General News of Sunday, 30 September 2018
NDC flagbearer hopeful, John Mahama has explained how well he would run the NPP’s Free Senior High School (SHS) policy if he is elected President in the upcoming 2020 general election.
John Mahama, who is currently touring the Central Region to gain the mandate of delegates of the party as the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of the 2020 general polls, told party faithful in the Cape Coast North Constituency that he will institute a national stakeholders’ conference to develop strategies to make the programme more effective.
“We shall come together and decide on the proper implementation of Free SHS,” he said.
According to Mahama, the NDC has “done it before”.
The former President also pointed out that under the tenure of fellow flagbearer contender Ekwow Spio–Garbrah as Minister of Education in the Rawlings administration, the government organised a national conference on education and invited teachers, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Organise Labour and other associations to deliberate on the best way forward for Ghana’s education.
It was at that conference, Mr Mahama said, that “a decision was taken to introduce the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) as a means of financing education in Ghana”.
He, therefore, vowed that he if gets the mandate to become President again, he would organise a similar conference that will culminate in the production of strategies that will ensure that the Free SHS programme is better-run under his presidency than what the Akufo-Addo government is currently doing.
However, President Akufo-Addo has stated that 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.”