Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

G. Zhou

Second Advisor

J. Mboudjeke

Third Advisor

C. Beckford


Education, Free and compulsory universal basic education, Sustainable development goals, United Nations, Vulnerability




This study was undertaken to explore the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy’s role in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4 in a select Senior High School in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. A qualitative case study was adopted to help achieve the objective of the study. The data was obtained from 20 respondents comprising school management members, teachers, students, policymakers, and parents. These groups were selected for their practical experience and knowledge of the policy on FSHS. Semi-structured interview questions were used to collect data, and subsequently, thematic data analysis was used to analyze the data recorded. The analysis of the data revealed that the FSHS policy has helped increase enrolment in the Senior High School, enhanced equitable access to secondary education, reduced the financial burdens on parents, and improved infrastructural development and job opportunities for unemployed graduate teachers.

Furthermore, factors such as inadequate infrastructure leading to pressure on infrastructure, inadequate distribution of teaching and learning materials, delays in government grants and bursaries, fatigue, and stress of teachers, teacher demotivation, and a centralized system of making policy decisions serve as some challenges to the program. Respondents provided a set of measures they believe could help improve the policy. They include but are not limited to decentralizing the system of making decisions, providing infrastructures like dormitories and classes, and emphasizing more on practically oriented education and the need to recruit even more teachers. Despite the few challenges, the data shows that the FSHS policy is helping Ghana meet SDG 4 and the entire SDGs.