I have listened to the minority leader, representing the minority caucus on the Free SHS policy currently underway. I am really surprised that the whole minority find it prudent to attack the credibility of the policy.
First of all, these are MPs representing their constituents. Constituents whose children will benefit from this policy without regard to their political background, ethnicity or religion. Therefore, the attempt to bastardize the policy to serve their political interest is nothing less whimsical and capricious.
It’s sad that the entire minority are overly concerned about their electoral fortunes at the expense of the education of Ghanaian children. This kind of capricious politics is debaucherous and chauvinistic. Exceedingly parochial and dangerously unpatriotic to say the least. It is not any surprise that the NDC couldn’t implement even one new social intervention of their own in the whole of their 8yrs.
It’s obvious that in the future this policy will be at risk should ever the NDC get power again. They will mess it up like they did to the national health insurance which nearly collapsed but for the change in government. The demeanor of the NDC towards the policy has been disdainful especially in 2012, high ranking members of the party and government said it was not possible especially their General Secretary- Johnson Asiedu Nketiah. Lee Ocran, a former minister of education also opined that Free SHS was only possible in 20yrs. it is as if they like the rate of illiteracy in this country and so comfortable with it that they dislike the concept of Free SHS.
On the issue of financing, clearly the minority is being dishonorable. They are silent on the $72m dollar fraud at SSNIT, the $72m is equivalent to 316m cedis. If one state institution alone can waste so much money in a wanton manner then anyone who thinks the state as a whole cannot raise money to fund the Free SHS policy has a problem.
If we can cut off the kind of unbridled corruption and thievery we saw under the JM led NDC government then we can fund the free SHS without any difficulties. Anyway, the ministry of finance has released 480m cedis to the Free SHS Secretariat for the policy to roll out. This amount has a contingency of 80m cedis to deal with a 100% enrollment though 85% is expected. Government of Ghana is fully funding this from sources such as oil revenue and others. Doing this and achieving same is about commitment and that is what the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia led NPP government are riding high on. Where there’s commitment there’s a way.
The minority should know that the greatest gift we will leave behind for generations to come is education. We those from the north especially, should be the last to cast doubt over the policy. Many of our compatriots are those below the poverty line and need this kind of life-changing and far-reaching interventions. If we will defeat poverty in the north and that matter the whole country then this is our breakthrough. Education is the panacea to moving from a third world to a first world.
The minority’s argument of sustainability is moot at best. It is one of their cynical approach to this all important policy. Why is it not sustainable? They want to tell us that GoG cannot raise 500m a year for education? Then that’s a useless government. The fact that the JM led NDC government refused to think outside of the box and find innovative ways of running this country does not means that this Akufo-Addo and Bawumia led government are equally bankrupt of ideas. This clearly shows the difference between the two parties and government.
Need I remind the minority that, this same Akufo-Addo and Bawumia led government have paid 560m cedis of the 1.2bn cedis debt they left at the NHIA in six months? Does it tell them that some good and competent people are leading this nation? We are taking Ghana out to the quagmire that the NDC plunged this nation of which the caucus played a substantial role.
Finally, does it prick the consciences of the minority that this government did not wait to implement this all important policy in 2020, an election year? The minority caucus’ chagrin towards this policy is telling of the sordid mentality of the so-called social democrats towards the people of Ghana. Ghanaians should be enraged with such debauchery and spit in the faces of the minority for their ill faith in our country.
Ghanaians should all pray for the success of this noble policy. It has the singular propensity to propel this great nation from poverty to prosperity. This we should all pray to God for His grace.