Ghana As A Case Study for Free Education(Part 1)

I’m really thankful to @merit.ahama because I almost missed out on it. Surprisingly it’s something I have a lot to say to say about.


My country Ghana’s current president promised as part of his election campaign 3 years ago that if he was voted into power, he’d make senior high school education free for students in Ghana. So in essence, a free senior high school. He’s been elected and has been in office for 3 years, so let’s make an assessment on whether or not he delivered. Let’s talk about feasibility in terms of how well it’s worked since his 3 years in office.

Was it possible?

Implementing his plans absolute was possible. But that would depend on your definition of possible.

He passed the laws and legislation that would put free senior high school education in motion, but as to whether it’s running on track now or not is another issue.

It effects were devastating though

Free senior high school education worked fine for a year, but everything after that had Ghanaians crying for mercy. In my opinion, the funds pushed into free education affected our economy really badly.


First of all, revenue that was generated from fees paid by citizens ceased. And what’s worse is that even though there was no revenue generated anymore, the said free education cost Ghana in money values in huge significant numbers! More and more money had to be pumped into it to keep it running and active.

We’ve gone to the extent of borrowing huge sums of money in order to pretend we had a working free education because our president was too proud to admit that even though he had a vision, his implementation of the vision failed.

In the early years of his office, we still could’ve been saved. It wasn’t too late to simply tell Ghanaians that after a year of running free education you realized what you thought was possible would ruin our Country and so we had to abandon course on project free education. Better than the situation we have now where students and parents alike Hate the free education they’re getting.

How did we see effects of free education?

I feel like I talked a lot about this already when I was talking about whether or not free education was possible. But there’s more to say.

Aside the fact that it cost Ghana money, it cost us something different too: a reduction in the quality of our human resource.

Humans naturally appreciate what they struggle to get more than what they’re handed freely. This is actually contrary to something we talked about a few days ago in my work place. Topic for another post.


Back to the topic…when students had to struggle to get into senior high schools, and their parents went through thick and thin to get their fees paid and all, the value attached to the work that went into acquiring the money to fund their studies was a constant reminder that they had to work hard to ensure that their parent’s blood and sweat wasn’t wasted.

I come from a family of many kids. And in my family, you can be damn sure they won’t pay your fees to go to school when your sibling with better grades is at home. The smarter kid goes, basically. So if you wanted to go to Senior High School, you’d have to work hard for it.

Free education has ripped away that motivation because why work for it when the government pays and handles your transition from JHS to SHS whether or not you excelled. It’s like a wholesale promotion of students from Primary 1 to Primary 2. Pathetic!

But I should mention that the effects are not all negative like I make it sound. I just chose to focus more on the drawbacks. Free SHS education has sure helped a lot of less privileged students into the SHS and towards the university and they’re doing great and making great impacts on society.

But when I hear free education, I’m jilted to think more of the negative- why is why my focus for this writing is on the negatives. Because for the most of part, free education has come with some serious repercussions, being deeply indebted to the IMF being one of them.

How much free education has eaten into Ghana’s progress and development can not digested in one post. But this is just one small West African country. Imagining what it’d look like on a much larger scale like a world world movement would be catastrophic! I’m going to be making a part two of this post later today because I don’t want to prolong this post more.

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