General News of Sun, 19 Feb 201727
Free SHS won’t fail; it is a matter of priority – Nana Akomea
NPP’s Director of Communications, Nana Akomea has expressed confidence in the successful implementation of the Free SHS Policy expected to be introduced later this year.
According to him, the realization of the project depends on how prioritized it is and since the NPP’s utmost priority is education, it will prioritize spending for the project to be executed.
“What we are doing is taking it forward because it is a major priority, of the NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo……once the government has said education is my priority, then that government will prioritize spending on education”, he indicated.
Responding to concerns about the possible repeat of a situation where there are delays with payment of monies for feeding grants like it happened under the NDC, Nana Akomea said that those failings occurred because of lack of efficiency in government and the fact that precedence was placed on other areas rather than the school feeding program.
He stated that if focus and attention was directed towards the project, those problems wouldn’t have occurred. He however hinted of a possible adjustment to the school feeding policy to make sure such difficulties are dealt with.
“…problems with feeding grant and subsidy and so on…it’s all a matter of government priority. It’s a matter of priority because you have a government that will not provide funding on a timely basis to schools, visually impaired people, so you re-open school and yet about 80 schools cannot reopen because they haven’t got the funding to feed students but the same government will be able to pay government debts for example within a period of 6 months but then you can’t get much much smaller monies to do feeding grants….”, he stated.
Mr. Akomea said that despite the “rapidity” with which the Free SHS policy has been projected to begin, the “determination” of President Akufo-Addo will make it a reality and a sustainable one at that. He added that the party is willing to leave no stone unturned till the required resources to carry out this policy to its best are generated and used to purposely fund the course.
“The government believes that it will be able to in terms of priority find the resources to do this important program, like I said, it’s a matter of priority and a matter of proficiency in government. Many people were a bit taken aback at the rapidity that the President pledged to introduce Free SHS, people thought that it will come in the 2nd year or even in the 3rd year but Nana Addo wants it to happen right in the 1st year and that shows his determination to carry out this major social change”.