General News of Sunday, 30 September 2018
Government has asked Ghanaians to ignore comments by former President John Dramani Mahama suggesting that its flagship program, the Free SHS was not properly thought through, hence the introduction of the double-track system.
Government rolled out the Free SHS policy in September 2017 in fulfilment of its campaign promise in the build to the 2016 general election.
A year after its implementation, a number of challenges such as the non-availability of space forced government to adopt a double track system.
John Mahama has heavily criticized government over the introduction of these key initiatives. He believes the policies will in the long run become ineffective due to what he says are the weak foundations on which they were built.
But speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, took a swipe at Mr. Mahama for repeatedly questioning the ‘sense’ in the Free SHS and the double track program.
“It is not senseless, to give some an extra 500,000 students free education in Akufo-Addo’s first term”.
He said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not overwhelmed by the comments of the former President on the policy due to his constant opposition even during the campaign periods in the build up to the 2016 general election.
“ Others may be shocked that a former President who in his days was noted for calling on Ghanaians to be optimistic and not cynical about national programs, will be the one to make such a comment to undermine a national program. The Akufo-Addo government is not the least surprised. Mr. Mahama has never been in support of the Free SHS program. You recall that he campaigned heavily against it even as a sitting President”, he added.
Already, John Mahama has indicated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will review the Free SHS if the party is voted back into office in the 2020 general election.
“We shall come together and decide on the proper implementation of Free SHS,” he said.
NDC’s review of Free SHS will collapse policy – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said the determination by some elements within the National Democratic Congress 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, the Ghanaian people 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 ensured that 270,000 more Ghanaian children, in 2017 and 2018, have gained access to Senior High School.
“I am alarmed by this concept of the review. This is because anytime our political opponents try anything of this sort; it leads the policy in question into a coma. We all remember the NHIS one-term premium payment review pledge. Not only did the review not materialize, but they also succeeded in degrading the policy,” the President lamented.
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.”
Free SHS: Opposition can’t stop successful implementation – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo has asked Ghanaians to disregard negative comments by some members of the opposition against the government’s Free Senior High School Policy.
According to him, his administration is committed to the success of the policy for the general good of the Ghanaian.