Since gaining independence in 1957, Ghana has focused on improving access to education and achieving universal enrolment.

Primary education became free in 1961 and the 1980s saw major reforms swept through the education system, including restructuring primary and secondary education and introducing vocational classes.

In September 2017, the Ghanaian government made secondary education free, with President Nana Akufo-Addo reportedly saying:

There will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science center fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, no utility fees. There will be free textbooks, free boarding, and free meals.

The benefits of the Ghanian government's focus on education are reflected in the country's rising literacy rate. According to UNESCO statistics from 2010, the literacy rate among 15-24-year-olds is 85.72 percent, compared with 34.89 percent in those aged 65 or older.

Despite these measures, many children, particularly those living in rural areas, struggle to stay in school.

Economic necessity forces children to drop out of school in search of work, and girls are often charged with looking after younger siblings and helping with domestic work.

NGOs are attempting to address these issues at the community level and ensure every child has access to education.

Read the full article on education in Ghana by Charlotte Mitchell at Al Jazeera