Former President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated his position that a future National Democratic Congress government will hold stakeholder consultations to address the bottlenecks confronting the smooth implementation of the Free SHS policy.
John Mahama said Free SHS is here to stay and cannot be reversed by any government.
Mr. Mahama’s comments follow President Akufo-Addo’s claims that a return of the NDC would mean a cancelation of the Free SHS policy.
The former President was speaking at the 27th Annual Residential Delegates Congress of the Ghana National Union of Technical University Students in Kumasi.
“In the first three months of my coming into office we will hold a stakeholder consultation with parents, teachers and educational experts to identify and eliminate all the bottlenecks that are affecting the implementation of free SHS programme. Free SHS is here to stay.
“Indeed it is underpinned and guaranteed by the 1992 constitution of Ghana and it cannot be reversed by any government. All administrations including this one and any future one have an obligation to make it a qualitative and enjoyable experience for our children.”
GHc1.682 billion had been earmarked for the implementation of the Free SHS programme in the 2019 budget.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) has said that the government’s seeming deliberate devotion to the free Senior High School policy is going to end up damaging the credibility of public sector secondary education in the country arguing that too much money is being spent on secondary education at the expense of other sectors.
John Mahama, has also said the government’s refusal to consult extensively with stakeholders before implementing the policy led to some major setbacks with its implementation.
“If you are spending most of your money on secondary education and less on technical and basic then there is something wrong with your educational system. Some of us foresaw the difficulties that they are facing today and that is why we tried to warn them,” Mr. Mahama has said.
But the government will not succumb to the pressure from the opposition.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta believes Ghana’s future generation will be grateful to the Akufo-Addo government for introducing the free Senior High School policy.