Former Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea, has accused President John Mahama and his government of making a hypocritical u-turn in the controversial free SHS education policy. Nana Akomea said the president cannot turn around with a promise to execute a policy he so unreservedly condemned barely two years ago.
The President in his State of the Nation Address to Parliament, Tuesday, announced government was putting a road map in place for a progressive implementation of the free SHS policy.
The free education policy, which is a constitutional requirement, was the subject of a huge political banter ahead of the 2008 and 2012 elections.
The NPP led by its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, promised Ghanaians the party would implement the policy if voted into power.
The NDC led by then candidate John Mahama argued free education was not a priority, at least for now.
He said the country had to improve on the access to education as well as the quality of education before thinking about making secondary education free.
He indicated that any attempt to implement a free SHS policy would collapse the educational system, rather promising that an NDC government would concentrate on building 200 model secondary schools across the country-in four years, 50 in each year- to provide access and improve on teacher training as well provision of text books and other teaching aids for improved quality education.
Barely two years into his administration, and without completing any of the senior high schools promised, the president announced on Tuesday that government would begin a thorough implementation of the free SHS by the 2015-16 academic year.
His announcement has angered members of the NPP, some of whom are accusing the president and the NDC of stealing their idea.
Nana Akomea said on Joy FM that the president’s u-turn on the free SHS policy was a bit surprising.
He said for somebody, who claimed the policy would create chaos and collapse the education system to turn around to announce the same policy as worthy of implementation, is surprising.
“What has changed?”, he quizzed.
He said right from 2012, when President John Mahama assumed office, 70 per cent of the content of his State of the Nation Address had been the same, adding that the record of delivery of the rehashed promises in the state of the nation address had been nothing to write home about.
He said the NDC promised to finish 50 SHS schools by the end of 2013 but not a single one had been started; it promised to stabilize the cedi but the cedi is depreciating with speed.
Nana Akomea further noted that the government has failed to honour its responsibility of paying capitation grant, school feeding and other statutory payments and yet it has turned around with a promise to implement a free SHS policy; a policy, it condemned in the first place.