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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

NDC, Free SHS Now, Not In 2032

It is becoming apparently clear that NDC has realised how the free secondary school education as proposed by Nana Akuffo Addo and the NPP in their manifesto is giving them headaches. They did not realise in their dreams that such a policy will meet a universal acceptance by the women, men, rich, poor, NDC supporters, NPP supporters and as a matter of fact all political parties upporters.Initially the President and his NDC administration pooh-poohed the policy and even organized NDC supporters as Makola women who said they have more money than Bill Gates they don't need free secondary education until their own lies hit them in the face that, Ghanaians are going to make it their number one choice in deciding who to vote for and that is when NDC started to play catch up but the train has already left the station and left them behind and no amount of lies from NDC honchos will convince Ghanaians that they are sincere in their educational policies.

The constitution came into effect more than twenty years ago and the stipulation of free secondary school is in there but nobody has taken any steps to implement it until Nana Akuffo Addo made it his priority to bring it to fruition so whether he invented it or tookit from the constitution, it was him who thought the time has come to give all Ghanaians free high school education.

This is what the constitution says about free secondary school education• "Article

25 (1) All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities, with a view to achieving the full realization of that right:

(a) Basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all;

(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education"

The NDC leaders and their supporters are caught in a trap and they don't know how to extricate themselves so they are coming up with nonsensical excuses why free secondary school education is not possible at this time . When did these people realise free high school education is enshrined in the constitution? If they knew that is what the constitution stipulates, then why are they fighting tooth and nail to scuttle its implementation? Initially they were against free secondary school in any form, then they came up with this nonsense that high school education can be free in 20 years, then after reqalising how popular this policy is attracting the voters, we are now hearing that it is not NPP that introduced free secondary school. NPP might not have introduced the free secondary school concept but it is them who want it now, not in twenty or four years later with infrastructural excuses.If we can start two new universities without infrastructure, we can have free secondary school education too without infrastructure.

The UDS university in the North was started without all the needed infrastructure, not even a library but it is now fully resourced. We can implement free secondary school without infrastructure too. The free secondary school started in the North with only one secondary school and we did not wait to build secondary schools before we implemented that policy but we found a way to provide free secondary school to Northerners and nobody complained about lack of infrastructure.

If we can start two new universities without infrastructure, we can have secondary schools too without infrastructure. We can implement free secondary school without infrastructure too. NDC is trumpeting its success of establishing two universities under trees at Volta and Brong/Ahafo regions and if we can hold university lectures under trees, we can also hold secondary school classes under trees too. NDC has been confounded they don't know what to do. Was it Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who started the concept of independence? No, there were people before him that started the fight for independence but it was Nkrumah who agitated for independence now,

Not in 20 years later

Not in four years later

Not in when we have our roads tarred.

Not when we have universities built.

Not when we have hospitals built.

Not when we have industries built.

BUT NOW

If left to Ndc, we will never have free secondary school until we have,

Schools under trees eliminated.

Until we build 200 more secondary schools

Until we build ten training colleges to train teachers(MAHAMA doesn't even know Teacher training colleges doesn't produce secondary school teachers)

Ndc will institute Bursaries instead of free for all secondary schools. We have had Bursaries since KOJO HOOHOO but that does not even take care of 05%. but MAHAMA who enjoyed free secondary school because of his Northern ancestry thinks it is not good for all.

In Mahama's brains, it is better to give rich Northerners children like his father took advantage of to educate his 19 children on poor Southerners sweat but it is abominable to give free education to poor children of the Southern regions, the height of hypocrisy. The latest crazy idea to come from this NDC clueless administration is to standaedize school fees as if that is an option to free secondary school.Free education to every Ghanaian child or cut the Northern free secondary school policy. If after more than 50 years of free education to Northerners have not brought them to par with their Southern counterparts, then it is not going to achieve its aim.

Mahama, go and standardize school fees for Northerners and also find it in your heart to make it a token of your appreciation by paying back the free education you had a a Northerner. We don't need standardized fees but free secondary school education as you had. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

When it is money to give to these greedy Politicians in the form of benefits or 130% pay increase retroactively, then money is not a problem but when it comes to poor citizens, even the little paycheck are not paid for months and in some instances years later but these Politicians always find the money when it benefits them. If we can use 1.4% of GDP to pay dettlement debts to crooks like Woyome and others, we can find 1.3% of GDP to provide free education for our precious children.

FREE SHS EDUCATION NOW, NOT TOMORROW, FOUR YEARS LATER OR TWENTY YEARS LATER.

Justice Sarpong

Houston, Texas

(CARDINAL of TRUTH)