The Free Senior High School (SHS) policy proposed by the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, is the best programme for the country if Ghana is to expand its economy, Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul has said.
According to him, Ghana is at the stage where there is the need to train Ghanaians to make them fully available for the changing trends in the economy, and for this to be realised, education from the basic to the SHS levels should be made absolutely free and compulsory.
Speaking on GHOne’s State of Affairs programme on Monday June 6, Mr Nitiwul said: “I am very clear in my mind that Akufo-Addo and his free education policy is the best idea that should happen to this nation. Ghana is a relatively small country if you compare it to the size of Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Angola, or DR Congo in terms of land size.
“Population-wise, Ghana is very small if you compare it to Nigeria, Egypt, DR Congo. … If you are disadvantaged like this, what you do is to export brains by making sure that all your people are sharp like what Ireland has done, like what India is doing, like what China is now trying to do, you let your people learn.
“So, what Nana said was that you cannot continue to pretend and say government cannot support. Let government invest in education. So what do we do? Make education free.”
Mr Nitiwul further stated that the Progressively Free SHS introduced by President John Dramani Mahama was not what the country needed at the moment.
“The Progressively Free [SHS] is not the panacea to the problem. Let government bite the bullet and make it free so that education is no more the preserve of the rich…where it is only people who have money who can go to nurses training school, where people go to training colleges, [are] only people who have money,” he said. “That is not how it should be.”
“Education from the basic school, when you are born to secondary school, when you turn about 18 years, should be free for everybody and compulsory,” he added.
Meanwhile the National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) said on the same programme that the Free SHS programme was not Mr Akufo-Addo’s idea.