Factors that necessitated the passage of the Education Ordinance of 1887

(a) Governor Brandford Griffith had to pass the ordinance for the Gold Coast Colony alone because Lagos was separated from the Gold Coast in 1886 and from the onwards, Lagos had its own administration and its own ordinance.
(b) The 1887 Education Ordinance was intended to amend the 1882 Ordiance in major ways.

(c) The progressive nature of education calls for constant reviews with time

Provision prescribed under the Education Ordinance of 1887
The Education Ordinance of 1887 provided among other things, the following guidelines:
• There was to be established a new Board of Education for Gold Coast alone with the power to make rules for the inspection of schools and certification of teachers.
• The administration of all “assisted schools” placed in the hands of Managers instead of Local School Boards. The School Managers had power to appoint Local Managers whenever the need arose. By this amendment, the sole responsibility for the management of schools was placed in the hands of the missions.
• Industrial Schools were to be opened where boys and girls could learn practical subjects
• There was to be appointed a Director of Education, who was to be responsible for recommending “Education Rules” on the payment of grant
– in – aid, apparatus of “Payment by Results”
• Institution of the system of “Payment by Results”
• Three type of schools were recognized under the ordinance viz

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  • Government Schools
  • Assisted Schools
  • Non – Assisted Schools
    • The ordinance provided for a diversified school curriculum in favour of vocational studies and technical skills

Conditions for financial assistance to schools
(a) Schools should be opened to all pupils irrespective of religion or race; (b) Average enrolment should be 20 and above
(c) Teachers in the school should hold the Education Board’s certificate
(d) Subject taught in the school should include: Reading, Writing, English, Arithmetic and Needle Work for girls
(e) No children were to receive religious instruction that their parents did not approve of;

Factors that led to the failure of the Education Ordinance of 1887
It is on record that the Education Ordinance of 1887 achieved great progress in the number of schools established both by government and the missions. However there were a few constraints that seriously affected the smooth implementation of the educational programme.

The Challenges include the following
➢ Financial constraints; as this made it impossible for the government to extend financial aids to all schools. Many more schools remained as “nonassisted schools”
➢ The negative effects of the “Payment by Result” system, which included:

  • overloaded time-tables in order to get more aid
  • encouraging rote learning and memorization
  • arbitrary use of the cane as a means of motivating children to learn
  • enmity developed between teaches and school inspectors and this brought about lack of co-operation between the two partners in education.


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