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close this bookGhana: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System (CIE, 2000, 67 p.)
close this folderChapter 1: Basic Education in Ghana: An Overview
View the document1.1 Introduction
View the document1.2 National Indicators
View the document1.3 Recent History of the Basic Education System
View the document1.4 Structure and Characteristics of Basic Education
View the document1.5 Participation in Basic Education
View the document1.6 Pupil-Teacher Ratios
View the document1.7 The Quality of Basic Education
View the document1.8 Education Expenditure
View the document1.9 Teachers
View the document1.10 Conclusion

1.2 National Indicators

Ghana is a low-income country, with a population of 18 million of whom 34 per cent live below the poverty line1. Per capita income in 1997 was US$ 370 ($1790 PPP). Population growth averaged 2.7 per cent between 1990 and 1997, and over 44 per cent of Ghana’s population is under 15 years old. Coupled with a low average income per head, this puts a strain on public provision of resources for education, health, water and sanitation services. Most of the population lives in rural and semi-rural areas - 63 per cent - and agriculture provides over 60 per cent of all employment. Life expectancy at birth is 57 years. Adult illiteracy is estimated at 36 per cent and is greater among women than men - 47 per cent compared with 24 per cent (World Bank, 1998a).

1 The poverty line is based on two-thirds of average income set by the Ghanaian Living Standards Survey in 1988.

Since the introduction of Ghana’s economic reform programme in 1983, its annual growth has been higher than most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), averaging 4.3 per cent between 1990 and 1997 (World Bank, 1998a). Ghana has adopted the goal of becoming a middle income country by 2020 based on the experience of countries that have made the successful transition to sustainable economic growth through promotion of human resource development.2 Investment in human resources, through the expansion and strengthening of basic education, is a central feature of Ghana’s economic and social development strategy to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty.

2 See Ghana Vision 2020, Government of Ghana, 1995.