President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has observed that the determination by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former President John Dramani Mahama to “review the Free Senior High School policy if voted into office” only means the eventual collapse of the policy.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians should be alarmed by the proposal of the NDC and its presidential aspirant, John Dramani Mahama, for a review of the Free SHS policy – a policy which has allowed 270,000 more Ghanaian children, in 2017 and 2018, to gain access to senior high school.
“I am alarmed by this concept of review. This is because, anytime our political opponents try anything of this sort, it leads the policy in question into coma. We all remember the NHIS one-term premium payment review pledge. Not only did the review not materialise, but they also succeeded in degrading the policy,” the President bemoaned.
He continued, “I honestly suspect reviewing the Free SHS policy means collapsing it. But, I doubt the Ghanaian people will allow this brilliant policy to be collapsed by anyone.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known last week Friday, when he addressed a town hall meeting of Ghanaians resident in Washington DC, as part of his trip to the United States of America for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Explaining the rationale for the introduction of the Free SHS policy, he noted that over the past five years, before the implementation of the policy, an average of 100,000 Ghanaian pupils were dropping out of school at junior high school level, because their parents could not afford it.
“This obviously cannot the be the level of education we dream of giving to our young generation, in order for them to compete in the labour and ideas generation market, that are excellently represented by continents such as Asia, America, Latin America, Europe, etc.,” he said.
The decision, therefore, to implement the free SHS policy was a “big decision because of its effect on our finances”, adding that “I was particularly subjected to a lot of public ridicule.
‘The policy is a hoax’, ‘the bearer is a liar’, ‘it is undoable’, ‘we need more time’, ‘it’s not a good idea’, are just some phrases used to describe their reactions. But this, obviously, is the nature of our politics, so we understood.”
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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