Deputy General Secretary of The National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho has said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was engaging in populist rhetorics to score fleeting and cheap political points with its flagship policy Free SHS which is currently being implemented across the country.
"The NPP is trying too hard to be more socialist than the socialist NDC, and the result is that the NPP is making a mockery of itself by engaging in utopian socialism," Anyidoho said on Accra-based Kasapa FM.
According to the one-time propaganda secretary of the NDC, “Political parties all over the world, are driven by ideologies and are inspired by a cluster of principles and philosophies " and wondered why "The NPP which has never believed in any form of social democracy is in a hurry to implement socialist-oriented policies.”
He, again, wonders, why the Akufo-Addo led administration is in a hurry to implement a policy that current indications suggest, are not well thought-out and facing a lot of challenges.
“Even hard-core Marxist socialist do not believe in utopian socialism so it is no wonder that the NPP is running itself into a world of mockery by its dreamy attempt to create an ideal world of free education.
Mr Anyidoho said while the government has failed to solve some of the pertinent problems that confront the country, it threw in the founders day announcement in an attempt to drown out the failing Free SHS policy and other issues that the country is faced with.
He said such diversionary tactics cannot be sustained in the long run and that government will have to come back to the mess it created.
Commenting on the free SHS policy, he said second and third-year students were left out because the NPP government knows it cannot fund the policy in its totality hence the decision to drop its earlier mantra Free education to free SHS.
“Nana Akufo-Addo and his people must be thinking that we have so soon forgotten the exact promises they made on the campaign trail when they were making all kinds of ugly noises and promising to give Ghanaians “free education up to senior high school”.
"I have been combing through the 2016 manifesto of the NPP and precisely in chapter 9, which deals with the policy on education, the NPP stated categorically that they will provide “free education up to senior high”, he said.
He said the government cannot fail to acknowledge the role successive governments have played in the broad spectrum of education in the country and the NDC must be credited for leading the charge in that regard.
"So just because the government is absorbing tuition and feeding fees, that is enough to be trumpeting free education to the high heavens and claiming victory where there is no victory?
"Are parents still not buying; trunks, chop box, sandals, uniforms, cutlass, hoes, brooms, toiletries, mattress, blankets, bedsheets, church clothes, etc? wherein lies the free education?"
He said the government has resorted to threatening heads of schools in an effort to undermine their authority and also questioned why schools cannot charge PTA dues when some of its contingent issues are solved from these funds.
"So, is Akufo-Addo telling us that if for example, the manhole of a girl’s dormitory in Tanyigbe SHS gets full, the headmistress should write to Ghana Education Service (GES), to release funds for the excreta in the manhole to be cleared?"
"Is Akufo-Addo telling us that if the girls' dormitory in Anyako SHS has no mosquito nets, the headmistress cannot ask parents to help replace the nets; and must only wait for the GES to release funds for that to be done?"
"And when parents want to support, the school heads are referred to as “thieves and extortionists”, he queried.