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As probably all of you have expected there are more than just one difference between the educational systems of two very diverse countries: Germany and Ghana. But there may be similarities as well. It´s time to unravel the unknown!

Structure & Organisation
The Ghanaian training system is mainly divided in four components: kindergarten, Elementary School, Junior High School and Senior High School. It´s easy to number kindergarten among didactics as well, because there the kids are already taught in figures and the alphabet. But besides, there are German equivalents to the other forms of schools.

Elementary School commences by the age of six in both countries, takes six years in Ghana and four to six years in Germany, depending on the part of the nation.
Junior High School can be compared to three sorts of German schools (called: “Hauptschule”, “Realschule” and “Gymnasium”), even though those are differentiated by level to focus on pupil´s possibilities, supporting their strengths and weaknesses. “Hauptschule” ends after five, “Realschule” after six and “Gymnasium” lasts six and continues for two more years, like Senior High School. After graduating and receiving a certificate, the seniors are given the opportunity to attend colleges or universities.

The compulsory schooling of nine years has been established for almost 100 years in Germany, Ghana took this step of modernisation of educational system in 2005. The original plan from Ghanaian politicians to make didactics free for everyone seemed to be a realistic aim, but just lowering or even disposing school fees, doesn´t make it affordable for everyone. There are school uniforms, food, writing materials and so forth to pay for.

Way of learning
The way of learning in the two nations have the fewest similarities, they differentiate rootedly. Besides smaller disparities like the non – existence of conjoint breakfast and lunch in most schools in the European country, more important themes like the strict prohibition of violence are clearly separating the educational systems. Since 1973 in Germany, beating children in class is forbidden and avenged severely.

Nevertheless, the Ghanaian law bans it as well, unfortunately some teachers still use the rod to gain respect from the pupils. Even though the risk is way higher in the rural regions than in the urban areas.
This is a condition Ghana must improve on, because learning urged on fear of pain is not the right way to teach kids to become self – determined and strong individuals in the future.

Moreover, the European and West African nation are sophisticated in the way of imparting knowledge. While Ghanaian teachers let the pupils recite or repeat the sentences on the board, it´s more about appliance and putting the skills into another context in German schools. The kids are supposed to learn how to connect the gained knowledge in different subjects.
In Ghana the most important subjects are English, Maths, Religion and General Science – a combination of all sciences -, which starts it first class and going to be amplified in Junior High School and Senior High School. However, in Germany, where Religion isn´t even taught in every school, the subjects don´t change throughout the grades. In Germany pupils are given the possibility to choose and vote out specific classes, like economics, foreign languages, chemistry and so on… Therefore, the variety of subjects is wider and more specialised.

To conclude, it´s important to say that the educational systems are marked with differences, which also leads to a lot of disparities in the following work life. The exchange between these two countries is important to improve the schooling in both. Germany can learn to lower the pressure on their pupils and teach them, that there is more than just grades and school. Ghanaian schools are likely to be enhanced by the reduction of violence in the classrooms with the effect of a better learning environment.



Story by: Elisabeth Fitzke/