COMPARE AND CONSTRACT THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF NIGERIA AND GHANA AND DISCUSS THEIR STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES AND GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS.
Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Nigeria is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
While Ghana officially called the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign multinational state and unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Ghana has a land mass of 238,535 km2, with 2,093 kilometres of international land borders. Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. The word Ghana means “Warrior King”.
Ghana has a population of approximately 27 million as of 2014. Ghana’s varied geography includes savannas, woodlands, forests, a coastal line, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, wildlife parks, and nature reserves. The coast of Ghana stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) and includes a rich assortment of culturally significant castles, forts, ports and harbours. Prior to colonisation by the British empire in the early-20th century, Ghana was the site of numerous kingdoms and empires; the most powerful being the Akan Kingdom of Ashanti. In 1957, it became the first African nation to declare independence from European colonisation. This made Ghana a symbol of black achievement and helped to inspire other African independence movements. It also had a major influence on Pan-Africanism and the Black Pride movements in the United States of America.
EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. And the local authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for state-controlled public education and state schools at a regional level. The education system is divided into Kindergarten, primary education, secondary education and tertiary education.
The Nigerian educational system has traditionally been called the 6-3-3-4 system. Each number represents the number of years spent at each level of education.
The first 6 years are the numbers of years spent in Primary school; the next 3 years are spent in the Junior Secondary School (JSS); the next 3 years represent the Senior Secondary School (SSS); the last 4 years are the University years.
The years spent at the university vary from four to six years, depending on the course of study. Most of the courses in the Humanities take four years, while the courses in the Medical Sciences and Technology take over four years.
Recently, an amendment was made to the 6-3-3-4 system of education.
The new educational system is the 9-3-4 system, which merges the 6 primary school years and the 3 Junior Secondary School years.
EDUCATION IN GHANA
Education in Ghana was mainly informal before the arrival of European settlers, who built a formal education system addressed to the elites. With the independence of Ghana in 1957, universal education became an important political objective. The magnitude of the task as well as economic difficulties and political instabilities have slowed down attempted reforms. The Education Act in 1987, followed by the Constitution of 1992, gave a new impulse to educational policies in the country. In 2011, the primary school net enrolment rate was 84%, described by UNICEF as “far ahead” of the Sub-Saharan average. In its 2013-14 report, the World Economic Forum ranked Ghana 46th out of 148 countries for education system quality. In 2010, Ghana’s literacy rate was 71.5%, with a notable gap between men (78.3%) and women (65.3%).
Education indicators in Ghana reflect a gender gap and disparities between rural and urban areas, as well as between southern and northern parts of the country
The Ghanaian education system is divided in three parts: “Basic Education”, secondary cycle and tertiary Education. “Basic Education” lasts 11 years(Age 4-15), is free and compulsory. It is divided into Kindergarten(2 years), primary school(2 modules of 3 years) and Junior High school(3 years). The junior high school(JHS) ends on the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Once the BECE achieved, the pupil can pursue into secondary cycle. Secondary cycle can be either general (assumed by Senior High School) or vocational(assumed by technical Senior High School, Technical and vocational Institutes and a massive private and informal offer). Senior High school lasts three years and ends on the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Other secondary institutions leads to various certifications and diplomas. Tertiary education is basically divided into university (academic education) and Polytechnics(vocational education).
The minimum university standard for admission to post-secondary education is a ‘C-’ average on the SSSCE or WASSCE, with credits (A-D or A1-C6) in all subjects. U.S. universities should not admit Ghanaian students who have not attained at least this level. Students are expected to retake exams in subjects they have failed. Colleges should require a photocopy of the WASSCE Statement of Results bearing an original signature and stamp from the headmaster or headmistress, as well as the transcript.
STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF THE GHANIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
1. Most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to good education due to the modest policies applied in the educational system.
2. In the past decade, Ghana’s spending on education has been between 28 per cent and 40 per cent of its annual budget, which is good and health for the educational system in the country.
3. School enrolment is 98% totalling over 2 million not matching available infrastructures.
4. The sole official language of instruction throughout the Ghanaian educational system is English. Students may study in any of eleven local languages for much of the first three years, after which English becomes the medium.
STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
1. The educational system in Nigeria has been able to produce great intellectual minds like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ola Rotimi, etc and still producing many more like me.
2. The system has attended the much need manpower in the labour sector of the economy.
3. The Nigeria education system is short of funds to prosecute it numerous programmes
4. The system lack qualified manpower
5. The ratio of school dropout is high due to raging poverty in the country
6. The ratio of girl child attendance in the north is low, while that of the male child attendance in the south east is also low.
1. In both countries, educational infrastructure should be upgrade and provided where it’s not available.
2. Government of both countries should allow private participation in the sector so as to give room for improvement.
3. Funds should be mapped out for education programmes and its implementation should be followed with outmost political will.
4. Adequate measures should be put in place to discourage school drop outs
5. Free education should be provided at least in the primary or even in the secondary sections so as to encourage child enrolments.
Education in Ghana is divided into three phases: basic education (kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school), secondary education (upper secondary school, technical and vocational education) and tertiary education (universities, polytechnics and colleges). Education is compulsory between the ages of four and 15 (basic education). The language of instruction is mainly English. The academic year usually runs from August to May inclusive
While, Nigeria has made considerable progress in the domain of education. The education system in the country is supervised by the state. There are 27 federal and state-owned polytechnics in Nigeria. The first 6 years of primary education are mandatory in Nigeria. Nigeria is making a steady progress in the development of education. Many universities and schools have been established by the state. However, much still needs to be done.
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