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Feature Article of Thursday, 1 November 2012

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

What is our Business in Politics,

if we can’t give Free Education to our kids?

In any democratic country like ours, partisan politics is supposed to be the major means to reduce the poverty levels of the masses to make life meaningful to them. In view of the above, the practitioners of politics are in politics to maximise a country’s resources for the benefit of the citizenry based on their manifestos and the country’s constitution. However, this has not been the case in Ghana as most politicians think about themselves more than their motherland. Regrettably, they end up being served by the masses and not the other way round.

Before they enter politics, they assume to have solutions to every single problem that faces mankind in particular, and the country as a whole. From education, energy, health through to transportation and economy, every potential president or Member of Parliament could boast of the magic wand to reduce all problems to their barest minimum. In opposition, their mouths become big to the extent that they can describe their opponents as thieves, and lie to the world that Ghana’s gold reserves have been sold. They could even swear to reduce fuel prices drastically, put money in people’s pockets, clear all cities of filth, build 200,000 housing units, and prosecute their own party members on mere allegation on corruption as way of minimising the social canker.

As Abraham Lincoln posits; “if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. Upon assumption of political power, these same politicians turn into ‘human chameleons, as far as their campaign promises are concerned. They complain of having met a ‘broken economy’, and lack of funds to prosecute their projects and programmes. They behave as if all the sources of government revenue – taxation, borrowing, grants and aid, exports, fees and licenses etc have ceased to be sourced. They cunningly do so to win public sympathy, yet they shamelessly ride in expensive cars, pay fat ex-gratias and allowances, educate their kids abroad, and exempt themselves from the payment of utility services.

Surprisingly, as incumbent presidents, they still tour the country to solicit votes to remain in government, when little is seen in the power at their disposal. They brag to build 200 new secondary schools and 10 new Colleges of Education when a single SHS has not been constructed in the last 4 years; they promise to improve quality of education at the basic level when capitation grant for basic schools have not been paid for the past 12 months.

What is most annoying, however is that, they try as much as possible to kick against an opponent’s well-thought off policies that have the tendency to move our dear country forward. How could any sensible human being vehemently oppose a Presidential Candidate’s fee-free secondary education policy, when that person has not offered any alternative?

There is an adage that says; “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. Nana Akufo-Addo, who is passionate about the welfare of the Ghanaian child believes that after 55 years of political independence, Ghana has no excuses to deny her own children access to free quality education from the basic to at least, the secondary level. He sees the secondary education stage as a critical and fertile breeding ground for potential teachers and nurses, who are urgently needed to fill our basic schools and hospitals.

Whilst John Mahama and his NDC prefer to use Ghana’s oil, loan, cocoa, and tax revenue to pay fraudulent judgement debts to party financiers, it is the belief of Nana Akufo-Addo and his NPP that such money should be channelled into children’s education. These are two clear choices before the Ghanaian voter in December. Why would one Presidential Candidate, who happens to be a Caretaker President, argue that his main opponent cannot make senior high school free because the proposer has not been able to cost it? Since when were Presidential Candidates called upon to cost their proposed policies and programmes before being voted into power? In any case, how much is the cost of the “Expanded Better Ghana Agenda”, Mr. President?

To buttress their wickedness, selfishness, greed, and visionless, an attempt by Nana Akufo-Addo to give estimates of the entire SHS policy from 2013 to 1016 has been met with hard resistance. So one would ask; what kind of people do we have as our leaders or governors? In as much as the cost of free SHS policy is not higher than the national budget, there is no way that the policy cannot be materialised. All that it needs is the right leadership that can set its priorities right.

Until the NDC abolishes the free kindergarten, free primary, free JHS, free SHS, and free tertiary education in the 3 Northern Regions, which John Mahama and his 18 other siblings have been beneficiaries, it is senseless for anybody to downplay the essence of the proposed free SHS. The ultimate beneficiary of education is neither the educated person nor his immediate family, but rather the country as a whole. The Almighty Allah separated mankind from other animals by giving us natural wisdom. The purpose of this natural gift is not to steal from the national coffers to make others poor, but to use the gift to solve societal problems to make our lives better.

Nana Addo, together with his NPP has identified the current education problem as a drawback to the country’s socio-economic and political development; hence, his determination to solve this problem once and for all. Nana only needs your support and vote on December 7. Let’s all be part of ‘Victory 2012’ so that one day, our children would feel the benefits of our educational legacy.

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!! Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Enfield. London Official blog (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 07577626433 “Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”.

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