General News of Saturday, 3 November 2018
Flagbearer aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Mahama, has called on President Akufo-Addo to ensure the fumigation of dormitories in Senior High School (SHS) across the country.
According to Mr. Mahama he has encountered many students with complaints of bites from bed bugs due to the congestion in their dorms brought on by the free SHS policy.
He made the call at Ada, in the Greater Accra region while addressing party members and sympathisers as part of his campaign tour.
“Now because of the congestion, children are complaining about bed bugs. I have met some SHS students and they show me their skin that has been bitten by bed bugs.”
“I call on the government that at least, if the dormitories are congested, it should just fumigate the dormitories so that the children could be free from these bed bugs”, he pleaded.
His comments appear to be in relation to an incident in October, where the Deputy National Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joshua Akamba, was accused of inciting some students at the Tempane Senior High School in the Upper East region against government’s free SHS policy.
Mr. Akamba, who is seeking to be elected as the substantive National Organizer of the NDC, can be seen in a video that’s gone viral on social media, interacting with some senior high school students in the Upper East Region.
He asked the students if they were experiencing issues with bedbugs in their dormitories as a result of congestion which has been occasioned by the free SHS policy, to which they responded in the affirmative.
He made the students show their bedbug bite scars to the cameras, and promised them their challenges would be over in 2020 if they vote out the NPP.
Mahama on double track system
John Mahama also wondered how ‘free’ the Free SHS policy is when parents are still paying for extra tuition as a result of he termed as the programme’s poor planning.
“In a few days, those who went for the 41 days are coming back home with those who stayed at home are going back. So now you have parents having to pay for their children to attend remedial classes for the children who are at home. So, the money you would have paid as school fees you are paying it again as remedial fees.”
The Former President was of the view that, the challenges that have fraught second cycle education in Ghana is an evidence of how ill-prepared plans by the NPP are.
“We started building community day schools and the E blocks as well as expanding infrastructure in existing schools to absorb more students So, you realise that once you introduce Free SHS, you have to expand the facilities. Somebody comes and says he will implement it in 3 years, now the problem we are facing is congestion and you resort to double track.”