General News of 2014-02-26

Mahama’s free SHS makes Akufo-Addo a visionary – Kennedy Agyapong

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, has called on President John Mahama to render an unqualified apology to Ghanaians over the u-turn on free the Senior High School (SHS) policy.

According to him, President Mahama’s announcement in Parliament about government's plans to introduce a progressively free (SHS) education smacks of hypocrisy and double standards.

“Mahama’s introduction of free SHS should be enough for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to lose the 2016 elections,” he stressed.

The flagship free SHS campaign promise by the NPP became a topical debate in the country during the 2012 general election.

The NDC which fiercely resisted the policy argued that more emphasis must be placed on quality and access rather than making it free.

However, President Mahama in delivering his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on Tuesday February 25, 2014, announced the introduction of a progressively free SHS next year.

He said the school fees of day students will be abolished at an estimated cost of GH¢71 million. President Mahama also announced that the construction of 200 community senior high schools across the country will start by 3rd of March 2014.

This has been met with mixed reactions with the NPP accusing the Mahama-led administration of ‘stealing’ its idea- an allegation government has vehemently denied.

But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Kennedy Agyapong said President Mahama has “goofed big time”.

He indicated that given the “dirty campaign” the NDC waged against the policy in 2012, free SHS education should be the last thing to be announced by this government.

The Assin Central MP said President Mahama's sudden interest in the free SHS is an admission that the NPP’s 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo is a visionary leader.

“To endorse your opponents idea is politically suicidal. NDC has goofed big time, but Ghanaians will be the best judges.

Kennedy Agyapong urged government to give credit where it is due and stop beating about the bush because “implementing a progressively free SHS education to day students is still free SHS”.