3 out of 10 primary school children in the Northern Region may enjoy free SHS – Eduwatch

According to Africa Education Watch, the Northern Region is one of the poorest in Ghana. Only 55% of children complete primary school (UNICEF, 2020). Distance to school and poverty are major drivers.

Out of those who complete primary school, 28% do not enter JHS mainly because 60% of primary schools in the Region lack a JHS (CDD, 2022). Out of those who enter JHS 1, 16% dropout again before JHS 3.

Distance commuted to JHS is key; some walk 10 km a day in Zabzugu and Tatale Sanguli (Eduwatch, 2021). After BECE, due to free SHS and the ‘removal’ of admission cut offs, only 10% dropout before SHS.

In sum, only 3 out of 10 primary school children in the Northern Region may enjoy free SHS. The Northern Region situation is not too different from the other four (4) northern regions and Oti.

If Government wants to increase equitable access to SHS, it must urgently fix the huge Primary-JHS transition gaps in underserved regions by providing reasonable access to primary and JHS.

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