A youth activist of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Brong Ahafo Region, Worlanyo Tsekpo has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to continue strengthening the foundation and expansion of infrastructures at the various Senior High Schools (SHSs).
This according to him will ensure full implementation of the Free SHS education policy.
On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, President Nana Addo officially launched the Free SHS education program to enroll over 400,000 first year students for 2017/2018 academic year.
In a statement issued on September 25, 2017, Efo Worlanyo Tsekpo indicated that the former president His Excellency John Mahama started with the progressively free education program that led to the construction of 200 Day SHS E-Blocks across the country which is an evidence that the NDC was never against the Free SHS policy.
He asked President Nana Addo to provide more infrastructures to the various secondary schools in the country before thinking of implementing the free SHS education program in the coming years.
He also noted that it was in the interest of majority of Ghanaians that the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government addressed the infrastructure deficits in the various schools before launching the policy but due to political capitalisation, the government has rushed to implement the “unplanned so-called free SHS education program”.
"We expected President Nana Addo and his government to continue strengthening the foundation and expand infrastructure before the limited free SHS is introduced so that our children wouldn't stranded and posted to uncompleted schools."
"Ghanaians are far above the NPP's political gimmicks and thank God the reality is catching up with them", he said.
Below is the full statement;
ROBBING AND KILLING PETER TO PAY PAUL....A case of Nana Addo's Progressively Free SHS
Somewhere last year after JM inaugurated Atta Mills Community Day School and launched the *Progressively Free SHS*, he was congratulated by Nana Addo.
This shows that JM was on course to making Secondary Education in Ghana free in a progressive manner in order not to disadvantage other levels especially the basic departments.
Former president John Mahama and the NDC considered making the foundation Strong, well-resourced and structured so that by the time the students get to the Senior High they might have gone there with a strong foundation with all of them also having access, hence the progressively free.
The progressively free Education under John Mahama and the NDC witnessed Free school Uniforms, Free Sandals, well stocked Computer and science Labs, Free Laptops, Free books and many others in most of our basic schools.
The outcome was the unprecedented 93% pass by our BECE candidates in the recent results released by WAEC.
These were to strengthen the foundation of our basic education and prepare our children for the SHS.
At the Senior High Level, we witnessed the E-Blocks which were basically to give access to the brothers and sisters from the junior High, free beds, free mattresses, free laptops, scholarships for the brilliant but needy, 80% fees absorbed by government at all levels and massive infrastructure on all SHS our campuses.
All these were to lay a strong foundation for the take-off of the free senior Free education as stipulated by the 1992 constitution.
These moves by JM and the NDC government shows how committed we were to strengthening the foundation of our basic education and making the senior High school accessible to all.
All these shows how committed we were to making Education free and accessible and also giving the best to our children.
*It shows NDC is never against the Free SHS because it is a constitutional mandate.*
We expected President Nana Addo and his government to continue strengthening the foundation and expand infrastructure before the limited free SHS is introduced so that our children wouldn't be stranded and posted to uncompleted schools.
But they decided to feed the SHS students at the expense of the Kg pupils in Ntankoro and Kadreso L/A primary whose schools have not been covered by the school feeding.
Over 80 percent of our basic schools have not been covered by the school feeding and the logic of Nana Addo and the NPP is to feed the adults and neglect the kids to their fate.
Their logic is to give free uniform to the Senior High Schools while most of the Basic schools have not been covered.
Their logic is to provide exercise books to the senior High students and leave out the basic schools where the students really need them to build their foundation.
*Why should the NPP neglect the foundation which is more important and concentrate on the roofing?*
Why should Nana Addo and the Npp neglect the over 12,000,000 basic school pupils, some of them below 5years and concentrate on just 400,000 first year SHS students and they expect us to clap for them? Are the second and third years not Ghanaians?
John Mahama and the NDC have laid the foundation and we we expect Nana Addo and his team to strengthen it and continue expanding infrastructure instead of making political noise with the 400,000 students they claim are enjoying free Education who are sleeping in classrooms in turns because there is no accommodation for them.
Ghanaians are far above the NPP's political gimmicks and thank God the reality is catching up with them.
NDC will surely bounce back in 2020 to give real meaning to Education in Ghana just as we started.
It is just a matter of time.
Efo Worlanyo TSEKPO B/A NDC Youth Activist.