The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, also known as Napo has called on the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to apologise to Ghanaians for speaking against the government’s flagship free Senior High School policy.
Addressing the chiefs and people Saboba as part of President Nansa Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s tour of the Northern and North East Regions, Dr Prempeh said: “After mounting a lot of hostility to Free SHS, if NDC now accepts Free SHS, the first thing they should do is to apologise to His Excellency the President for deceiving the good people of Ghana for the last eight years.”
Dr Prempeh’s comment comes on the back of Mr John Mahama’s denial that if elected president in 2020, his government will cancel the free SHS policy.
The NDC flagbearer of the NDC speaking at the 27th Annual Residential Delegates Congress organised by the Ghana National Union of Technical University Students in Kumasi on Wednesday, 14 August 2019, said: “The free SHS is here to stay”.
The policy, he noted, is underpinned and guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and it cannot be overturned by any government.
“But all administrations, including this one (Akufo-Add government) and any future one has an obligation to make it a qualitative and enjoyable experience for our children. And I’m determined to make secondary education a beneficial learning experience more than the current miserable conditions our children are having to face under Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has thrown a challenge to Mr Mahama to come up with a concrete alternative policy which is better than the current double track system under the governments free SHS policy.
Using the rotational church service system to support his argument, Dr Bawumia asked if a church would drive away the excess congregation if there were not enough chairs to accommodate them.
“If you have a church and you have more and more people coming to your church but you do not have enough seats in the church do you drive them away?
“You do first, second and third service if you need to do it. You do not say go home until I build another church before you come to church and so this is the thinking behind the double track system. We will double track until we complete the construction of all the facilities and we are going to complete the facilities,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.
“It is therefore interesting to hear former President Mahama say yesterday that, now he is committed to free SHS education but he says he will review it when he comes. You have been criticising this policy since 2012 but as at today [August 15, 2019] he is not able to tell us exactly what he will do,” Dr Bawumia said.