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General News of Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama has no right to criticise Free SHS – Napo

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has angrily lashed out at former President John Dramani Mahama for criticising the free SHS programme implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led government.

Speaking on Adom TV’s morning show Badwam on Tuesday, February 27, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said Mahama has no right to criticise the NPP’s flagship programme and should therefore refrain from commenting on it.

John Dramani Mahama on Saturday, February 24, giving a speech after the Unity Walk organized by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Somanya in the Eastern Region lambasted the current government for implementing the free SHS in haste.

According to him, it is prudent for the government to call for stakeholders meeting to address the challenges facing the free SHS policy as it is stifling other developmental projects.

“The problem this government is facing and it is in their own interest is that, Free Senior High School is absorbing all the fiscal space they have and so almost every money you have, you are having to put it into Free Senior High School. So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you can’t pay GETFund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School,” Mr. Mahama said.

But Napo in a quick rebuttal said Mahama should shut up as he has no moral right and not in the position to criticise the free SHS policy because he couldn’t implement his Progressive free SHS successfully.

“What did Mahama’s Progressive free SHS bring to Ghanaians? His flagship programme was GH¢30 per student but he couldn’t even pay for a student, it’s not surprising because his government just left debt for us... When you (Mahama) were president you started with Progressive free SHS, for two years you couldn’t pay for your flagship programme. You couldn’t pay for Day students, 100,000 boarders you couldn’t pay... If he had asked himself about his failed programme he wouldn’t have stood in front of Ghanaians to tell those lies or say anything about the project”, the Education Minister added.

He further called on the opposition NDC to prove him wrong by providing evidence on their flagship programme whether it worked out successfully and also prove they didn't leave any debt behind.