Founder of the African University College of Communications (AUCC) and a former Minister of State in the Rawlings government, Kojo Yankah, in 1999 made some damning allegations that education in Ghana can never be free again.
According to him, Ghanaians should never dream of enjoying free education because of the complications it comes with, basing his reasons on the cost involved in funding the project.
He therefore advised parents and guardians to take up the responsibility of funding their children's education.
Fastforward to 2019, the NPP government, led by Nana Akufo-Addo in September 2017 introduced the Free Senior High School policy which has benefitted about 1.2 million Ghanaian children in addition to the already exisiting free compulsory universal basic education.
Prior to its implemetation, a lot of people criticised the idea saying it was impossible to be accomplished but the president shamed his 'naysayers' when the policy rolled out in September 2017.
After it's implementation, many also criticised the sutainability of the Free SHS policy, however, President Akufo-Addo believes that investing the country's oil revenue in funding the policy will one day pay off.
Read the full story originally published on November 11, 1999, on Ghanaweb
The out-going Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Kojo Yankah has asked Ghanaians to face the realities of the day and realise that education cannot continue to be free in the country. He said nowhere in the world is education free and that the people must accept the realities and be prepared to take up such responsibilities in funding education.
Mr. Yankah said this at a durbar of chiefs and people of Kwabre District at Mamponteng during a familiarisation tour of the area to assess their developmental projects and officially meet the chiefs. According to him university education is expensive and parents are being called upon to share in its funding so as to keep abreast with international standards.
He advised the people to honour their tax obligations promptly to enable the government to generate sufficient revenue to accelerate national development.
He called on them to be more industrious and innovative to ensure rapid expansion of their business to facilitate their socio-economic development to raise their standard of living. He indicated that due to the fall in prices of gold, cocoa and timber on the world market, government revenue has declined and this may affect government projects.
He said in spite of this, government would make all efforts to achieve its targets of providing for the even development of the country as envisaged in Vision 2020 to raise the standard of living of the communities. Mr. Yankah called on the district assembly to institute a scholarship scheme in the district to help brilliant but needy students in the district to attain higher educational standards.
He called on the children to participate in the read-a-book everyday campaign that is currently going on in the region. Mr. Yankah assured the people of Kwabre that because of its Kente, crafts and other tourists attractions, the government will provide assistance for the area to become a major tourist centre. He revealed that work would start soon on the road from Atimatim to Aboabogya. He said the provision of electricity from Kodie to Edumakase is almost complete.
Mr. Kojo Yankah however, expressed regrets about numerous chieftaincy disputes in the district which he actually saw at Ntonso where two chiefs sat in state waiting to welcome him. He said such divisive tendencies do not promote tourism, progress, peace and stability in the district. He said, he would bring it to the notice of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Mr. Yankah advised the people of Kwabre to keep their environment clean so that there would not be an outbreak of cholera in the area. The District Chief Executive of Kwabere, Mr. Ernest Opoku-Fofie led the regional minister to inspect projects that were being undertaken in the district.
The regional minister also inspected an Area Council building rehabilitated at the cost of 28 million by the district assembly at Kodie and the Ahwiaa craft centre building which is being funded by the district assembly at the cost 250 million. Nana Ama Agyemang, Kodiehemaa appealed to the district assembly to provide the community with a new school building to replace an old one which she said has become a death trap.