Reaching a National Consensus on the Duration of High School Education in Ghana: A Case for 3-Year Senior High Education

  • E Acquaye


The Senior High School (SHS) is one of the levels of education within the structure of pretertiary education in Ghana. The duration of the SHS cannot, therefore, be determined without due consideration to the entire structure, the inputs and outputs of the other levels, namely KG, Primary and the Junior High School (JHS). Drawing from this fact, this paper has emphasized that JHS is the first stage of secondary education and therefore be managed as a level within the secondary education sub sector.This paper is an attempt to provide a better understanding of the reasons, particularly those regarding the quality of teaching and learning at the basic level, that accounts for the poor educational outcomes at the basic and senior secondary level which many advocates of the 4-year senior high school programme use as the basis of their argument. The paper argues that the low performance in the senior secondary schools technically starts from the primary school through junior secondary school to senior secondary school. The problem arises from a complex of internal and external factors which could be solved within the right environment (curriculum, teacher and infrastructure) as exhibited in some schools in this country. The paper concluded by indicating that if indeed the recommendations, especially those on subjects/content to be offered at the lower and upper primary, JHS, allocation of periods, other instructional quality procedures, are addressed, there will be no need to extend the duration of pre-tertiary education in Ghana by one year; and if even there should be any extension, it should be at either the primary or the JHS level