1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Multi-level regulations 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring 


  1. Terminology

According to the Education Act (2008) which governs all education levels in Ghana,a person or an institution may establish, manage and operate a private educational institution in accordance with the guidelines issued, and the Regulations made in that behalf, by the Minister in consultation with the Education Service Council or the National Accreditation Board”.


  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

In Ghana the majority of schools are public. According to the Education Act 2008, basic education is free and compulsory, but households are expected to pay supplementary education costs such as uniforms, transportation and school supplies. The basic education system comprises schooling for children between the ages of 4 and 15 years and is predominately provided in Government operated facilities.

Registered, integrated Islamic schools are considered public and are counted as such under-government statistics. These schools receive capitation grants from the state and include teachers’ salaries. They teach the government-approved curriculum which includes both secular and traditional religious subjects.

Non-state managed, state schools

The 2018-30 Education Strategic Plan, signaled that Ghana is launching a pilot public–private partnership (PPP) in basic and secondary education to improve the quality of education delivered through contracting out the operation of public schools to not-for-profit organizations. The PPP is “designed to allow operators to address some of the complex and interwoven challenges faced by the mainstream system, such as poor mentoring and accountability of teachers, lack of supervision, and low time-on-task. Non-state providers will be required to meet clearly defined KPIs or be exited from the programme, while schools will remain government owned and government funded.”

Non-state funded, state schools

No information was found.

2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

Private schools. Private schools in Ghana are established and managed by private institutions including commercial companies and non-profit organizations According to the 2018-30 Education Strategic Plan, the private sector has grown rapidly in the last decade and currently operates a third of the total basic schools in the country. Over 20% of basic school pupils are enrolled in private schools, with these schools distributed unevenly across the country.  Official policies mandate that the government provide textbooks, teacher training and subsidization of school fees.  Private schools are self-funded and registered by the Ghana Education Service. All schools use the GES curriculum.

Ghana’s Statistical Service published in 2018 the education statistics at basic level education across districts for 2010-2016. These include the number private and public schools by district at different education levels and private basic school enrolments by sex and district. In most regions, the number of private basic schools increased between 2010 and 2016.  Ghana’s Living Standards Survey (GLSS) 7 published in 2019 presents information on school attendance by education level and by type of education facility (annex 1). The GLSS disaggregates attendance and enrolment rates between private religious and private non-religious schools in rural and urban areas. Attendance at primary level is higher for non-religious while at JHS level is higher in private religious.

According to the GLSS7, educational expenditure on an individual household member is devoted to the payment of school and registration fees (39.5%), boarding and lodging (24.2%) and transportation to and from school (18.4%). Books and school supplies, uniforms and in-kind expenses account for the rest of the household expenditure on education.

Low-fee private schools make up an important share of schools in Ghana and cover a spectrum from purely for profit to more philanthropic and faith based. They are independently operated and funded, which leads to differences in tuition costs and quality. In 2010, low-cost private schools constituted 40% of all private schools in Ghana, and about 12% of all schools in the country. NGOs such as IDP Rising School program and Edify provide loans and training to proprietors of low-fee private schools. In 2019, the IDP Rising Schools Program had impacted 600 schools and 140,000 students by providing 545 loans and training according to a study.

Low-fee private schools do not receive government funding. According to a study, they operate in low-income areas and under complex regulatory frameworks, and that offer an alternative to parents who may not be satisfied with the quality and academic results of public schools. Fees and other associated costs of schooling mean that low-fee private schools are beyond the reach of the poorest families: only 2% of LFPS enrollment is drawn from the poorest 25% of Ghana’s population. The same study identified infrastructure and financial constraints as the biggest challenges for LFPS. For instance, in the Upper East less than 50% of LFPS have toilets. Proprietors are reluctant to invest in infrastructure because they fear that raising the fees may lead to parents being unwilling or unable to pay for school-fees.

Christian low-fee private schools are found in the Greater Area region of Ghana. A study which examined four of these schools, found that all schools were family business independently owned and operated. Most of the owners had taken loans to build classrooms, toilets and purchase educational materials from micro-lending institutions. Tuition is the only source of funding of these schools.

Omega Schools. The Omega School franchise in Ghana was the result of a joint venture of an individual and the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund which aims to develop a market for low-fee private education. The purpose of the venture was to create a “sustainable large chain of branded low-cost private schools in Ghana”. The Omega Schools franchise grew to 20 schools and 11,000 students in 3 years. By 2021 it aimed to serve 200,000 students demonstrating a sustainable and replicable access of how to extend access to high-quality education at low cost.

International schools. International schools are mainly situated in Accra or major cities. They are independently funded and operated, and they tend to cater for the education of children belonging to the wealthiest households. Ghana is home to six International Baccalaureate schools, one of the biggest numbers in Africa.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

There are several state-funded private senior high schools across the country. Since 2001, the Government of Ghana subsidies senior high schools to reduce the burden of parents and guards.

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.

Private-public partnerships

Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2010–20 supported public private partnerships to:

  • Meet some of the teacher costs of private kindergartens
  • Provide non-salary inputs (e.g. textbooks) and in-service training to primary and junior high schools.
  • Provide tax holidays and tax exemptions on imported equipment in return for private support to TVET

2.3 Other types of schools


Homeschooling is an increasing educational option for parents in Ghana but there is no law regulating this phenomenon. 

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

Despite having rules and regulations set up by the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education that proprietors must adhere to when it comes to opening of private schools, many proprietors do not regularise their operations with their District assemblies. As a result, there are several unregistered schools across the country.

Religious schools

According to the Education Act (2008), religious bodies such as the National Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council, the Anglican Church of Ghana, the Pentecostal Council, the Federation of Muslim Councils and the Ahmadiyya Mission can establish religious educational institutions. Religious schools have different types of management, financing and operation. According to Ghana’s Living Standards Survey (GLSS) 7 published in 2019, 49% of students attend a religious private primary school.

Special education/Inclusive education

Ghana’s Inclusive Education Policy (2015) determines that private actors such as corporate institutions, philanthropic individuals and institutions shall be encouraged to support the implementation of inclusive education at the national, district, community and school level by providing scholarships to support learners at risk of exclusion, providing access to screening materials and assistive devices, supporting capacity building of teachers on inclusive education and ensuring that all schools are physically and environmentally accessible for children with disabilities.


  1. Governance and regulations

The Ministry of Education of Ghana is responsible for all policies on education, including apprenticeships and wider skills acquisition in Ghana. There are 22 agencies working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to facilitate the implementation of policies on different fronts. The Ghana Education Service oversees an effective teaching and learning environment in all educational institutions across the country. The Private Schools Unit coordinates activities of private schools (Basic, Senior Secondary and Technical/Vocational Institutes, including, Computer Training Schools and Professional Institutes) across the country, prepares a national register of private schools and undertakes periodic inspections to private schools. All private schools must be registered by the Ghana Education Service.

 The Ghana National Council for Private Schools (GNACOPS) is the main body gathering private schools in the country. Another key actor is the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), whose mission is to lead private schools to strive for quality and educational excellence at all cost. GNAPS contains information on the private schools in each zone. Specialized agencies exist for different education levels.

At the early childhood education level, the private sector, Community Based Organisations, NGOs and Religious Organisations can provide pre-school education in collaboration with District Assemblies. The implementation of the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy lies with the Ministry for Women and Children Affairs. The Ministries of Education and Employment and Social Welfare also have joint responsibilities for early childhood facilities because of the welfare/care and educational needs of children. Private ECCD Service providers are encouraged to provide quality ECCD services according to guidelines set up by the National ECCD Co-ordinating Committee. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Unit liaises with Development Partners, NGOs and other ECE providers to improve Early Childhood Education in the country.

At the tertiary education level, the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) oversees the accreditation of the programmes of public and private tertiary institutions. The National Accreditation Board (NAB), answerable to the NCTE, has monitoring and evaluation oversight responsibility for public and private tertiary education institutions.

At the local level, as part of the decentralized education service established by the Education Act of 2008, there are regional education directorates in each region and district education directorates that have the responsibility for the provision and management of basic and second cycle schools. A National Inspection Board monitors a wide range of academic, infrastructure and education standards for public and private schools, through routine inspections across the country.

Vision: Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2010–20 was guided by policy initiatives that emerged following the Education Act of 2008. The ESP acknowledged the substantial contribution of the private sector to education which represents a considerable saving of public funds and makes positive contributions to admissions and enrolment ratios. Although private sector provision is not included as a guiding principle of the ESP, the strategic goals for each education cycle aim at increasing access to private and public institutions. The Education Medium-Term Development Plan (2018-21) also sought to build effective partnerships with religious bodies, civic organisations, and private sector in delivery of quality education.

The 2018-30 Education Strategic Plan promoted access, equity, sustainability, quality, efficiency and relevance of the education system. In terms of education provision of non-state actors, the Strategic Plan refers to public-private-partnerships in basic and secondary education to improve the quality of education delivered through contracting out the operation of public schools to non-for-profit organisations. The Plan also sought to improve monitoring, regulation, and collaboration with the private sector.


3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country with compulsory pre-primary education, passed legislation in 2007 to include two years of kindergarten in compulsory basic education starting from age 4. The Early Childhood Care and Development Policy issued by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs in 2004 provides a framework for the guidance of all stakeholders who are supporting the survival, protection and development of the children in Ghana in their early years.

Although Ghana has relatively advanced ECCE policies and has introduced two compulsory years of Kindergarten for ages 4-5, there are persistent challenges to ensure quality due to lack of trained teachers, scarce resources, and large class sizes. In addition, many rural communities are deprived from ECCE.  The ECCE Policy encourages private proprietors to provide quality ECCD services and support the training of staff.


Registration and approval: The Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service take a lead role to regulate and establish pre-school centres. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Licence: Families, the private sector, NGOs, philanthropists, and religious organisations are encouraged to complement and supplement the Government’s effort to provide access to ECCE education. The government and private operators can obtain licenses to establish creches, day care centres, nurseries and kindergartens. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Financial operation

Profit-making: As established in the  Early Childhood Care and Development Policy, funding for ECCD is sourced from diverse sources including parents, communities, private proprietors and investors, NGOs, Development Partners, Philanthropic organizations and the government of Ghana.

Taxes and subsidies: As defined in the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy, the Government will waive taxes on equipment and materials meant for ECCD programmes.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum or learning standards: Ghana’s ECCE Policy sought to develop a curriculum for teacher training, including training in preschool education. The Quality Preschool for Ghana (QP4G) project aimed to build capacity and support for the implementation of the 2004 kindergarten (KG) curriculum and to enhance the quality of KG education in Ghana.

Teaching profession Under the ECCD Policy, private proprietors must support the training of their staff and take full responsibility of the salaries of staff under their jurisdiction. Public-sector kindergarten teachers are required to have a Diploma in Basic Education obtained from an approved college of education. However, there are no requirements for private sector teachers.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: One of the policy objectives of the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy is to provide fee-free tuition in pre-schools. The Government provides incentives to private sector establishments contributing above a certain minimum level of funds or in-kind support to ECCD programmes. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Admission selection and processesPre-primary school children shall start schooling at the age of 4 years at Pre-primary 1 (PP1) and transit to Pre-primary 2 (PP2) at 5years. This may vary for learners with special needs and disabilities.

Policies for vulnerable groups: The education policy of Ghana provides children two years of free and compulsory Kindergarten to ensure that young children are enrolled into school for early learning. Efforts are also being made by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to reach out to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Proprietors are encouraged to provide services to children with disabilities.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: No information was found.

Inspection:  See Multi-level regulations.

Child assessment: No information was found.

Sanctions: No information was found.


At the primary and secondary level, Ghana’s education system includes six years of primary education, three years of junior high school education and four years of senior high school. The private sector represents an important share in the number of primary schools in the country, but a small share of the total enrollment. The distribution of students enrolled in private schools varies across Ghana. At the secondary level, the private Junior High Schools account for over one-third of the total number of schools in the country but less than 10% of the total enrollment.

The Education Act of 2008 establishes that the Minister shall take effective decentralization measures for the provision and management of basic and second cycle schools to the district assemblies. Private educational institutions operate under the supervision of the district director of education. When there is a change in the ownership or location, the proprietor of the institution must notify the Minister. According to the Act private educational institution shall be incorporated as a legal entity with a governing body. The Ghana National Association of Private Schools plays a key role in the establishment and operation of private schools.  


Registration and approval:  See Multi-level regulations.

Licence: See Multi-level regulations.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)The 2018 education statistics published by Ghana’s Statistical Service, include information on the percentage of private schools per district that have access to a toilet facility (table 5.1.2). In 2016, only 31.9% of private schools in the Greater Accra Region had access to a toilet facility. Despite this, no information regarding WASH was found in the regulatory framework.

Financial operation

Profit-makingNo information was found.

Taxes and subsidies. The government may provide tax reliefs or subsidies to registered private educational institutions. Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan for 2010–20 envisaged support to primary and junior high schools by providing non-salary inputs such as textbooks and in-service training. According to the Act, the government may provide tax reliefs or subsidies to a duly registered private educational institution.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standardsSee Multi-level regulations.

Textbooks and learning materialsNo information was found.

Teaching profession See Multi-level regulations.

Corporal punishmentCorporal punishment is lawful in schools, but Ministerial directives advise against the use of corporal punishment in schools. National Child Friendly School Standards for basic schools were drafted by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to promote safe environment for teaching and learning.

Other safety measures and Covid-19: The Covid-19 pandemic had significant effects on the private school sector in Ghana. According to different sources, more than 200 private schools had to close due to economic constraints caused by the pandemic, leaving 40,000 students and 3,496 teachers in an academic limbo.

Equitable access

Fee-setting:  SeeMulti-level regulations.

Admission selection and processes. No information was found.

Policies for vulnerable groupsThe Capitation Grant Scheme introduced in 2005 sought to increase access to quality basic education to marginalized children. The scheme included a subsidy per child per annum to all basic school pupils in all public schools in the country. The objective of the policy was the abolition of extra costs and levies which hindered the participation of children in basic education, as many parents were unable to cover the hidden costs imposed by basic education schools. Several studies have been conducted on the effects of the capitation grant policy on student enrollment in different across the country such as this study on junior high schools in the Ashanti Mampong municipality.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board:  No information was found.

Reporting requirements: No information was found.

School Inspection:  See Multi-level regulations.

Student assessment: No information was found.

Diplomas and degrees: The Ghanaian government subsidizes fees for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in private as well as public schools. This exam is used to determine which students are eligible to proceed from junior to senior high school.

Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.


According to the 2015 Inclusive Education Policy, tertiary education includes Public Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education (both regular and integrated), and Private institutions, operating under the auspices of the supervisory bodies, National Council for Tertiary Education, National Accreditation Board and National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations.  Private tertiary institutions operate under the authority of the National Council for Tertiary Education.

Private enrollment accounts for over one-third of technical and vocational institutions, and nearly half of all tertiary institutions. In 2007, there were 38 private tertiary institutions. Tertiary enrollments doubled between 2009 and 2015, due to the rapid growth of the private sector. In 2017/18 in Ghana there were 3 chartered private tertiary institutions, 79 private tertiary institutions, 10 technical universities and polytechnics and 2 private colleges for education according to the Education Sector Performance Report 2018.

Tertiary education is provided in a university, polytechnic or college of education established by an Act of Parliament or accredited by the National Accreditation Board. Most tertiary institutions are self-regulated. The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission established in 1993 as an agency of the Ministry of Education regulates tertiary education provision in Ghana, including private sector participation.

Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan of 2010–20 sought to procure additional funding for tertiary education by increasing private sector involvement in the tertiary subsector.


Registration and approval: The National Accreditation Board Act of 2007 gives the accreditation requirements for teaching programmes and academic standards for tertiary institutions. The Ghana Education Service Act of 1995 determined that the Ghana Education Service will also oversee the registration, supervision and inspection of pre-tertiary institutions. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Licence: The National Accreditation Board is the agency responsible for the regulation, supervision and accreditation of tertiary institutions in Ghana. It can revoke licenses of non-state education providers. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Tertiary private educational institutions operate under the National Council for Tertiary Education (NTCE). According to the Education Act , tertiary educational institutions cannot begin operations unless the National Accreditation Board has granted it the requisite accreditation. Any new university, polytechnic or college must apply to NAB for accreditation before being allowed to operate. Ghana's Tertiary Education Commission oversees the accreditation of tertiary education institutions.

Financial operation

Profit-makingNo information was found.

Taxes and subsidies No information was found.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standardsThe teaching programmes and academic standards for tertiary institutions are subject to the accreditation requirements set out by the 2007 National Accreditation Board Act. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Teaching professionThe teaching programmes and academic standards for tertiary institutions are subject to the accreditation requirements set out by the 2007 National Accreditation Board Act. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Equitable access

Fee-setting For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Admission selection and processes. No information was found.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board:  No information was found.

Reporting requirements:  The National Accreditation Board (NAB) ensures that public and private tertiary institutions conform to normative standards and meet minimum quality standards.

Inspection: The National Council for Tertiary Education established under the National Council for Tertiary Education Act  of 1993 provides quality assurance for tertiary education. The Quality Assurance Department under the National Accreditation Board is involved in the development of various quality assurance instruments, guidelines and protocols for pre-accreditation and post-accreditation quality assurance processes.

Student assessment: No information was found.

Diplomas and degreesThe National Accreditation Board determines the equivalences of diplomas, certificates and other qualifications awarded by institutions in Ghana or elsewhere

Sanctions: For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

3.2 Multi-level regulations

This section covers all education levels, from pre-primary education to tertiary education.

Regulations in respect of the establishment, management and operation of private educational institutions and private participation in education are made by the Minister of Education in consultation with the Education Service Council or the National Accreditation Board.

In 1992 the Ghanaian constitution allowed the recognition of private schools. Article 25 establishes that “every person shall have the right, at his own expense, to establish and maintain a private school or schools at all levels”. Private schools do not receive any government support. The Education Act (2008) governs Ghana’s education system, from early childhood to tertiary education. Article 23 regulates the establishment of private educational institutions at all education levels; Article 24 regulates changes in ownership; Article 25 refers to closures of private educational institutions; article 26 regulates tax exemptions; article 27 refers to the relations with the Ministry and article 28 refers to grievances.


Registration and approval:  The Education Act establishes that the proprietor of a private educational institution shall, within ninety days after the commencement apply as appropriate to the District Assembly or the National Accreditation Board for approval. Private institutions must be incorporated as legal entities with governing bodies and meet the standards in curriculum, syllabi, and facilities.

Licence: The District Assembly of the National Accreditation Board may grant provisional approval or accreditation to enable preparatory work towards the establishment of a private educational institution. If the National Accreditation Board or the District Assembly advices for the closure of a private educational institution, the Minister can withdraw their license and order its closure.Where a license is withdrawn, the proprietor shall cease the operation of the institution.

Financial operation

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standardsPrivate educational institutions should meet the standards regarding curricula and syllabi according to the Education Act.

Teaching profession In terms of the teaching profession, the Education Act created a National Teaching Council which advises the Minister of Education on matters related to the professional standing and status of teachers and on teacher education, including the provision of facilities for in-service training. The National Teaching Council consists of representatives from different education levels, the Ministry of Education and representatives from universities involved in teacher education and teachers’ associations.  The Act establishes that private educational institutions should have at least one-third of the teaching staff being persons who are professionally qualified under this Act.

The Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education and the Trained Teacher Community Assistant Programs aimed to expand the number of qualified professionals in Ghana’s education system. Private schools can make their own decisions for appointing, deploying, and dismissing teachers. They are also allowed to determine teacher salary levels, set class size standards, and have flexibility in determining the curricula. The only restriction placed on independent private schools requires them to follow centrally mandated teacher certification standards to maintain active registration.

Equitable access

Fee-setting:  According to the Education Act, the proprietor of a private educational institution cannot set, change, or raise the level of feed without the consent of the Minister.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School Inspection:  The 2008 Education Act  established the creation of a National Inspectorate board consisting of representatives from different education levels and education providers, such as a representative from the Association of Private Schools, the Catholic Bishop Conference and the Joint Anglican Diocesan Council, the Federation of the Muslim Councils and the Ahamadiya Mission and the Christian Council and the Ghana Pentecostal Council. The functions of the National Inspectorate Board as established in article 8 of the act include undertaking the inspection of schools and set and enforce standards to be observed at the basic and second cycle levels in both public and private educational institutions. The Act does not preclude a religious body from setting up, in conjunction with the District Assembly, its own directorate for the inspection and supervision of the educational institutions established by the religious body.

According to Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2010–20, the National Inspectorate Board is independent of the Ministry of Education, and enforces and monitors a wide range of academic, infrastructure and education standards for public and private schools, with routine inspection of schools.

Sanctions: The Education Act establishes that the Minister of education may withdraw the license of a private educational institution if the operation of the institution is detrimental to the physical or moral welfare of pupils attending the institution or the continuing existence of the institution is against the public interest.  Institutions which have had their licenses revoked are required to close (otherwise be subject to a fine and/or imprisonment). If the proprietor wishes to close the institution for a long period, they are required to notify the Minister of the closure within 90 days before the closure, give reasons for the closure, and propose a date for re-opening.

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring

Supplementary private tutoring is a widespread phenomenon in Ghana. According to a study on shadow education in Africa, supplementary private tutoring has been present in Ghana for more than 20 years. In 2008, a survey conducted in 1,020 households reported that 48% paid additional fees for private tutoring. A 2018 report stated that about 68% of school children receive extra lessons after school, with 23% of them receiving home tutoring.

Despite its incidence, there is no evidence of clear policies regulating supplementary private tutoring in the country.


No information was found. 

Financial operation and quality

No information was found. 

Teaching profession

No information was found. 



Last modified:

Tue, 30/11/2021 - 21:21