20.03.2005 Education

Parents urged to take advantage of fee-free basic education

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Mame-Krobo (E/R), March 20, GNA - The Afram Plains District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Benjamin Anokye, has called on parents in the area to take the maximum advantage of the government's decision to absorb the fees of basic education to send their children to school.

He noted that with the provision made by the government to further enhance the ideals of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), there was no excuse why parents should not send their children to school to realize the goal of 'education for all by the year 2015'. Mr Anokye was speaking at Mame-Krobo in the Afram Plains District, when he led a government team to the area to explain the 2005 budget statement on fee-free education and the fuel deregulation policy to the people.

"This is by no means an indication of good governance aimed at bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in society, an opportunity for every parent irrespective of his/her financial status, to give their children, at least, basic education" he added.

He explained that government hitherto, was subsiding the use of fuel, but " now government's policy is to use the fuel subsidy to pay for essential services such as education, to benefit the rural poor, who did not owe private cars yet their taxes were being used for the subsidy."

The DCE told the people to debunk the criticism being peddled in the area that the NPP administration was not sensitive to the plight of the people, saying, the taxes to accrue from the increased fuel prices would be used for development projects that would benefit the general populace.

On the deregulation of fuel sales, Mr Anokye explained that the policy, when taken-off, would allow for oil companies to lift oil from the international market and sell at their own price but assured them that government would ensure that the prices were not exorbitant or beyond the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian.

The Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Nana Adi Ankamah, described the 'Wahala Demonstration as "baseless and unsubstantiated move to throw dust into the eyes of the people that, government was insensitive to their plight".

According to him, all demonstrations that the NPP embarked upon when in opposition were justified and cited for instance the "Kume Preko" demonstrations to demand the proper use of the VAT levy, saying "at least, every Ghanaian saw a sense in that demonstration because the VAT deductions were not being used for it's intended purpose and we demanded that it's use be transparent but we never said it was a bad policy".

Nana Adi Ankamah said it was, therefore, unfortunate that the opposition in government should demonstrate on the grounds that fuel prices had been increased "when they knew very well that the world price was determining the price and even Ghana was the only country selling petrol at a cheaper price in West Africa, including even Nigeria where oil was extracted."

He told them that the Kufuor administration would never pursue policies that would undermine the livelihood of any Ghanaian and asked them to be patient with the government as it was gradually improving the living condition of the people.

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