JHS duration increases to 4 years while SHS reduces to 2 years – NaCCA hints


Jhs StudentsYear in, year out, the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) keeps making educational reforms for the betterment of the educational system.

There’s yet a new reform that’s about to hit our educational system and as NaCCA has hinted in a new statement, Junior High School (JHS) duration is likely to increase from 3 years to 4 years while Senior High School (SHS) would be reduced from 3 years to 2 years.

This changes would reflect when the pending fresh curriculum is introduced. This new change would start from the pupils who are now in class 6.

“The High School Diploma Programme will start from Basic 11 to Basic 12. This means that one qualifies for a High Diploma Programme Certificate after completing Basic 12.”


The National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) has hinted some critical features in the the new Educational Reform to be implemented soon in Ghana Educational System. These reforms are structured under what was termed “Kindergarten (KG) to SHS.

New Curriculum” of Key Programmes. In the first four years of high school education, learners are
expected to take a Common Core Programme (CCP) that emphasizes a set of high, internationally-benchmarked career and tertiary education ready standards. Learners need to acquire these for post-secondary education, the workplace or both. The standards articulate what learners are expected to know, understand and be able to do by focusing on their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. The (CCP) runs from Basic 7 through Basic 10.

The common core attributes of the learner, which describe the essential outcomes in the three domains of learning (i.e. cognitive, psychomotor and affective), are at the centre of the CCP (see Figure 1). Inspired by the values which are important to the Ghanaian society, the CCP provides an education of the heart, mind and hands in relation to on the learnerʼs lifetime values, well-being, physical development, metacognition and problem-solving. Ultimately, this will produce character-minded learners who can play active roles in dealing with the increasing challenges facing Ghana and the global society.

NaCCA has outlined some new areas in the educational system.

These Key Programmes include;

Primary Years Programme (PYP). This comprises of Kindergarten (KG) to Primary six (6).

Common Core Programme (CCP). This starts from Basic 7 to Basic 10. The current system has Basic 7 to Basic 9. This means that, when the new curriculum is implemented, learners/pupils in Junior High Schools will have to attend school for four years, thus:
JHS 1 to JHS 4.

High School Diploma Programme (HDP). The High School Diploma Programme will start from Basic 11 to Basic 12. This means that, one qualifies for High Diploma Programme Certificate after completing Basic 12.

Career-Related Programme (CRP). The Career-Related Programme also starts from Basic 11 to Basic 12. Note: In the new curriculum to be implemented, “Basic” as currently used will be changed to “Grade”. Example; Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade
6 instead of Basic 1, Basic 2, Basic 3 etc.

The new curriculum will also have an assessment called “National Gateway Test” for every two years of learning starting from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Senior High School students will now undergo an External Assessment which would be done at Grade 12. After this programme, students are likely to receive Diploma Certificate as the certification of the KG to SHS course.

The current class 6 pupils are going to be pioneers for this change.

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