The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has stated categorically that it is not against the implementation of Free Senior High School (SHS) as it’s being churned out in some quarters.
According to the party, the front page story of an Accra-based newspaper, Palaver, on Tuesday, March 2, 2014 under the headline: “Nduom Is Hot …As parents threaten to take him to Antoa,” was “pure propaganda” calculated to cause disaffection between the party [PPP] and the good people of Ghana.
A founder member of the party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, in an exclusive interview with Today debunked the story, stressing that the PPP is for the implementation of free SHS “but wants it to be done rightly.
…Free education of any type must begin with compulsory education at the basic level. Otherwise it perpetuates the current elitist education practice that excludes the poor from Senior High School education,” he said.
Dr. Nduom explained that the party’s intention to seek clarity on the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy as stipulated in the constitution in the Supreme Court is to ensure that government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) fully implements the policy to the latter.
The 2012 presidential candidate of the PPP explained that the implementation of FCUBE will inure to the benefit of a lot more Ghanaians who are poor, come from towns and villages away from the urban centers and are unable to take their children to school.
“The implementation of free SHS will only benefit a few in our society,” he explained.
He went on to reiterate the PPP’s education policy which, according to him, talks about free compulsory and continuous education from kindergarten to SHS.
He recounted that “the PPP’s policy on education during the 2012 election was to ensure the full enforcement and implementation of FCUBE which includes free SHS and not like what other political parties promised without the FCUBE aspect.”
In the estimation of Dr. Nduom, the compulsory aspect is key as it will compel parents to send their children to school, “it will compel government to be law-abiding and follow the dictates of the 1992 Constitution.”
The Constitution, he said is not a ‘restaurant menu’ for the President and his Cabinet to decide which provisions they will adhere to.
He further said the PPP’s contention was about the failure of successive governments between January 1993 and January 2005 to implement FCUBE.
According to him, there is nowhere in the PPP’s statement of claim filed at the Supreme Court which is intended to stop the implementation of free SHS as promised by President John Dramani Mahama in 2015.
The Palaver story, Dr. Nduom indicated, was intended to sow a seed of discord between himself, the PPP and Ghanaians.
To this end, he advised President Mahama not to listen to these “lies” but go all out and implement FCUBE. He also asked all Ghanaians to treat the Palaver story with a large dose of contempt.
It would be recalled that the PPP last week filed a writ at the Supreme Court suing the government over FCUBE.