General News of 2014-03-01

Nothing wrong if gov’t fails to build all 200 SHSs promised – Amaliba

A member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba, says there would be nothing wrong if the Mahama administration fails to deliver all the 200 Senior High Schools the party promised in the lead-up to the 2012 elections.

“I can tell you that there’s nothing wrong if a Government fails to meet its promises. Yes. There’s nothing wrong if a government fails to meet its promise by not meeting the estimated target,” Mr Amaliba insisted on Rado XYZ’s news analysis programme The Analyst on Saturday.

He said there would be something wrong only “if the Government completely fails to provide for what it said”.

During the 2012 campaign, President John Mahama promised that his Government will build 50 SHSs across the country every year of his four-year tenure.

The schools are meant to help increase access to Senior High Schools.

Per the President’s campaign promise, 50 of the schools were expected to have been built in 2013, but not one sprung up.

The President late last year, however, cut sod for construction work to start on one of the schools.

Preparatory works concerning the feasibility, selection criteria, design and siting of the projects in beneficiary District Assemblies have all been completed, according to Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Mr. Ablakwa said in September last year that, the Assemblies have identified the specific sites where the schools will be built.

Beneficiary communities are expected to have classroom blocks, an administration block, a library, a master's bungalow and teachers' quarters.

One of the 200 schools in each of the 10 regions is meant to be designed into a sports college with a football field and other sports facilities.

The project is being superintended by a task force set up by the president to oversee the execution of Government’s Priority Projects.

The five-member task force is made up of Mr. Alban S.K. Bagbin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli Kaleo; Mr. E.T. Mensah, MP for Ningo Prampram; Mr. Cletus Avoka, MP for Zebilla; Dr. Stephen Adiyiya, a Social Development Consultant who is the Co-ordinator with Mr. P.V. Obeng, a Senior Advisor to the President, as the Convener of the taskforce.

The Government says it is resolute in its commitment toward fulfilling the promise.

Mr Amaliba says in his estimation, “if the Government is able to build 150 [out of the 200 schools], I think that, that should be a credit to the Government”.

In his view, “these are estimates and these are proposals and if the Government under certain circumstances is unable to meet it, the 200, but is able to put up some number of schools, I think that it’s a feather in the cap of the Government. What is acceptable to me is if the Government is able to build 150, I think that the Government would have done the people of this country well”.