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General News of Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

NDC won’t reverse Free SHS – Mahama

Former president John Dramani Mahama has rubbished reports attributed to him that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will cancel the Free SHS policy implemented under the Akufo-Addo-led government.

President Akufo-Addo launched the policy in September 2017 to absorb fees at the second cycle level, but has been plagued with a few challenges.

Nana Addo over the weekend stressed that despite the challenges the Free SHS has come to stay.

“Free SHS is here to stay, because leadership is about choices, and I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians support the choice that I have made. They recognise the importance of the investment we are making in the youth and in the future of our country. The investment will be sustained,” the president said.

In what seems to be a direct reply to the president, Mahama stated: “There are no “naysayers” when it comes to free SHS.”

He noted that “Disagreement over the programme is about the optimal pace of implementation. A more carefully considered plan of implementation adopted by broad stakeholder consultation would have resulted in clear policies and guidelines, which would have avoided the current challenges plaguing the programme and putting our students in harm's way.”

Below is his full Facebook post

There are no “naysayers” when it comes to free SHS. After all it was recognized and enshrined in our constitution by the ordinary people of this nation who gathered at the Consultative Assembly and drew up the 1992 constitution.

Disagreement over the programme is about the optimal pace of implementation. A more carefully considered plan of implementation adopted by broad stakeholder consultation would have resulted in clear policies and guidelines, which would have avoided the current challenges plaguing the programme and putting our students in harms way.

This view is not mine only. Many in the NPP and non-partisan civil society hold the same opinion. It is not too late to hold a national stakeholders forum on the Free SHS Programme in order to carry the whole nation along. The current legacy-seeking and ad hoc manner of implementation will multiply the current implementational problems over the next 3 years.

The false publication by a newspaper that the NDC will reverse free SHS is most laughable, false and diversionary.

Free SHS is constitutional, it must be implemented, but it must be implemented properly according to a clear plan that carries all stakeholders along.