General News of Monday, 29 October 2012
The General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, Dr. Mensa Otabil has waded into the controversial debate over the free education being promised by some of the political parties ahead of the December polls.
Dr. Otabil who was delivering a sermon over the weekend said "education can never be free".
His position is in direct contrast to promises made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive People's Party (PPP) and the Convention People's Party (CPP) about making education from the basic level to the Senior High School level free.
But Dr. Otabil, who is the Chancellor of the Central University College, believes "Education can never be free. Somebody is paying for it... You see when they come to you and say things like fee-free education. You are happy; take your children to school. Government is good."
"I don't believe in free education. I said pay me well my due and let me have the joy of paying my own child's school fees so that my child is not a property of the state. He's my own child and I have the dignity of a father to pay for my own child. When my child grows up I say I paid your fees."
He said those who believe such untruths that fees will be free do not understand what goes into fees paid by students.
"Nothing is free, you are paying for it. Only you are being told you didn't pay. How do you pay for it? Through taxation. Who pays the taxes? Me."
He said it is not right for politicians to say that education is free when the taxes paid by Ghanaians will be used to offset the fees. He added that the only reason why Ghanaians will believe such promises is because "ignorance makes it easy for people to accept anything".
He said Ghanaians should demand quality before believing anything that is offered as free because a freebie will be of no value to the individual.
"If someone tells you anything is free, ask them what is the quality? Because if you don't know the quality don't take it free."
He said people should ask those offering the freebies if Ghanaians have any control over what is being offered before they buy into the ideas. He added that the when one is offered a free item, even when it is bad, one cannot complain.
Listen to the audio below