The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has arguably claimed that the number of children enrolled in Senior High Schools under the reign of the late President Atta Mills was more than the number of students who have been enrolled in schools since the introduction of the Free SHS Policy by President Akufo-Addo.
He explained that when former President John Agyekum Kufuor introduced the four-year education system in the Senior High Schools, the total number of schools available then for the implementation of that new policy could cater for three years and that made it difficult for those coming from the JHS to join in the next academic year, and so it took the late President Mills to build school blocks in all the available secondary schools in the country to cater for the JHS graduates.
“ . . we built extra classroom blocks throughout the country in all the existing SHSs . . . we admitted more children in secondary schools than the number admitted under Akufo-Addo's Free SHS Policy . . . check the figures, but we didn’t noise about it,” he asserted.
Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, the NDC General Secretary said the challenge with the free Senior High School policy is about the management of the policy and not the educational system.
“Did you hear any parent complaining that their children didn’t get access to school in September when we took over the four-year policy from former President Kufuor?” he rhetorically asked.
He was of the view that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a political party does not believe in free education and free health as a member of the neoliberals in the world; thus, the implementation of the free Senior High School has not been successful due to the fact the NPP does not believe in it.
“If someone is implementing a policy which his party does not believe in, but for mere votes from the citizens, he will be exposed during the implementation stage. All over the world, the neoliberals which NPP is part of do not believe in free education. Peter McManu had been their Vice President before as I am the Vice President of Socialist International; they don’t believe in free education, free health but when they came and realized that such policies will give them votes, then they adopt it, but during the implementation, they are being exposed,” he asserted.