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Nana Akufo-Addo’s free SHS and the NDC’S panic and confusion


Photo ReportingNana Akufo-Addo’s free SHS and the NDC’S panic and confusion

Ever since Nana Akufo Addo announced his now well received and understood, election winning and agenda setting Free SHS Education Policy, which seeks to also prioritise the restructuring of Ghana’s currently failed educational system, Ghanaians have been bombarded with all kinds of laughable resistance to the policy, both from the ruling government and party, the NDC.

Before I deal with the substance of their arguments against Nana Addo’s policy, let us examine briefly, some of the problems facing the current system, hence the reasons for Nana Addo’s passionate desire for a change.

Ghana currently has an education system where out of every 100 kindergarten starters, only 71 students get into primary school, only 65 then go on to JHS and of this only 35 get to SHS, where only a lowly 3 students end up in the university. Over half of Ghanaian children who sit the BECE do not progress to secondary school (46.93% in 2011, GES).

This situation where over 150,000 Ghanaian children are thrown out of the educational system onto the streets due principally to lack of funds, to become instant mothers and fathers themselves, while also supporting their parents without any functional skills or relevant training gained, is not acceptable.

All these students sadly left out by the current system are not able to lead any meaningful lives, hence the rise in crime and prostitution rings, the high unemployment rate and the pressures on the incomes of families, as their children who have left school can’t find relevant work or lack the ability to even create any by themselves.

Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP aim to bring a fundamental shift in Ghana’s educational policy, in structure, quality by resourcing the sector, and giving it a fee free access, that has the functional training of every Ghanaian child that leaves school, to be competitive to the needs of a globally changing educational and job market, as leaving/dropping out would no longer be due to lack of fees.

Let us now examine the excuses from the NDC;

The NDC huffed and puffed so much about the free SHS policy as being definitely impossible to implement that they called Nana Addo all kinds of names, they doubted the nation’s resource readiness while they shared the loot, and questioned where the funds would come from for such an ambitious policy from the NPP. Their noises were soon to die when leading civil society groups and think tanks like IMANI came out to prove that indeed the policy was feasible if the rot in our public sector and figures were worked out well.

Having been shamed and silenced by the reception the policy garnered among the Ghanaian populace, the REAL VOTERS, to whom school fees payment at the SHS had become such a burden, and with many questioning why they the NDC were against something they should be the party championing, the panic stricken and confused NDC then jumped onto how expensive the policy would be to Ghanaians as a reason why they should disregard Nana Addo and the NPP.

To this charge I refer the NDC and all well meaning Ghanaians to this statement by Hon. Martin Amidu, the anti corruption crusader from amongst them, particularly the last parts, that “Structural violence is an activity which deprives the State of resources it otherwise would have used to take care of the welfare of the people of the State. Structural violence is an invisible violence. It kills without being seen. Acts of bribery, corruption and the white collar crime affect a State’s ability to execute its responsibilities to its people. People should not suffer unnecessarily when the State has the means but fails to steward its responsibilities”.

When the blatant abuse and rape of our resources by the NDC government and their cronies come to an end, there would be so much left for this great nation of ours.

Then came in Opanyin Lee Ocran with his twisted logic about why he thinks even Dr Kwame Nkrumah couldn’t do a free education policy in the late 1950s and 60s, as if that reason was eternally binding on Ghana.

Yes, the same Lee Ocran who said there was no oil any where in this country on the floor of Parliament when ex-President Kufour said there was oil.

“Lee Ocran, who was then a Member of Parliament, told the House that it was not true, he came with a bottle of palm kennel oil to the House that the country has no oil”.

Opanyin Lee Ocran said; Nkrumah could not implement a free education policy then because of the cost and that it was impossible.

Thank God he didn’t say that such a policy was useless and detrimental to the people of Ghana, but puts it to a supposed lack of funds, a condition that has, in the face of recent revelations of giant corruptions in government coupled with our God blessed oil resource, changed the game, and only require a visionary, non-corruptible, tried and tested, decisive and focused leadership to fulfill.

The middle class in Ghana are educated men and women who are supposed to be discerning, rational, and objective due to their socialization and training. Is the middle class and the rest of Ghana being told by Hon. Lee Ocran that, in spite of our education and experience, (his own included) we should believe that any developmental initiative that President Nkrumah did not find expedient in his time for whatever the reasons, should never again be thought about let alone be implemented, even when the ground in terms of global advancement in every sphere of human existence has clearly shifted from what pertained in Nkrumah’s day?.

When the very bad logic of his first thoughts caught up with Opanyin Lee Ocran, he tried correcting it by saying again that because we did not have the resources as a state, (his own self indulgent opinion), Ghana should wait till 2032, twenty (20) more years from now before implementing the free shs policy. What is it then in 20 years, that would make him happy and accept a good policy such as Nana’s Free SHS for the suffering Ghanaian student? When he is presidential candidate of the NDC?, that he can spare us for another 20 years, but not the lives of our school going brothers and sisters.

Then comes in Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, also a deputy minister and a leading speaker of the party, in expressing his own personal and the government’s fear and frustration at Nana Addo’s winning policy, by recently vowed to resist the free SHS policy from being ever implemented. Hear him in the Daily Guide of 24th Sept., 2012. “ The NDC, Okudzeto promised, would fiercely resist the free SHS policy of the NPP at every platform, pointing out that the NPP’s proposal was a scam”.

In any case, if these hue and cries of other things being put in place before such a policy from Lee Ocran and the likes are well intentioned, why all the resistance and this desperate attempt to vilify an otherwise good thing, which H.E. John Mahama having now been converted by Nana Akufo Addo, wants to do in 2016. Is any body even taking Lee Ocran, Ablakwa and likes serious in their own party at all, when their candidate John Mahama would defy Ablakwa and Lee Ocran in 2016?. Confusion galore!!!

The NDC’s obvious panic and confusion has now been made even more desperate by none other than the party’s flag bearer; H.E. John Dramani Mahama when he called Nana Addo a populist politician saying what he could not do on his campaigns.

Yet candidate Mahama failed to proffer any sound reason to discredit Nana Addo’s ability to implement the FREE SHS Policy nor was he able to tell Ghanaians what his own party’s policy alternative is on the educational debate going on, which Nana Akufo Addo, thanks to his foresight, has made the agenda for election 2012.

Perhaps, as a result of an over zealousness to kill Nana Addo’s policy, they forgot they had to sit down and propose their own education policy.

Candidate Mahama later made an impromptu, incoherent and unimpressively winding talk during the NDC’s manifesto launch about providing 200 more schools, (talk of who is being a populist, when these promises cannot be found in the very manifesto being launched) and a prompting by Haruna Iddrisu to imply that the Eastern Region, which already had a university, did not have any. A low punch at Nana Addo.

The NDC campaign team now virtually sits back waiting for the NPP to set the agenda and then they pounce on it, but you see, one only had to watch candidate Mahama at that manifesto launch in Ho, to see and know how disorganised they can even be at pinching from the NPP.

Come December 7th , let all Ghanaians, be encouraged that a vote for the NPP and Nana Akufo Addo, is a vote against incompetence, the rape of Ghana’s resources, and MASSIVE CORRUPTION perpetrated by a few “same old evil dwarfs” and “babies with HARD teeth”

From: Korshie Quashigah/NPP - UK.



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