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16.08.2019 Feature Article

The Numerous Attacks On Free SHS

The Numerous Attacks On Free SHS
AUG 16, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

Former Executive secretary to former President, John Dramani Mahama On 24th November 2017 added his voice to the implementation of free Senior High School introduced by the Nana Akufo Addo's government. According to him, if the Free SHS is not properly fortified in law as in proper legislation to make it binding on any government in the future, the policy would crush one day for want of time.

His admonition points to the fact that one day, free senior high school may suffer a serious cancellation in future after the exit of the NPP government led by Nana Akufo Addo.

I have seen a lot of people make strong argument in support of free senior high school from the constitutional point of view to back the claim that, this policy has already been provided "for" by the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana with emphasis on article 25(1)(b). This argument has always been canvassed by the National Democratic Congress in their subtle attempt to treat this policy as an ordinary initiative for reasons best known to them.

The question is when they(NDC) were in government, was that provision of the law they are quoting not in the 1992 constitution or the provision was inserted after the NPP was voted into power? They claim they started progressively free education in 2012 with day students meanwhile, They have not been able to tell us the number of students who benefitted and the eligibility criteria they used in selecting those students.

It is also not in doubt that, they couldn't afford the free secondary Education we are enjoying today in their entire eight years because they couldn't afford.

Let me move straight to the point and make it clear and loud for the good people of this country to be watchful and not make any mistake by bringing the NDC back to power If indeed we want to enjoy free senior High School for long time. The records are still in the archives and those who dig into the archives would not forget NDC's total rejection of Free SHS in 2008 when it was incorporated into the NPP campaign message. In 2012 and 2016, they rejected the idea of Free SHS and made claims that It won't thrive on the face of feasibility when they had not conducted any feasibility test on the policy.

They even told Ghanaians that, Nana Akufo Addo was desperate to be president and that informed his decision to take care of every Ghanaian child at the secondary school level as a promise.

In 2016, we saw how they used advert in different languages to scorn the policy. The NDC told us that, everything under the auspices of "FREE" has no quality. We were also told that every responsible parent should be able to carter for his or her child and issues of secondary education is part of it.

When I hear the NDC's mockery about the double-track system, I wonder the kind of ideology they have. The shift system in our secondary schools is evidence that, since the days of Nkrumah, we have not been able to fix the deficit in infrastructure in all our public senior High schools. Under the free senior high school policy, we have seen a significant increase in enrollment to the extent that, if we don't adopt the shift system, some students may not get the chance to enter.

According to the NDC, we should fix the deficit in infrastructure in our public secondary schools before the execution of free senior high school when statistics and numbers kept giving us signs that, in every year, 80000 students who complete Junior High school are not able to enter the secondary school due to financial constraints. The NDC is not even aware that, the deficit in infrastructure in our secondary schools cannot be solved within the short term.

As we speak, every public secondary school in Ghana has an uncompleted GETFUND and PTA structures, when Former President, John Mahama had the opportunity to be president, instead of channeling resources to those projects in order to augment the existing ones, he chose to rebrand buses with the taxpayers money, Sada, Gyeeda, Asongtaba, and the likes were of paramount interest to him than completing those GETFUND and PTA structures.

Under this government, GETFUND and PTA uncompleted structures have been completed in every public secondary school and very soon, the double track is going to be a thing of the past. It is better to have students in school with the shift system whiles measures are being put in place to increase infrastructure than allowing them to sit in the house because of inadequate infrastructure.

Let us also remind ourselves that, the NDC has a track record when it comes to collapsing social intervention policies and its cancellation. They canceled Nurses' trainee allowance and Teachers' trainee allowance because they couldn't pay.

Even cocoa mass spraying, free maternity care, Agric extension service for our peasant cocoa farmers to help them in fertilizer application were all canceled when they took over in 2009.

If in the unlikely event we bring the NDC back to power in the near future, Free senior High school would be canceled because NDC has an ideology... Let's keep the majority in the dark through illiteracy gainst enlightenment through education so we can hoodwink/cajole them with lies and take their votes to win power...

This has been a fundamental reason behind NDC's senseless attacks on Free SHS.

# Let us reject the NDC on any day until the last Ghanaian child gets the opportunity to enjoy free secondary education#

Dawda Eric(Equity)

Citizen Vigilance for Justice

16th August 2019

[email protected]

Dawda Eric
Dawda Eric, © 2019

This author has authored 78 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: DawdaEric

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