In the global arena of education, rankings often serve as benchmarks, guiding policymakers and stakeholders in assessing the effectiveness of their education systems. However, recent discrepancies in ranking reports regarding Ghana’s secondary education have sparked a critical conversation about the true essence of education and the urgent need for comprehensive reform

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index 2023, Ghana’s secondary education was ranked 137th out of 167 countries—a concerning statistic that paints a bleak picture of the nation’s educational landscape. Contrastingly, the Ministry of Education in Ghana asserts a more favorable position, citing a ranking of 98th per the Global index. Such disparities highlight the complexity and subjectivity involved in assessing educational quality.

Several factors contribute to these rankings, including but not limited to:

1. *Infrastructure:* The availability and quality of educational infrastructure, such as school buildings, classrooms, libraries, and technology, significantly impact the learning environment.

2. *Access to Resources:* Adequate provision of resources, including textbooks, teaching materials, and qualified educators, is essential for delivering quality education.

3. *Curriculum and Pedagogy:* The relevance and effectiveness of the curriculum, coupled with innovative teaching methodologies, play a crucial role in fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and holistic development among students.

4. *Equity and Inclusion:* Ensuring equal access to education for all, regardless of socio-economic background, gender, or geographical location, is fundamental in promoting educational excellence and social cohesion.

5. *Student Well-being:* Addressing students’ basic needs, such as nutrition, health care, and a safe learning environment, is indispensable for their overall well-being and academic success.

While rankings offer valuable insights, they often fail to capture the multifaceted nature of education. The Educate Africa Institute (EAI) rightly emphasizes the distinction between schooling and education—a distinction that must not be overlooked in the pursuit of educational excellence.

EAI’s call for a shift in focus towards nurturing students’ problem-solving abilities resonates deeply in the Ghanaian context. Beyond rote memorization and standardized tests, education should empower students to think critically, innovate, and contribute meaningfully to society.

However, achieving this vision requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Education. Addressing infrastructure deficits, ensuring access to basic amenities like food and water, and prioritizing teacher training and professional development are critical steps towards building a robust education system in Ghana.

Furthermore, policymakers must heed EAI’s advice and prioritize substantive reforms over futile arguments about rankings. The true measure of educational success lies not in international comparisons but in the tangible impact on student’s lives and the nation’s socio-economic development.

Above all, the discrepancies in Ghana’s education rankings underscore the need for a paradigm shift in educational discourse. By focusing on holistic development, equitable access, and student empowerment, Ghana can realize its potential as a beacon of educational excellence in Africa. It is time for the Ministry of Education to heed this call and embark on a journey towards transformative change in Ghanaian education.

We’re one people.
Ghana first.


William Boadi
Executive Director of EAI, Educationist, Political analyst, and Social Worker.

EAI: Promoting Quality Education.