The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communications Officer in the Jomoro Constituency of the Western Region, Patrick Ellonu says government's Free Senior High School programme introduced by President Akufo-Addo will mess up the country.
According to him, the policy will add up to the already illiterates and armed robbers the nation has.
During the Easter Celebration in Kwahu, the NPP Youth Wing led by it its National Youth Organiser, Nana B, organised 'Easter Party' to energise its members, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the programme introduced by President Akufo-Addo is a transformational policy meant to build the human capital of the nation for future development.
He noted that at independence the North negotiated for and obtained an agreement from the Nkrumah government to introduce free education in the North.
This policy benefited northern Ghana significantly.
“I am a beneficiary of free education in the north, just like many members of the NDC including former President Mahama. And I am absolutely convinced that at this stage of our development, Free SHS should be enjoyed by every Ghanaian SHS student”, Vice President Bawumia emphasised.
“I therefore find it rather difficult to understand that people like former President Mahama who are direct beneficiaries of free education in the north will seek to curtail its implementation across the country”.
Dr. Bawumia stated that Free SHS is definitely expensive but it would be more expensive for the country to have large numbers of people who are uneducated.
“Our mission should therefore be to help grow and manage the resources of Ghana in a manner that will enable us provide and sustain this transformational policy.”
Since the September 2017 nationwide roll-out of the programme designed to provide free senior high school education to all Ghanaian youth, former President Mahama in particular and the NDC in general have questioned the rationale behind the programme, arguing that it was a misplaced priority that would have dire consequences on the nation’s finances.
But speaking on Jomoro-based radio Hope FM's 'Morning Dew' on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 monitored by Daniel Kaku, the NDC scribe Patrick Ellonu noted that the haste with which the NPP rushed to implement the policy was purely for political expediency.
He indicated that government could have been a bit slow on the policy after it has expanded the infrastructure base.
He observed that there are major challenges affecting the policy as a result of the ad hoc manner in which it was implemented.
Patrick Ellonu, therefore, blasted the government for introducing the Double Track System under the Free SHS programme and described the Akufo-Addo government as super incompetent.
"Mr. Host let me tell you and your listeners that the NPP government is destroying our education system, the way they are implementing this Free SHS programme is not good at, majority of Ghanaians don't know they are doing, we NDC told them to continue with the progressively Free SHS but they didn't listen us because of politics and as a result our children can't study all the topics in schools, today you will some of our children coming and tomorrow you will see some going to school, which government is this? Today Secondary School is now like tertiary institutions practicing Semester", he bemoaned.
He hinted that the Free SHS programme is going to produce 'illiterates and armed robbers' in the country due to how the Akufo-Addo government is implementing the programme.
"Let me make it clear here that the Free SHS is going to provide a lot of illiterates and armed robbers in the country because teachers can't handle students well because of the huge numbers in classrooms. Teachers are crying to assess our children in school, some can't mark exercises and also homeworks. Just look at this government can't pay Double Track System teachers, this government does not have vision at all", he opined.
He reaffirmed former President John Mahama's plans of reviewing the Free SHS programme and abolished the Double Track System when elected in 2020.
"We will review the Free SHS in 2021 and abolish the Double Track System because Ghanaians are feed up with the NPP government, what's preventing the NPP government complete the Day SHS blocks former President John Mahama started to abolish the Double Track System, I can't think far at all, President Akufo-Addo has failed in advance and in 2020 we are going to uproot them like cassava and throw them into the sea and bring John Mahama to complete his unfinished businesses", he emphasized.
The NDC Communicator challenged the NPP to come out and tell Ghanaians how Secondary Schools, Nursing Training College, Teacher Training College, Polytechnic and University that they built.