General News of Thursday, 13 September 2012
Minister of Education, Ambassador Lee Ocran, has descended heavily on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) describing members of the opposition party as great "liars" with an unbridled desire to engage in the act of doublespeaking.
Ambassador Lee Ocran, who is reported to have stated that the Mahama led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration can only implement the free Senior High School education policy after the year 2032 -- that is 20 years from now, denied ever making any such assertions.
He has thus challenged the NPP to produce evidence to back their claims.
The Education Minister, on Monday, described as cheap talk, Nana Akufo-Addo’s flagship electoral promise of free SHS education. At a news conference in Accra, Lee Ocran, who is Ghana’s former Ambassador to South Africa, said not only did Nana Akufo-Addo get the facts and figures concerning SHS education wrong, but also cannot implement the policy.
The NPP, quickly reacted to the minister’s assertions at the press briefing through a statement issued by Boakye Agyarko, Campaign Chairman for Nana Akufo-Addo for President 2012, in which the NDC was described as “a reckless and uncaring government that can see the urgency in finding some GH¢858 million in three years to pay judgement debts and yet cannot imagine how to find money to invest in the future of our children.”
“It gets worse. The Minister of Education went as far as to state that, to the NDC, led by President John Dramani Mahama, free SHS can only be possible after the year 2032 -- that is 20 years from now….He went on to claim that free SHS cannot be possible because Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, did not implement it. Does that mean that what Nkrumah could not do, no Ghanaian or Ghanaian generation can or must achieve? That may be the NDC way, but that, certainly, is not the NPP way. We believe we can do it and we will choose to do it,” Boakye Agyarko said.
But speaking to the issue in an interview on Radio Gold, the education minister vehemently denied ever saying the free SHS policy can only be implemented in Ghana in 2032.
“NPP members are liars…they should bring the tape where I said so...they should bring the tape and play it for everybody to hear whether I have ever given a date,” he insisted.
To him, the NPP is simply on a wild goose chase and simply want an opportunity to toy with the country’s educational system.
“If you don’t know the figures, don’t try and muddy the waters…you see these are the very people who rubbish everything and when they come, they would then say ‘oh we are sorry, we didn’t know that the economy is in such a bad state’…Even Article 38 clause 2 which requires that all children should be in school haven’t been fully implemented and Nana Addo keeps talking about free SHS policy?...When he appeared on Hard Talk in London, he didn’t even know the figure so he said they were working on it…so they hurriedly put something together and he went and announce it at the IEA,” Lee Ocran fumed.