Ghana is on the verge of attaining gender parity at the Senior High School (SHS) level in the country.

This is because a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 0.99 was attained in 2020/21.

The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, who made the announcement explained that this means the number of girls in SHS in the country would be equal to that of boys as against the the situation whereby boys dominated at all levels of education in the country.

According to him the nation needs just point one to attain parity (meaning for every 200 students in a school, boys are 101 while girls are 99) as of now.

Dr. Adutwum announced this when he visited some selected SHSs in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions on Sunday.

The Minister’s trip took him to Presbyterian Boys Senior High School at Legon, Aburi Girls and Adonten SHS and was aimed at ascertaining the state of food supply in the schools.

Ghana on the verge of attaining gender parity at the SHS level - Dr Adutwum
Education Minister, Dr Adutwum interacting with some students of Aburi Girls SHS during his visit on Sunday

Data from the Free Senior High School (FSHS) Secretariat indicates that the Gender Parity Index (GPI) between boys and girls was 0.93 in 2015/16, 0.96 in 2016/17, 0.92 in 2017/18, 0.94 in 2018/19, 0.96 in 2019/20 and 0.99 in 2020/21.

He stated that, while gender parity is welcome news in the country, it is not enough because the government is working hard to increase the number of girls pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

The Education Minister indicated that the nation’s gender parity feat was made possible through the instrumentality of the introduction of the Free SHS initiative which has created the opportunity for many girls to have access to SHS education, unlike in the past whereby some parents chose boys to go to school due to certain cultural and other factors.

“Gender parity is very critical in the development of every country. Girls should attain the same right to education as boys and now we are looking at their parity within certain professions. The Free Senior High School policy has brought much improvement in an effort at bridging the gap between boys and girls,”he said.

Again, he stated that “apart from access, there is the need for social equity hence the need to ensure gender parity.”

The Education Minister mentioned that apart from gender parity leading to an increasingly educated workforce, it also helps in lifting the status of women in society.

He said the government has put in place prudent measures to ensure that more girls’ schools are established, adding that apart from the Bosomtwe Girls STEM High School which has become operational this academic year, the construction of other girls’ schools will start soon at Kpone Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region and Danyame in the Ashanti Region.