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 now that they have come to accept it.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Saboba as part of President Nana 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 former President John Mahama’s recent comments that he will not scrap the Free SHS programme if elected back into office.
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, the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC, 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 better alternative to the double-track system which is being used to run the free SHS policy.
“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?” Dr Bawumia asked, suggesting: “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”.
“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 of today [15 August 2019] he is not able to tell us exactly what he will do,” Dr Bawumia said.