The 2016 presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet, seems to be singing the same chorus with President Akufo-Addo on the issue of making education free for every Ghanaian.
In this regard, Mr. Greenstreet is suggesting that education be made free to every Ghanaian right from the kindergarten level through to the university.
He was speaking at the 17th annual delegates’ conference of the University Students Association of Ghana held at the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale.
The conference was under the theme: “Exploring Alternative Avenues To Fund University Education: The Role of Stakeholders.”
Offering free education, according to Mr. Greenstreet, should be seen as a critical social investment.
He emphasized that “people think that what we are offering is free because it costs nothing. On the contrary what we are proposing is not free, it is very very expensive but we see it as a critical social investment that is unavoidable if we in Ghana are determined about being seriously part of the 21st century.”
According to him “we must do all we can to produce a creative and innovative people that believe in scientific inquiry as much as they imbibe human values that assure progress and happiness. Without holistic education right from the bottom to the top we will not produce the universally educated Ghanaian that we seek to achieve.”
President Akufo-Addo is set to roll-out his Free Senior High School (SHS) education policy this September.
Critics of the Free SHS policy mainly those from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have expressed doubt about the possibility of implementing such a pro-poor educational program.
But the CPP man believes once the right measures are put in place, offering free education to Ghanaians at even the university level is achievable.
“That avenue which I will speak about today is for Government to simply have the political will to re-negotiate and end or significantly reduce tax holidays and tax breaks we give mining, oil, free zone and other multinational companies thereby freeing up resources to ensure free access to education and greater investment in the sector as well as making resources available for other critical social sectors,” he suggested.
He stressed that “it is that simple. It is the tax methods of some multinational companies and the failure of NDC and NPP over all these years to ever face them squarely.”
“We cannot have a nation of a few literates and vast numbers of illiterates, we must ensure that everyone has the opportunity to explore their talents to the fullest,” he charged