General News of Tue, 27 Feb 201831

Education Minister dares Ablakwa, Mahama, others to a debate

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has constantly been on the neck of the ruling Akufo-Addo government, since the announcement and subsequent implementation of the Free SHS policy.

The opposition party has never stopped to make its views heard on the social intervention policy, even if the governing party considers the latter's comments mostly negative.

The Minority in Parliament, last year asserted that the policy will collapse in five years if the challenges plaguing it are not swiftly and dispassionately addressed.

Former Deputy Education Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, claims the challenges bedeviling the free SHS education are overwhelming and that it will cripple the schools soon.

On Saturday 24th February, 2018, Former President John Mahama also urged government to call for a stakeholders meeting to address challenges facing the Free SHS policy because it is stifling other developmental projects in the country.

According to him, “the problem this government is facing and it is in their own interest, is that, Free Senior High School is absorbing all the fiscal space they have and so almost every money you have, you are having to put it into Free Senior High School.

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So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you can’t pay GETFund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School,”

However, the Minister of Education says if the opposition NDC feels the policy is so bad and cannot succeed, they should prevent their children from benefiting from it.

He has dared Okudzeto Ablakwa and other critics of the Free SHS policy to engage him in a debate; where he will prove that President Akufo-Addo's government is bent on making the Free SHS policy succeed.

The NDC, according to him, are just throwing tantrums and not speaking based on facts.

“I am throwing this challenge; I am prepared to debate 10 from NDC; Okudzeto (Ablakwa), Naana Opoku-Agyeman, (Ex-Prez) Mahama on Free SHS…they are just throwing dust in Ghanaians eyes,” Hon Matthew Prempeh stated.

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