The Curriculum

The curriculum at schools in Ghana is centered on a method of teaching that overemphasizes grammar and rote-memorization. The tests and quizzes assess student’s ability to master this memorization tactic, so students can often coast through primary school and junior high school without fully understanding key concepts. Corporal punishment is universal in Ghana – students who disobey or fail to perform are regularly subject to verbal and physical abuse by teachers or administrators.


The basic education curriculum in Ghana focuses on an academic approach to learning. Inadequate attention is given to technical and vocational education in primary and junior high school. The reality is that most available jobs are skills-based, so young adults are unprepared for the world of work after finishing their basic education. This deficit of vocational training has its roots in a social stigma that regards those pursuing a vocational and technical education as unable to excel in a traditional, purely academic school setting. Ignorance and misguided government policy contribute to the stigma, which hinders economic growth and results in a system that leaves thousands of willing young adults jobless after junior high school at age 15.