Former President John Dramani Mahama says the National Democratic Congress will not reverse the implementation of the much criticized Free Senior High School programme initiated by the Akufo-Addo led government if the party wins power.
He observed though the implementation of the education programme has been fraught with challenges since it started in September 2017, the NDC will not scrap it should it win power because it is grounded in the constitution of Ghana.
“There are no “naysayers” when it comes to free SHS. After all it was recognized and enshrined in our constitution by the ordinary people of this nation who gathered at the Consultative Assembly and drew up the 1992 constitution,” he said in a Facebook post Tuesday.
The programme, which was a major campaign promise by the New Patriotic Party in the run up to the 2016 general elections, has received backlash over implementational lapses arising out of inadequate infrastructure among other challenges.
Some critics, including key members of the NDC, have questioned its sustainability of the Free SHS on the basis of what they deemed to be government’s failure to state in clear terms, the sources of funds for the Akufo-Addo government flagship education programme.
Commenting on the issues that have emerged since the implementation of the programme, Mr Mahama said Tuesday in a Facebook post that “disagreement over the programme is about the optimal pace of implementation”.
He said “a more carefully considered plan of implementation adopted by broad stakeholder consultation would have resulted in clear policies and guidelines, which would have avoided the current challenges plaguing the programme and putting our students in harms way”.
According to Mr Mahama, his position is shared by many others including some members of the NPP and civil society.
He has thus suggested a national stakeholder consultative forum on Free SHS “in order to carry the whole nation along”.
“The current legacy-seeking and ad hoc manner of implementation will multiply the current implementational problems over the next 3 years,” he observed.
He added: “The false publication by a newspaper that the NDC will reverse free SHS is most laughable, false and diversionary.
“Free SHS is constitutional, it must be implemented, but it must be implemented properly according to a clear plan that carries all stakeholders along,” he added.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana