A retired diplomat, K.B Asante is recommending that the policy of free shoes to school children in the country should be implemented with due consideration to the state of the economy
The secretary to Ghana‘s First President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah however lauded President John Mahama’s decision and recalled that “long ago, many people went to school barefooted and a few do it now. Parents of school children who wanted their wards to wear sandals to school those days, had to write to the Bursar of the school before they were given sandals to wear so it is a good idea.”
President Mahama during a familiarisation tour to the Defense Industry Holding Company; a shoe factory owned by the Ghana Armed Forces in Kumasi, revealed government’s intentions of distributing free shoes to all school going children.
He stated that the Education Ministry, the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Local Government Ministry had been instructed to ensure the programme takes off soon.
President Mahama also instructed the three Ministries to work together to produce school sandals and footwear to accompany the school uniforms which were earlier supplied to school children in deprived districts.
Currently, government is executing a policy which provides free school uniforms and exercise books to pupils in deprived districts across the country.
This policy is aimed at increasing school attendance by pupils by serving as motivation to parents to send their children to school.
Critics of the Mahama government have opined that the President should focus his attention on providing quality education to Ghanaian children.
They are suggesting that government should allocate some of the nation’s limited financial resources to support critical areas hindering quality teaching and learning rather than giving them freebies.
But the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Ben Dotse Malor has advised the media and other stakeholders to refrain from sensationalizing the President’s support for the industry.
“Let us not sensationalize a simple case of a President, encouraging, supporting and highlighting a wonderful work that is coming from a defunct factory that is now diversifying and producing jobs.”
He also mentioned that t President Mahama’s attitude towards the shoe industry is a clear indication government is committed to promoting goods made in Ghana.