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Opinions Fri, 5 Oct 2018

The self-proclaimed social democrats won’t only review Free SHS, it will be cancelled

My mate Jesus (not Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Jesus of Hayes in West London), hit the nail on the head when he once ventured and asserted that the NDC operatives, who ironically pride themselves as the social democrats are not in the business of promoting the welfare of the masses, but they are rather on a mission to advance their parochial interests by persistently manipulating the unsuspecting voters to gain electoral advantage.

It is absolutely true that since the inception of the Fourth Republican Constitution, the self-proclaimed social democrats have been opposing social interventions that have been proposed by the successive NPP governments such as the Free Maternal Care, the NHIS, the Metro Mass Transport, the School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), and the Free SHS, amongst others.

So it is not out of the ordinary if the NDC operatives put up fierce resistance against the seemingly innovative and advantageous double track Senior High School system being implemented by the Akufo-Addo’s government.

Given the fact that the erstwhile ambivalent and largely phlegmatic NDC administration wilfully left behind massive debt amidst economic meltdown, it is, indeed, estimable for Akufo-Addo’s government to afford to implement the seemingly admirable, albeit costly social intervention such as Free SHS.

Sometimes, one cannot resist but to admire some of our politicians for their incredible dexterity in disinformation metastasising, or to put it euphemistically, their adroitness in systematic propagation of vile propaganda intended to proselytise and hoodwink unsuspecting citizens.

Indeed, the never ending display of hypocrisy by the NDC loyalists is mind-boggling.

I bet if you were to ask a younger Ghanaian on what is history; most likely, the first thing that would come into their mind would be about the untold stories on football world cup tournaments, music fiestas, beauty contests amongst others.

Truly, the preservation of Ghana’s contemporary history is under serious threat. In fact, it is of grave concern that an important subject like history has been unpardonably removed from Ghana’s basic educational system.

It is, therefore, not least surprising that the present-day Ghanaian student does not even have a clue about Ghana’s contemporary history.

This is the reason why some of us are reluctant to admonish the younger generation of the NDC supporters over their sheer ignorance on their party’s boundless antipathy towards important national policies and programmes.

For if most NDC loyalists really knew their history, they would have realised that, it is their beloved NDC that has the penchant for collapsing important national policies and programmes.

“If you would look deeper, history is broad yet deep that binds the core existence of the world. Hence, history keeps the records of events that happened.

“History is a lesson in the past but can also be the greatest regret of the future. Yet the reason why there is history is because of the events that were created by man (Hughes 2010).”

You may believe it or not, it is no understatement to opine that NDC is fond of reversing crucial national policies without any tangible reasons.

Some of us were indeed dumbfounded over the NDC’s hasty and needless termination and replacement of the conventional educational system (Ordinary and Advanced Levels) with the communist Junior Secondary School model.

But as to whether the Junior Secondary School system has been successful in juxtaposition with the old school system is a million dollar question that I will leave to the conscience of discerning Ghanaians.

In fact, the NDC hierarchy’s irrevocable enthusiasm in reversing important national policies without basis did not end at the abolition of the old school system but they also bizarrely re-christened the Senior Secondary School (SSS) to irrelevant Senior High School (SHS).

As if that was not enough, the four-year Senior Secondary School system was catastrophically reversed to three-year cycle to the utter disgust of most discerning Ghanaians.

The list is not exhaustive and it would only take a doubting Thomas to contend that the future NDC government won’t reverse crucial national policies and programmes like the Free SHS, one district one factory, and one million dollar per constituency amongst others.

Given that the NDC faithful blissfully campaigned and voted against the poverty reduction Free SHS policy with unabashed disgust during the 2016 election, it will not come as a surprise at all if future NDC government decides to abolish the policy altogether.

Indeed, the opposition NDC operatives relentless cavorting and needless protestations against the Free SHS implementation should be a wake-up call to discerning Ghanaians.

After all, didn’t the erstwhile Mahama government wilfully run down and cancel most of the crucial social interventions to the chagrin of discerning Ghanaians?

The Nurse’s Allowance, the Teacher’s Allowance, SADA, GYEEDA, NHIS, the Maternal Care, School Feeding programme and the Mass Transport System readily come to mind.

Well, you would think that individuals who pride themselves as social democrats will be extremely empathetic to the needs of the masses, but this is not the case with the NDC apparatchiks.

Strangely, though, they only sing along the social democratic rendition and then turn their back on the masses. It is an illustrative case of social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

Well, given the party’s appalling track record, it would only take a disputatious individual to suggest that the ‘yentie obia’ NDC government would not do it again if presented with another opportunity.

It is quite distressing that despite the associated benefits of education, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks could rebuke the New Patriotic Party for allegedly implementing the Free SHS policy at the expense of other developmental projects; (See: ‘Free SHS crippling other sectors-Mahama, classfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 24/02/2018).

Former President Mahama is reported to have said during one of the NDC’s unity health walks: “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. So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you can’t pay GET Fund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School.”

With all due respect, Ex-President Mahama’s assessment of the situation smacks of dishonesty and hypocrisy.

It is indeed incoherent and to some large extent oxymoronic in the sense that the Free SHS programme has its own allocated budgetary funds, obviously, independent of the other sectors.

Dearest reader, take my word for it, I am not seeking to engage in political equalisation, far from it. However, it is important to note that during his tenure in office, former President Mahama did not spend a pesewa on Free SHS, and yet he left huge arrears amidst unpaid salaries, crippling NHIS, malfunctioning School Feeding programme, amongst others.

Does former President Mahama then want to tell discerning Ghanaians that he rather misused the funds, and hence his inability to manage those sectors efficiently?

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com
Columnist: Kwaku Badu
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