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The Member of Parliament for Buem in the Volta Region, Daniel Kwesi Ashiamah has stated that he supports Former President John Dramani Mahama hundred percent on his position of review of the free Senior Secondary School policy embarked upon by the Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party government.
He maintains that much as the policy is good, there are so many loopholes in it that deserve correction, hence the need for its review as advocated by President Mahama, and his (MP’s) subsequent total support for him (Mahama) in this regard.
Describing the Policy as visionless, the MP claimed that the policy also had no succession plan, hence the lack in infrastructure by way of school buildings, and the subsequent application of what he termed as the “Traffic light system of education – Red, Gold, Green, i.e double track, etc!”, he bemoaned.
Ashiamah made these claims in an interview with pressmen at Parliament House last week. According to him, since the system was rushed through, it has brought about pressure upon the few existing facilities in schools, thus compelling school administrators to box students into classrooms and dormitories to the very discomfort and inconvenience of both students, teachers and parents. “Now because of the rush nature of the policy, our children are boxed into one room as if they were at concentration camps in II World War Germany”! he exclaimed.
Lack of consensus
Hon. Ashiamah further claimed that the policy lacked consensus as people had various opinions regarding the policy and its implementation. He was quick to point out that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s own Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta had called for a review of the policy.
“Therefore, what is wrong with Mahama calling for it? He queried stressing that Mahama’s call had been a shell-shocker for the NPP. Mahama must come to review this visionless policy for the better”. The MP stated that the policy was good but its implementation by this government was poignant.
Comparison with America
The MP wondered why pundits of the policy should compare Ghana with America and other places with regard to the Free S.H.S. He maintained that whereas America and for that matter the developed world is moving with supersonic speed, Ghana is moving at a snail pace. As such, wherein lies the need for this comparism? He hinted that the alleged 10,000 students with E-book on Free S.H.S was a shame.
According to him the Policy was relative, asking what it meant with parents have to foot much of bills of their wards, especially with the advent of extra-classes for the students.
Nkrumah Vrs Nana Akufo-Addo
Hon. Ashiamah argued that whereas Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s application of free Education for the three (3) Northern Regions was successful, even in the 20th century, same cannot be said of Nana Akufo-Addo’s experiment in the 21st Century, stressing that what is going on now looks like Ghana is in the 15th Century.
“Now GHACEM, Dangotey and other sources of cement abound. Why don’t you put up enough structures before embarking on this devastating experiment? “He queried. He maintained that work for matrons in the schools had be over taken by contractors.
Hon. Ashiamah indicated that with the mass production of tertiary students in the country, Ghana was sitting on a time bomb. Explaining, he argued that with an enlightened student (vasity level) population, with no immediate job for them after school, these frustrated students could vent their spleen on government and that would be explosive.
He charged the NPP administration to foresee the surge in student population and prepare well to absolve them into the job market to avert any such explosion, since it is not going to be easy.
500 Service Personnel in Parliament
According to the MP, Parliament alone has had to take about 500 service personnel for this year. He hinted that their number was 400 last year. But 200 in Mahama’s time. “We should foresee the surge in student population and prepare for it, and stop merely talking about it. We should create the job opportunities to cater for them”, he admonished.
Hon. Ashiamah hinted that even though we are in the fourth-quarter of the year only one quarter of the District Assembly Common Fund had been issued out. He was however quick to point out that though every government must be given enough time to operate, the snail-pace movement of the NPP government called for much concern and attention.
NPP DOES NOT RESPECT THE LAW
Hon. Ashiamah pointed out that the NPP as a party does not respect the law, even though they claim to know the law. He argued that if the party obeyed and respected the law, they would have known right from day one of the free S.H.S policy that they had deviated. This is because, the constitution talks of education as being progressively free and not forcibly free as being pursued by the Nana Akufo-Addo led NPP administration, just to satisfy election promise.
“In this regard, I support president Mahama 100% in his quest to review the policy when he comes to power in 2002”, Hon. Ahiamah stressed.
Source: S.O. Ankama and Yaw Yeboah-Boateng