There has been systematic attempts by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to claim authorship of Ghana’s Free Senior High School, (SHS), policy.
“I have been contemplating on this for the past two years and I think I need to be heard on this subject matter.”
These were the words of Volta Regional Communications Director, of the New Patriotic Party, (NPP), Pope Yao Yevoo in a write-up.
Below is the full write-up
My decision to finally speak on the subject matter was triggered by a statement made by Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communications Officer of the NDC, on TV3’s New Day Newspaper Review on October 14, 2019.
He said that former president Mahama introduced the Free SHS. Falsehood peddled for too long becomes the truth in the minds of people. And that is the stock-in-trade of the NDC.
Prior to the introduction of that shambolic Progressively Free SHS, the NDC, including former President Mahama believed that FSHS was not feasible in this country at least not for the next two decades. Let me refresh readers’ minds of what the NDC said before 2015:
1. Former President Mahama in 2008 said that “FSHS policy was going to destroy the educational system in Ghana.”
In November, 2012, at Okere in the Eastern Region, he made the following comments “that the FSHS system was being practiced in Kenya but was failing due to inadequate funds to support the system. If you rush to do something in life, you will not succeed.
In Africa, there are two countries which have started this FSHS; Kenya and Uganda.
But now, Kenya has launched an appeal for international assistance to help them with the FSHS idea because they can’t pay for it.”
2. Former Education Minister, Lee Ocra ( May his soul rest in peace) stated that the “FSHS can only be achieved in 20 years to come.”
3. The General Secretary of the NDC, Asiedu Nketia, said that “Ghana does not need FSHS now and that it was a 419.”
- Dr. Omane Boamah said in June, 2012 that the “FSHS was a scam and sham”.
5. On July 3, 2012, Felix Ofosu Kwakye said that “Nana Akufo-Addo doesn’t understand the term FSHS and doesn’t even know the cost.”
6. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa stated categorically on 24th September, 2012 that he will resist the FSHS. Those were their own words.
However, the NDC led by former President Mahama having realized that he was going to lose the 2016, announced the commencement of what they called the Progressively Free SHS (PFSHS) in 2015 in the 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The advent of the NDC’s PFSHS saw the then government absorbing the cost of some selected items such as science development fee, library fee, entertainment fee, sports and culture fees, science and maths quiz fees, examination fees, SRC dues and internet fees.
All these amounted to about some GHC38.00 per student per term which amounted to some GHC114.00 per student per academic year.
Someone should do me a favour. Kindly tell former President Mahama and the NDC that President Akufo-Addo is paying GHC1,075.41 per SHS day student per year; *GHC2,015.22* per SHS boarding student per year; GHC1,175.41 per TVET day student per year and GHC2,115.22 per TVET boarding student per year.
Someone should tell former President Mahama that on top of the fees, President Akufo-Addo supplies free uniforms, free note and exercise books, and free text books.
These alone consume your paltry, sordid and repugnant GHC114.00 per student per year.
What was pathetic was that even the GHC38.00 per student per term was in arrears for about two terms before the NDC and former President Manama’s miserable defeat in 2016.
Fellow Ghanaians, now I hear in town that those who could not fund what in their estimation was called Free SHS are now claiming authorship of what in a real sense is the FSHS happening under President Akufo-Addo.
I said in my opening statement that there is a systematic attempt to claim authorship of the FSHS in this country. Here is why.
In 2017, after President Akufo-Addo announced the commencement of the FSHS in its proper sense, Okudjeto Ablakwa who vowed to resist the FSHS, said that the FSHS was introduced by former President Mahama. Laughable! Isn’t it?
That is not all, former President Mahama himself said on October 13, 2019, he will review the FSHS policy in his first 90 days in office as president.
Which of the FSHS?
That of President Akufo-Addo or his much ado about nothing and shambolic GHC38.00 per student per term PSHS? Or the one that Peter Otokunor said has led to 5,500 teenage pregnancies?
Has he found the money to fund the policy?
This certainly will be an idea conceived in darkness and brought forth from the shadows.
Then on October 14, 2019, I also heard that Hon Asiedu Nketia said that the NDC will build 100 Senior High Schools in its first 90 days when they are elected in 2020 as part of plans to review the FSHS.
Then I asked again, which of the FSHS was he talking about? President Akufo-Addo’s FSHS or the one he said Ghana doesn’t need and that it was 419?
Fellow Ghanaians, I hope you remember that out of the 200 community day SHS that the NDC and former President Mahama promised us, they could only deliver 46 of them before the 2016 shameful defeat?
If you can’t deliver 200 in 4 years, how can you deliver 100 in 90 days?
One can only come to the sad conclusion that the NDC and it’s operatives think that the Ghanaian electorate is suffering from memory lost.
However, that assumption can only be a figment of their own imagination.
The Ghanaian is wild awake!
The Ghanaian today will not accept this kind of pre-colonial politicking.
The FSHS in its proper sense from the foregone cogent evidence adduced was introduced by President Akufo-Addo and the NPP.
The NDC and former President are clearly bereft of ideas going into the 2020 elections and could only adapt the drowning man attitude.
They will cling even onto the sewing thread that they are using to patch their umbrella that the ever fearless elephant has badly damaged in 2016 for their political survival.
Ghana has moved beyond the rhetorics. It is action time and President Akufo- Addo is busy delivering on his promises to Ghanaians.
Thanks for reading and I shall be back.
Pope Yao Yevoo
(NPP Volta Regional Communications Director)