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Feature Article of Sunday, 14 October 2012

Columnist: Badu, K.

Hang Not Child; You May Enjoy Free ‘SHS’

It takes a lot of courage for anybody to go to an extent of ending his/her life. Suffice it to say, for a child to decide to end it all is worrisome, just to say the least. I listened with extreme sadness ‘Adom FM’s news broadcast of a seventeen year old child who decided to hang himself because his father was unable to send him to Senior High School(SHS) on Friday 12 October 2012. The good news is, ‘A Good Samaritan’ fortuitously entered the scene and prevented the distressed child from killing himself. Hopefully he may live to enjoy Nana Addo’s proposed free ‘SHS’.

In the said news broadcast, the child’s father was unable to send his son to a Senior High School because of financial difficulties. Of course, the boy’s parents would want their child to have meaningful education; needless to say, they are in awkward position to do so. So, if indeed Nana Addo would be able to raise funds to carry out his manifesto pledge of free ‘SHS’, why shouldn’t all right thinking Ghanaians support such an advantageous policy which would help people like the suicidal seventeen year old and his poor parents?

Let me affirm that all the wonderful things we see around us today came into existence because of the aspirations of those who invented or developed them. They put their aspirations into practice and subsequently spawned wonderful results. It is absolutely wrong for us to always live in the shadows of other people’s ‘theories or inventions’. That is, we should endeavour to develop our own theories and put them into practice, which may reap results. It is said, “The biggest problem mankind faces is not lack of eyesight, but lack of foresight”. Free ‘SHS’ would be feasible only if we can truncate our ‘profligate’ or licentious spending of the national purse.

Just imagine for instance, how much we could save if we only keep one deputy minister in every ministry instead of two; just visualise how much we could save if we put a stop to dissolute payments of supposedly judgement debts; let us envisage the savings we could make if we reduce the number of ‘castle staff’ and villainous payments to party sycophants; you just envision the benefits we would reap if we institute anti corruption measures which will curb the activities of spendthrift bureaucrats. We have scattergood bureaucrats who are only interested in emptying the national coffers. That is, they care less about the development of the country.

If the manifesto pledge of ‘one time payment of NHIS Premium’ was a good idea, I think ‘free SHS’ promise is an excellent idea, if only Nana Addo will ‘make his yes be yes, and translate his manifesto pledge of free ‘SHS’ into expedient policy. IF it happens, it would go a long way to alleviate underprivileged children like the suicidal seventeen year old and his impoverished parents. I am pretty sure we could have even implemented the ‘one time NHIS Premium payment if we had not resorted to incontinent payments of ‘supposedly judgement debts. If we keep ‘tabs’ on our profligate spending, we can save and put some towards the implementation of advantageous policies like Nana Addo’s free ’SHS’.

In fact, I am not in acquiescence with the pessimists who are fretting in their souls of the possibility of a free SHS’. ‘Yes we can’ if only we can get rid of libertine bureaucrats who suffer from emotional dissonance. That is, they are pretentious and more importantly, harbour vested interests. In fairness, we can achieve a lot as a nation if we put ‘tabs’ on corruption and work in synergy. We need ‘lean and green’ approach, that is, we have to cut the waste in the system.

In ending, I strongly believe that implementation of free ‘SHS’ will go a long way to help underprivileged children and their poor parents in hindsight. My advice to Nana Addo then is; please endeavour to honour your promise if you win the forthcoming elections. More importantly, Nana, do not allow anybody in your government to resort to ‘profligate’ spending, and hopefully you can!

K. Badu, UK.

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