Alternatives to public education

Private and international schools in Ghana

Alternatives to public education

The correlation between price and quality of a school is very high in Ghana. This counts at least for primary and lower secondary education so parents will try everything to put their children in private institutions.

Already every fourth student in Ghana attends a private school and the trend is going to continue. When asking parents why they don’t send their children to a private institution the lack of money is by far the most popular answer. For senior high schools the picture shifts and public schools are seen as slightly better quality.

Nevertheless, the reputation of private schools in Ghana is very good. The student-to-teacher ratio is about half of that in the public schools. Paradoxically, the teachers’ average salaries are lower than in public schools. School fees of $4 - $7 per month seem low but with a lot of children it can be half of the parents’ monthly salaries in Ghana.

Prices for international schools can easily compete with Western standards, international schools are centered in major cities and are not found in more rural areas. In Accra there are, for example Swiss, French, British and American schools, teaching in the particular language of their country. There is a homepage providing detailed information on different curricula . Outside Ghana’s capital it may be hard to find international schools, so home-schooling is quite popular among expats.

If you haven’t got your contract yet, try to negotiate with your company regarding schooling. Having your company cover the fees for your children's education can be a real blessing.
The best way to inform yourself about a school is to ask other expat parents. You will need to consider every aspect before choosing a school for your kids. For example, very often there is no regular transport to schools at all. In some schools, teachers might use corporal punishment to discipline the students. Double check with the school on their policies regarding such things and ask other expat families.

Further reading

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