The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call for “free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”– following the roll out of free primary education programs, many African governments are now focusing on secondary education. Several government policies have been implemented in pursuit of improving access to quality education in Ghana, including the flagship Free Senior High School (FSHS) program rolled out in 2017. Beneficiaries of the FSHS policy do not pay tuition and admission fees, or any other school fees such as textbooks, or boarding and meals.
This study uses a quasi-experimental design, utilizing data from the West African Examination Council, to evaluate the impact of the FSHS program on academic performance (i.e. examination scores) in Ghana. Additionally, the study assesses the challenges associated with the implementation of the FSHS program through in-depth interviews with key stakeholders (parents, teachers, headmasters, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance).
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