Ghana has made substantial progress in advancing access to basic education over the past decade. Overall enrollment at the kindergarten and primary levels has increased more than 100 percent, with the achievement of gender parity at all levels of pre-tertiary education. Ghana has a nearly 100 percent primary school completion rate, and in 2019/2020 the Ministry of Education implemented a
national curriculum reform program.
While access to education has improved, providing quality instruction remains a challenge. Many children fail to acquire basic literacy skills by the end of primary school. From 2014-2023, the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning Activity focused on improving reading outcomes for children in grades KG2 (kindergarten) to Basic 3, using a phonics-based approach. The activity supported teacher training, the development of instructional materials, and the improvement of evaluation and monitoring systems in 11 local languages and English. The COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person learning from March 2020 to January 2021, during which 4.5 million students engaged in remote learning. However, COVID-19-related school closures have meant that many children have not returned to school, and significant learning loss is observable among all students.
On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) works with the Government of Ghana’s (GoG’s) Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service, and other government authorities in the education sector to improve the accountability of key actors within
the education system. USAID’s Ghana Strengthening Accountability in Ghana’s Education System Program works to ensure that all individuals working in the education sector have adequate capacity and fulfill their roles and responsibilities. The program aims to enhance the sector’s
capacity to measure learning outcomes and use data to improve school management.
GOALS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
GOAL ONE: STRENGTHEN INSTRUCTION, MATERIALS, AND SUPERVISION
Over the past decade, USAID has supported the Ministry of Education to deliver a systematic, nationwide, phonics-based approach to reading in English and 11 local languages.
Key achievements in 2022:
- Trained 22,000 educators from 5,425 schools and 6,247 education administrators at the district and national levels to improve early reading outcomes in 11 local Ghanaian languages and English.
- More than 700,000 children in kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grades in 7,200 public primary schools benefited from the USAID-supported phonics-based approach to reading in 11 local languages and English.
- Provided high-quality teaching and learning materials, including 1,400 in Braille, to Ghana’s nine schools for blind students.
- Donated 3.7 million high-quality teaching and learning materials to early grade learners in more than 16,000 public schools.
GOAL TWO: IMPROVE SCHOOL MANAGEMENT FOR BETTER LEARNING OUTCOMES
USAID partners with the GoG to enhance its capacity to measure learning outcomes and use data to improve school management. This helps Ghanaian education officials better assess reading and math achievement and informs policy and management decisions using real-time sector data.
Key achievements in 2022:
- Supported the GoG in implementing a National Reading Radio Program between June 2020 and December 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in improved reading levels of 57% of 1.19 million primary students who benefited from the programming.
- Through intensive school support, teacher coaching and training, and formative student assessments, substantially improved student reading skills in both English and Ghanaian languages– findings from an evaluation of a sample of the 700,000 primary grade student beneficiaries after two years of the implementation of USAID’s early grade reading (EGR) program.