03.12.2019 Feature Article

NDC’s Proposed ‘People’s Manifesto’ And Free SHS (2)

John MahamaJohn Mahama
03.12.2019 LISTEN

As to whether the Junior Secondary School system has been successful in juxtaposition with the old school system, is a million dollar question that I will leave to the conscience of discerning Ghanaians.

In fact, the NDC hierarchy's unfailing enthusiasm in reversing important national policies without basis did not end at the abolition of the old school system, but they also needlessly altered the secondary school nomenclature (SSS to SHS).

As if that was not enough, the four-year Senior Secondary School system was ponderously reversed to a three-year cycle to the utter dismay of most discerning Ghanaians.

The list is not exhaustive and it would only take a disputatious character to contend that the future NDC government won't reverse crucial national policies and programmes like the Free SHS, One District One Factory, NABCO, one million dollar per constituency amongst others.

After all, didn't the erstwhile Mahama government willfully run down the crucial social interventions to the chagrin of discerning Ghanaians?

Indeed, the erstwhile Mahama's government abysmally ran down and cancelled most of the crucial social interventions to the disgust of discerning Ghanaians.

The Nurse's Allowance, the Teacher's Allowance, SADA, GYEEDA, NHIS, the Maternal Care, the School Feeding programme and the Mass Transport System readily come to mind.

You would think that individuals who pride themselves as social democrats would be extremely empathetic to the needs of the masses, but this is not the case with the NDC apparatchiks.

It will thus appear that the NDC apparatchiks only sing along the social democratic rendition and then turn their back on the masses. It is an illustrative case of social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

The poverty alleviation Free SHS policy, as a matter of fact, will bring enormous benefits to the students, parents and the nation as a whole.

What is more pleasing to some of us is that, the social mobility improvement Free SHS policy should at least provide a sound and congenial environment for the students to develop to their full potential and to have a reasonable chance of leading productive and creative lives.

However, we cannot vouch for the sustainability of the free SHS policy, should Ghanaians make a terrible mistake and hand over the poverty alleviation free SHS programme back to the NDC in the near future.

Our fears stem from the fact that since the implementation of the free SHS policy by the NPP government, the minority NDC operatives have gathered momentum and called uncountable press conferences with the view to discrediting the policy's implementation.

Somehow, the minority NDC operatives prefer “progressively free” (whatever that means) to NPP's comprehensively free.

In fact, unless I come across as the worst performer in mathematics, I cannot fathom how and why the NDC's GH¢48 per student is better than the NPP's GH¢1844.27 per student a year.

Whatever the case, some of us cannot accept the minority NDC operatives somewhat spurious argument. Well, they may choose to call it progressively free or comprehensively free, the fact however remains that the policy will return huge benefits in the long run.

Indeed, the vast majority of Ghanaians will benefit immensely from the policy, including my maternal uncle, Oliver, a diehard NDC supporter, who had earlier criticised the apparent poverty alleviation Free SHS.

But despite Uncle Oliver's needless pessimism, he is likely to reap tremendous benefits and will most likely decline to endorse Mahama to review and cancel such an advantageous policy.

Credible sources have it that the government will spend not less than GH¢5532.83 over a period of three years on each student.

This means that Uncle Oliver, who has three of his children in SHS, will be pocketing not less than GH¢16598.49 over three years.

Given the huge benefits, who can persuade my maternal uncle, Oliver, to turn down such a juicy offer and vote for the unrepentant critic of the Free SHS who is going to review and possibly abandon the policy?

It is quite unfortunate to observe how some Ghanaians could easily give in to manipulating politicians' vague rhetoric and vile propaganda designed to advance their vested interests.

My maternal uncle, Oliver, as a matter of fact, was among the millions of impoverished Ghanaians who were brainwashed by the cunning and manipulating politicians to reject the expedient Free SHS offer during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

Let us be honest, if everyone else had voted the same way as Uncle Oliver did, I am not sure his three children would have benefited from any free SHS.

Finally, some of us, in fact, do not anticipate Uncle Oliver and the likes benefiting from the Free SHS policy should Ghanaians make a terrible mistake and hand it over to the NDC government in the near future.

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By K. Badu, UK.

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