Challenges Facing Private Senior High Schools Due to the Free Senior High Policy: A Comparison of Two Schools

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Ashesi University
The free SHS policy intended to make secondary education accessible to all Ghanaians, inadvertently poses an existential threat to private senior high schools (SHS). This research sought to identify the challenges faced by two private SHSs in Ghana due to the free SHS policy implemented by Ghana's government in 2017. It achieved this objective by conducting an exploratory, qualitative study on Nananom and Ghana Christian International High School (GCIHS). These are two SHSs with different curriculums, respectively, WASSCE only and WASSCE with an International Program such as British A-level or the French IB. Data was gathered from 28 students, teachers, heads of schools and school staff through semi-structured interviews. A key research finding was that the free SHS policy affected the two private SHSs differently depending on the curriculum and the resiliency of the SHS system. Nananom SHS experienced a drastic reduction in enrolment rate, leaving facilities idle, causing a reduction in fees and, ultimately, funding. Both schools struggled to retain teachers. GCIHS was positively impacted by the free SHS policy as enrolment rates increased but negatively impacted it in other ways. Covid-19 forced both schools to lay off workers and to invest in moving online at high costs. The study recommends that the government of Ghana incorporate private SHSs into the policy to curb the challenges faced by the later. Private SHSs were advised to position themselves better in terms of their finances, quality of service delivery and their strategy to attract students to ensure their survival.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2022
Acheampong, P. O. (2022). Challenges Facing Private Senior High Schools Due to the Free Senior High Policy: A Comparison of Two Schools. Ashesi University.