One of the front-runners seeking to lead the NDC in the 2020 polls, Alban Bagbin has referred to the Free SHS policy as unconstitutional adding that the policy is facing severe implementation challenges.
Speaking on State of Affairs on GhOne with Nana Aba Anamoah, second Deputy Speaker of Parliament admitted “the free senior high school is a very good intervention” but insists “I think that it is unconstitutional because the constitution was clear as to what it wanted us to do and that is the decision of Ghanaians and that is what our party was following. We were just being law abiding. We agreed with Ghanaians that it is not advisable to bite more than you can chew so let’s do it progressively because we are likely to benefit more from that than just doing it universally like the NPP has declared.”
The Nadowli-Kaleo MP wasn’t impressed with the implementation of the policy indicating that “there are lots of fallout from it”
Alban Bagbin noted that the government should have anticipated some of the challenges it’s faced with.
The legislator believed “when you are taking a risk you take a reasonable risk, you don’t take an unreasonable risk. Definitely we knew that if we allow all to get into at once, we going to get Senior High Schools under trees, and that is what is happening now, we are going to get students sleeping on the verandas and that is what is happening now, even their boxes are being packed outside, I don’t think we need to go through all this.”
He cast doubt over the preparedness of the government in terms of infrastructure and adequate resources to roll out the policy quizzing “we will need teachers to be able to teach them, do we have that number? Do we have teaching aids?”
About 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the education policy that will exempt them from paying for tuition and other fees.
The government has said that in addition, there will be no fees collected for use of the library, computers, utilities etc. and is expected to cost government GH¢400 million to implement the programme for just the 2017/2018 academic year.
Alban Bagbin wasn’t moved by the praise enjoyed the Akufo-Addo led administration as he observes that “definitely the low income, the poor, the rural folks will jump at it and be happy because of the hope that has been given to them but at the end of the day how will that cost they nation because if you want to destroy the nation you destroy the educational system.”
The legislator is one of the longest serving in the country’s history and first announced his intention to run for the Presidency in 2008 on the ticket of the NDC but never contested the primaries.