President Akufo-Addo, the indisputable architect of Ghana’s fee-free Senior High System riposted with the best answer to the shamelessly piratical claim by Candidate John Dramani Mahama, that the latter, in fact, was the original implementer of this landmark public education initiative, by asking why his predecessor has spent the last two years, ever since the fee-free SHS program went into full force vowing to thoroughly review the same, in the highly unlikely event of him being returned to power. “Review is not a policy; let John Mahama tell us about his policies and leave progressively minded Ghanaians alone,” Nana Akufo-Addo was recently reported to have slammed the habitually shameless and slanderous provoker (See “We Started Free SHS with Day Students – Mahama” News Desk – Modernghana.com 2/27/20).
Indeed, even as the News Desk editors and reporters of the Modern Ghana media portal instructively highlight in the afore-referenced article, even a very generous examination of the Mahama E-Block senior high school construction project, so-called, clearly indicates that the leaders of the previous National Democratic Congress’ regime did little to absolutely nothing to enhance access for many a talented and highly qualified but indigent student to the country’s SHS system. For instance, of the 200 secondary school physical plant facilities or buildings promised by then-President Mahama at the beginning of his tenure, in July or August 2012, only 23 were ever completed during the period under review or discussion, which is between July/August 2012 and January 7, 2017. That amounts to just under 20-percent of the 200 promised E-Blocks.
We are also informed by the editors and writers of Modern Ghana that of the 23 out of the officially promised 200 E-Blocks completed by the operatives of the Mahama regime, only five were actually funded by the government of the National Democratic Congress. The rest of the 18 SHS physical plant facilities were actually funded by the World Bank. Now, what this means is that even out of the 23 SHS physical plant facilities completed by the Mahama regime, only 22-percent could be legitimately credited to the man who would now have Ghanaian voters believe that President Akufo-Addo actually picked his brain on the fee-free SHS policy initiative. This is rather pathetic. It would also be very comical, if such a joke were not so inexcusably criminal. What all the foregoing means is that practically and truthfully speaking, Mr. Mahama completed only 2.5-percent of the promised 200 SHS physical plant facilities during the four-and-half years that he grossly misruled the nation.
You see, a leader who truly and sincerely and really wanted universal fee-free SHS access to become available to all qualified Ghanaian youths would not be railing against the Double-Track System which ensures the feasibility of just that. Instead, we have a megalomaniacal and clearly delirious Candidate Mahama making such democratically and morally farcical remarks as universal fee-free SHS access actually contributing to the massive depreciation in the quality of the country’s public education which, according to a global ranking by OECD – the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development – the UN-sponsored and Paris-based think-tank, has been practically nonexistent, as far as Ghanaian public education goes for most of the period that the nation’s reins of governance were held by the Rawlings-founded and chaperoned National Democratic Congress. You would also think that prior to President Akufo-Addo’s visionary and unprecedently progressive fee-free SHS policy initiative, no schools-under-trees or uninhabitable shacks existed in the country.
The fact of the matter is that, at best, Ghana under Chairman Rawlings and unconscionable Abongo Boys like Mr. John Dramani Mahama had experienced virtual stasis on the academic, economic and science and technological front. So, it is not clear precisely what makes Candidate Mahama think and believe that he is a better alternative to the most progressive and visionary Ghanaian leader since President Kwame Nkrumah. The man is irrepressibly and insufferably poisonous and unforgivably dangerous because, according to Forbes’ List of the Richest Ghanaians, all Mr. Mahama has been doing ever since he hit the political terrain and limelight has been to rob the Ghanaian taxpayer raw and clean to the bone.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 15, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs