General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has lambasted the ruling New patriotic Party (NPP) for deceiving Ghanaians in 2016 with their ''419 free senior high school''.
According to the chief scribe of the NDC, the education policy of the NPP which will be implemented in September, is not nothing different from NDC’s progressively free senior education and has charged the NPP to offer an unqualified apology to the NDC and Ghanaians for their deceptive nature.
The NPP he said promised to roll out a free senior high school for very Ghanaian child but after wining power, they have quantified the policy by allowing only first year students who will be admitted in September this year to benefit. He quizzed why President Nana Addo, promised to make every Ghanaian child benefit from the policy but changed the goal post.
'What the Education Minister launched at the meet the press yesterday [Thursday], was different from their manifesto promise. They promised every Ghanaian child both fresh and continuing students free senior high school but they have failed that promise. Even if they are able to implement the policy for fresh students, it will be a failure on the manifesto promise, he told Kwanbena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio.
Page 104 of the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto on Education said: ‘’The core elements of the Program shall be:
a. free education for all Ghanaian children up to senior high school, to ease the burden on parents and guardians while encouraging them to assume their responsibility for the social upbringing and parental control of their children
b. raise the quality of education at primary and senior high school level, with emphasis on science and mathematics as the fundamental building blocks for success in this age of technology and to ensure that the first and second cycle schools lay the solid foundations needed either for tertiary education or for preparations for early entry into the work place
c. work with Universities to raise their standards to the ranks of the best among their peers in Africa and beyond to ensure not only that their products are equipped with all the skills needed to build the national economy, but also are able and motivated to take on the challenge and the opportunities for higher achievement in the science and technology-led knowledge-driven global economy through innovation and creativity.’’
Page 107 of the Manifesto said: ‘’ The NPP will redefine basic education to include Senior High School (SHS), covering vocational, agricultural and technical schools, and make it available for free on a universal basis to all Ghanaians.’’
But comparing the manifesto promise and what the Minister explained, Mr. Nketia said Ghanaians have been deceived.
‘’My question have not been answered by the NPP. Are they going to implement a progressively free of universally free? We [NDC] captured in our manifesto that, we will roll out a progressively free and they [NPP] promised to roll out a universally free. They should not deceive Ghanaians in that manner. They have already failed. It is not the free promised because President Akufo-Addo promised the students that their fees will be free including day and boarding schools but now the policy will only benefit fresh students.''
‘’The media should go back to the manifesto of the NPP and compare their position today and what was captured in the document in 2016, he suggested.
‘’The whole idea is that they have disappointed us because they promised free senior high school across board,’’ he emphasized.