Gov’t not complacent about 20% gross tertiary enrollment


The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has emphasised that the government will not be complacent about the country’s current 20 percent Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER).

Although the 20 percent is almost three times above the sub-Sahara African average of seven percent, he said the target is to achieve a national GTER target of 40 percent by 2030.

According to him, a country like South Korea has a GTER of about 93.6 percent and even in Africa, Algeria, and Egypt are doing 54 percent and 39 percent respectively, hence Ghana cannot afford to be complacent.

He mentioned that Vietnam with a population of 100 million is producing 100,000 engineers a year to lead the transformation of the country’s economy but in Ghana, with a 30 million population, only 7,000 engineers are produced in a year, a situation he said underpins the reason the government cannot be complacent with a mere 20 percent GTER achievement.

Speaking at the ‘Foundational Learning Exchange’ Programme, an inter-government summit to improve learning, held in Sierra Leone, the education minister mentioned that the implementation of the free senior high school education since 2017, among other policies, have led to the significant increased the average number of qualified persons to enroll in the various tertiary institutions in the country. This, he added, as translated into the significant success chalked in that regard.

“As we prioritize foundational learning, we should not forget about the need for the secondary and tertiary. And so, it’s about creating a pipeline of transformation from the primary to tertiary and that is what we seek to do and have been doing over the past few years.

“The sub-Saharan Africa average is about seven percent and we are doing about 20 percent but South Korea is doing over 93.6 percent. So, we are not complacent at all as we want to make sure we compete with the rest of the world,” he said.

The education minister emphasized the need to reduce cost barriers so that resources do not become the main reason children truncate their education. Additionally, he reiterated that Ghana is making great progress in education transformation with the free senior high schools eliminating barriers to second cycle education.

The Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030 has a target to increase GTER from 18 percent to 40 percent by 2030, Five years on, the country has only recorded a two-percentage-point increase.

To achieve the target, government and relevant stakeholders will have to double up efforts in the remaining seven years.

Studies have shown that about 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in developed countries is mostly contributed by the workforce with some form of tertiary education. Thus, high GTER is a crucial driver for the socio-economic transformation of any country.

With teaching and learning infrastructure as well as the accommodation still major  a major problem in public universities, the government must channel more investments into meeting the  infrastructures of universities.

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