundation level comprising Kindergarten 1&2],

Key Phase 2 [Lower primary level made up of B1 to B3],

Key Phase 3 [Upper primary level of B4 to B6],

Key Phase 4 [Junior high school level of B7 to B9], and

Key Phase 5 [Senior high school level comprising SHS1-SHS3].

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Key Phases 1 and 2 constitute Early Years of education.

The New Structure of Pre-tertiary Education in Ghana | 1

The New Structure of Pre-tertiary Education in Ghana | 2

 Structure of Pre-tertiary Education Explained

Education at Key Phase 1 begins at age 4 with Kindergarten (KG) education and connects with Lower Primary education up to age 8.KG education pre-disposes children to conditions of formal schooling, imbuing in them the desire for learning during future years.


The second, or Upper Primary phase, seeks to lay a strong foundation for inquiry, creativity and innovation, and lifelong learning in general, and to provide building blocks for higher levels of education (Anamuah-Mensah Report, 2002).


The third phase of basic education is the three-year Junior High School or JHS (age 12-15 years) which is lower secondary education that provides the opportunity for pupils to discover their interests, abilities, aptitudes and other potential.


The final phase of basic education is the three-year Senior High School or SHS (age 15-18 years), which is upper Secondary education that allows learners to specialise in any one of the following programmes: Science, General Arts, Technical and Vocational, Business, and a not less than one-year appropriate apprenticeship training programme.


The SHS education is the platform that delivers an extensive gamut of academic knowledge and skills required for entry into further education and training in the tertiary institutions of Ghana and elsewhere.


In this context, after sitting and passing the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), SHS graduates may gain admission into the Universities, Polytechnics and such specialised institutions as Nursing Training Colleges, Colleges of Education and the Ghana Police Command.


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Ellis Ferdinand is a Journalist, Blogger and Founder of Ellis Multimedia, a parent company of, an Online Education News Blog, and Ellis Ferdinand is a Graduate of Accra College of Education and the University of Cape Coast, where he obtained a Diploma In Basic Education and a Bachelor of Education in Accounting. He is currently Reading his Master of Philosophy in Curriculum and Pedagogic Studies at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. Ellis Ferdinand won Blogger of the Year at the 2018 National Students’ Awards and was also adjudged 14th Best Ghanain Blogger in 2018 among the Top 50 Ghanaian Bloggers of 2018. He introduced the Concept of Education Blogging in Ghana in 2014 with his famous blog now His Blog won Best Media Promoting Education in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, an Award organized by Neogenics Education Consult. In 2019, He adjudged the Most Promising West African Blogger of the Year in Nigeria. He won Writer of the Year at the 2021 EDUCOM AWARDS


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