Politics of Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Volta Youth Caucus (VYC), a non-political pro-Volta Region advocacy group, has said the New Patriotic Party’s Free Senior High School (SHS) promise, could close the education access gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in society.
It said the policy was apt for the circumstances of the people of the Volta Region, where there was evidence of many young people truncating school at JSS Level because of cost of SHS education.
Ernest Agyei-Tuffour, VYC Executive-Secretary, speaking at a press conference in Ho on Tuesday said, it was therefore logical that people in the Volta Region discarded all sentimental attachments to parties seeking to defer the free-SHS- now concept, to a later date.
He said young people in the Volta Region stood to gain from the promise by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the NPP.
Mr Agyei-Tuffour, who hails from the Volta Region, said it was naive for people with the means to see their children through secondary education at whatever cost, to push those without that means, to reject the policy because “it is impossible”.
To a question whether the much touted policy was possible, he said, it was better to give Nana Akufo-Addo the opportunity, and vote him out, if he failed than spurn policy.
Mr Agyei-Tuffour said the VYC was endorsing the policy because it could veer the country on to the path of speedy development, backed by a more educated population as happened in countries with similar policies.
He quoted World Bank report to support the VYC’s stand, which says “secondary education is a gateway to the opportunities and benefits of economic and social development….’
Mr Agyei-Tuffour said claims that there were no schools to absorb the numbers, in the event of secondary education becoming free was untenable.
He said in the Volta Region for example there were a lot of Senior High schools, with very low enrolment, which only needed to be resourced better to attract students.
Mr Agyei-Tuffour said it was ironical for President John Mahama to recount with glee in his book “My First Coup D’état,” the attractions of the free SHS in north and refuse same for others.
He said excuses of resource constraints, was not tangible, in the wake of the lavish spending and underhand dealings leading to huge loss of state money under this government.
Mr Agyei-Tuffour appealed to chiefs in the Volta Region to stop marshalling their people in support of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but allow them to base their decisions on policy proposal of the political parties and not sentiments for us (VYC).
“We are declaring today that until the day of the election, we will tour the whole region to canvas for votes for the NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo, so that he can implement this great human-centred policy for all”.