Dismantling Ghana’s Educational System? Regime Change, Political Formations and the Politics of Educational Policy Reforms

Kwame Odei-Tettey, Judith Bampoe, Benedicta Boateng


This paper is premised on the assumption that world-system and national levels political formation are inherently ridden with conflict and characterized at the same time by fundamental contradictions in the economy, the state and education. In these formations, different nations, classes, ethnic and gender groups occupy different positions in extant relations of domination and subordination. Due to the contradictions, there are always groups that try to restructure education to serve their interests. At any time, various groups (both inside and outside of education systems) do express different criticism about education and articulate the reforms that should be carried out, which are precipitated by regime change. This article seeks to enhance an understanding of the political spectacles that have been subsumed under the rubric of ‘educational reform’ in Ghana. We have attempted to develop not only a clearer conceptualization of what is meant by educational reform but also a more comprehensive explanation of the forces, timing and focus of the associated rhetoric and activities. We have therefore critically reviewed various theoretical approaches that have been used to analyze reform talk and efforts. These include the examination of both national-level and world-system explanations, and we also have attempted to show how world-systems link and subsume the national level hopes and aspirations. With respect to both levels of explanation, we have explored the approaches developed within equilibrium and conflict paradigms and devoted particular attention to the state and its relation to the economy via education. We do not seek to argue that the two paradigms are equally compelling, however we recognize that they reinforce each other. At the same time, we have sought to provide a deterministic account that explains ‘educational reform’ with reference to political motives, and devoid of the individual and collective actions of citizens as epitomised sometimes by equilibrium and conflict structuralist perspectives. These analyses are rooted through developing an understanding of Ghana’s ‘educational reforms’ as a phenomenon occurring in economic and cultural contexts but driven by political motives.

Keywords: Equilibrium paradigm; Conflict paradigm; Structural Contradictions; Homeostatic Principles; Structural Functionalism; Social Imaginary; World system; Political formations.

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/13-1-03

Publication date: January 31st 2023

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email: PPAR@iiste.org

ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

Please add our address "contact@iiste.org" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright © www.iiste.org