'Free' government schools and 'Low-cost' private schools: What households really spend on education in Kasoa, Ghana

Hatipoglu, Kavita
Burnett, Nicholas
McCullough, Duncan
Published Date: 

In 2005 the Ghana Education Service mandated fee-free provision of basic education in government schools regardless of socioeconomic status or location, through a system of capitation grants to the schools. Enrollment surged but the country still faces challenges of retention and completion. While government remains the main provider of education in Ghana, private schools are on the rise, for the poor as well as for the elite. A 2010 IFC-commissioned report estimated that low-cost private schools constitute 40% of all private schools in Ghana, or about 12% of all schools in the country.

But how affordable are these increasingly numerous private schools, and how are costs in both private and public institutions affecting household decisions about education?

To shed light these questions, Results for Development Institute, with support from the UBS Optimus Foundation, oversaw and analyzed a survey of household decision-making and expenditure on education in Kasoa, a peri-urban community just outside Accra.

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