It’s a distortion for the NDC to claim credit for the free SHS policy, says ace journalist Kweku Baako Jnr.
The free SHS policy is the flagship programme of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and was started in September 2017. A double-track system was introduced to regulate the number of students. This includes the gold and green tracks where the students alternate.
The NDC, however, said it was impossible to implement this policy and rather advocated for a progressively free education.
There have been reports that the opposition party has sworn to review it should they come back to power.
However, former President John Mahama and the NDC say they have no intention of scrapping the policy.
“Free Senior High School education has come to stay. If anybody tells you that I, John Dramani Mahama, will abolish Free SHS when I come into power tell the person he is a bloody liar,” he said while paying a courtesy call on the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II.
Kweku Baako speaking during a panel discussion on Peace FM‘s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ said it’s a known fact that the NDC opposed the policy.
“The NDC campaign against the free SHS is public record; they sponsored adverts against the policy; it was funded from their camp,” he indicated.
However, the NDC “began to shift gradually as time went on; in terms of their fanatical opposition; they drifted and came up with the progressively free education. It is public record that they conceptualized their shift”.
Citing a document where the Mahama administration outlined a progressive implementation plan, Kweku Baako said it will be deceptive to allude that they (NDC) started the free SHS.
“When a deeper analysis is done you’ll realize they are not continuing what you started which you did not fully implement. This is not something to compare for you to even say you started. It’s propagandist; a distortion.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo Addo said there is no way his government will risk putting the policy in the hands of Mahama and the NDC.
“When they were in office, they had a hard time trying to run even their watered-down version of their so-called progressively free education. Then the former President said he would ‘review’ it, and now we hear him say it has come to stay. Excellency, please try another one. Your credibility on this one is zero, free SHS, free TVET cannot be trusted in your hands.”
“I take pride in the fact that free SHS and free TVET have been delivered, and our young people, and their parents and guardians, know that they will no longer be forced to stop school at JHS level because of financial difficulties. It was not easily done, and, so, we intend to protect it and prevent any so-called ‘review’, another word for cancellation,” he said at the outdooring of NPP’s manifesto in Cape Coast, Saturday.