A Political Science Lecturer at the Methodist University College, Dr Bonsu Osei-Wusu, has challenged Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama to come clear on the extension of the Free SHS policy to private schools as stated in their manifesto.
He was of the view that although the NDC has promised a lot in their ‘People’s Manifesto’, it is not possible to implement most of the promises, particularly with regards to education.
Speaking with Nana Owusu Nkrumah on Atinka TV’s Morning show, Ghana Nie, Dr Bonsu Osei-Wusu opined that there will be complications in trying to implement most of the things promised by the NDC, challenging John Mahama to explain how the party intends to fund the extension of free SHS to private schools.
“The money government spends on government schools cannot cater for those in private schools, because those in private schools pay feeding fee, and so if you say you are extending free SHS to the private schools, does it mean they will pay only the fees for them or pay for them as it is being done with public schools? They should come and answer these question,” he said.
He also noted that before the NPP government said it would implement the Free SHS policy, the NDC opposed it, stating that it was not feasible and therefore it becomes questionable if they say they will extend something which they claimed was not possible to private schools.
“Before free SHS, the NDC said it was not feasible. When the free SHS came, they complained that it was too expensive and that government was using all its money to fund it and had neglected other areas; if you are saying only the free SHS is expensive and now you want to extend it to private schools and tertiary it is questionable,” he said.
Commenting on the 50 percent off tertiary school fees, Dr Bonsu Osei-Wusu quizzed, “Even 10 percent of tertiary fees is more than the school fees of SHS, and now you are saying you are going to pay 50 percent and add laptop and tablet. Does it mean that the 50 percent off school fees will also be extended to private schools?”
Dr Bonsu Osei-Wusu suggested that instead of providing laptops and tablets to tertiary students, the NDC should rather focus of supporting tertiary institutions with accommodation since that has become their major problem.
“Did they consult the tertiary institutions on that, because the major problem of tertiary institutions is accommodation, and if you look at the University of Ghana alone they are about 40, 000. Due to free SHS, those who will come the first year is expected to be more and if you want to give everybody a laptop. I believe if you use the money to solve accommodation issues, it will be better and the students will appreciate it more than the laptops because some are still struggling with accommodation,” he added.
On other sectors, he said both have been presidents before so people can weigh the two parties to determine what they can do and vote for any based on their strength.