The benefits of Secondary School Education to the student beneficiary are countless. It has a rippling effect on the student, families, and the nation at large.
United Nations SDG goal 4 borders on quality education which embodies accessibility, quality of tuition, facilities, and the total effort of stakeholders including the government.
SDG 4 requires that children of school-going age must have access to equitable and quality education up to the secondary level for free, which must lead to the benefits discussed in this write-up.
The UN has indicated that education can propel the reduction of not only illiteracy but poverty and low income across the world.
In Ghana, basic education serves as the foundation on which the next important layer, Senior High School education, is built on. The second cycle of education is the linchpin that drives the needed preparation for students to take full advantage of education.
Until 2017, the financial hardships of parents and guardians were a key barrier to secondary school enrolment, since parents who cannot pay the fees for secondary education may have to compel their wards to learn a trade instead.
For basic school graduates, their aggregate score was a hindrance to accessing Senior High School education but today, the Free SHS policy has also removed the cut-off point barrier to enable both students and Ghana as a nation to reap the full benefits of education at this level whiles achieving the SDG4.
Benefits of Secondary Education to Free SHS students
The benefits of secondary education to Free SHS students and Ghana as a whole can not be underestimated. There are short-term and long-term impacts if students are able to access secondary education. The benefits of secondary education to the learner include:
Furthering your education
One key advantage of attaining secondary education in Ghana is that the WASSCE certificate awarded would enable you to pursue higher education just after school irrespective of your age.
Every student in any tertiary institution or who has completed university will tell you that without secondary education they could not have gotten the opportunity to further their studies.
In fact, it is the springboard of your personal development and professional growth along the learning curve of life.
Your eligibility to further your education in a College of Education, College of Nursing, or a University is assured if you make the needed grades.
For those who miss the grades, the second window of opportunity is provided for you to resit the failed papers at the NOV/DEC and proceed to the tertiary institutions of your choice.
Secondary education also gives students in Ghana a better and clearer career path. The programme you student in secondary school broadens your knowledge as to the professions that you can venture into and the programmes of study you should pursue at the university to achieve this.
If a student does not make it to secondary school, he or she would have to be at least 25 years in the future to enter the university as a mature applicant, but not without an entrance examination and an interview.
Ability to get an entry-level job
Gone are the days when many businesses employed JHS levers for entry jobs that require minimum mental and physical skills.
Today, to get employed in Ghana as a receptionist, a teacher in a private school, a waitress or waiter, front desk officer, one must have completed secondary school.
Hence students who complete SHS in Ghana gain employment and make some money whiles waiting for their results.
Eligibility to join security services
Although Basic school certificate holders can get enlisted in the various security services, the opportunities are less compared to those who have completed secondary school with good grades. The Ghana Police, Army, Fire Service, and Immigration service among others require good passes in the WASSCE. Thus students who acquire secondary education are more likely to get into these security services than those who do not.
Increase literacy level
Each level of one’s education broadens your understanding and level of knowledge. The higher you go, the better you understand complex issues and gain deeper knowledge.
This builds your confidence and helps you self actualize. A low level of education can make people feel less important and inferior. Secondary education broadens the education of all who benefit from it.
The above benefits of secondary education do not in any way suggest that it is only secondary education that makes people have access to opportunities and become successful in life, but the truth is that it increases your chances compared to those who lack it.
Education is a lifelong learning activity and its fruits are realized once a student completes secondary school with good grades.
If you are a Basic school graduate or you failed one or more papers at the WASSCE, you are challenged to take a second look at the benefits you are likely to miss if you do not work hard to pass the exams.
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