Ghanian Exchange Student Discusses U.S., African Education Systems


Ghana students greeting their teacher

New to the United States and Lake Ridge High School, I’m learning as an exchange student from Ghana the vast differences between the education system of my homeland and here.

Ghana students in class
Ghana students in class

High school students in Ghana stay at school during the whole semester and only go home at the close of the semester.

I was very happy when I arrived to hear that I would be attending classes without having to actually live in the school and without having to miss my friends and family for a very long period of time.

High school classes in Ghana are divided into form one, two and three. That is, you have three years to complete high school as compared to the U.S. where you have four years to complete high school.

If you ask me which system I like best I would say the one at Lake Ridge because of the freedoms offered to students. In the U.S., I may use of a cellphone in school, which is not allowed in Ghana. The wearing of house dresses are allowed at Lake Ridge, as compared to Ghana where uniforms are required. This is why I am always surprised at students who cannot conform to school dress code here at school. In Ghana, you must keep your hair short —  although I find it difficult understanding the reason behind it.

One interesting thing about the Ghanaian system of education is you can never find juniors and seniors in the same classes, unlike the U.S.

In Ghana, teachers move from classroom to classroom with each instructor spending a maximum of one hour with students in each room.

Once you choose to take courses in Ghana you have to continue with those courses until they’re complete, unlike the U.S. where you can change your courses.

The most interesting part of high school in Ghana, is that there is no graduation ceremony for students. Once you have taken your final test you can go home at any time you wish.

So, one can imagine how much fun I am having here as a high school student. I can braid my hair, use a cell phone at school and wear house dresses, though I must be in dress code. And best of all? I can’t wait for graduation.