The Minority National Democratic Congress,(NDC), in Parliament say the implementation process of the much touted Free SHS policy by the government has vindicated their position that the policy is a hoax.
They also accused the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of passing “hypocritical” comments that he has fulfilled the promise to provide universal free senior high school education for all.
At a press conference addressed by the Minority Leader, Harruna Iddrisu on Monday, the Minority took time to analyse the Free SHS policy which began on Monday vis-à-vis what the opposition had for Ghanaians. The Minister of Education months ago stated that, the much sold out campaign policy would benefit only first year students who wrote the BECE this year, contrary to early perception. Continuing students and re-entrants would not be covered.
Available data provided by the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) say there are 565,404 continuing students made up of 285,450 and 279,954 for the second and third years respectively.
“The irony is that, this is the group then candidate Akufo-Addo campaigned to and promised Free SHS,” Harruna Iddrisu told the media.
“Clearly, if the NPP had any modicum of respect for the good people of Ghana, they should at the very least be apologizing to Ghanaians for their inability to fulfill their promise for which they were voted.”
He therefore concluded, “By its inability to roll out Free SHS to cover those in second and third years the NPP has only successfully vindicated those who said Akufo-Addos Free SHS promise was a hoax. What we have been presented with by the NPP is simply another version of Progressively Free SHS. Free SHS for SOME First Year Students.”
The Minority also condemned what it said is the centralization of the procurement of virtually all SHS-related items in the Ministry of Education.
“This is not only a show of lack of confidence in our hardworking Headmasters and Headmistresses, it is also a major stab in the back of the nations decentralization programme directed by the Constitution, under which enterprise-based activities such as procurement are to be undertaken at the enterprise level, in this case, at the SHS level, by those who are actually running the institutions.
“We also note that centralized procurement can be an avenue for shameless cronyism,” the Minority Leader clarified their position.