You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 09 09Article 579188

Opinions of Saturday, 9 September 2017

Columnist: Erskine Dziwornu Nuku

The Apostles of Impossibility

After eight months of the most cataclysmic and mortifying defeat of the now opposition NDC in the 2016 elections, they are still buried in a propagandist’s ditch of mendacities and sycophancy.

I thought it served them right to think of a more strategic way of winning power in the next generation rather than what took them to opposition. Maybe they are not abreast with the reality of the electorates rather than beating the drum of insults and chanting the psalms of impossibility.

Many were thinking they could be a very efficient opposition to the now ruling government as the latter was when they were in opposition. The fate is totally different as they took to be baptized in lies, uncouth propaganda and generic obsequiousness. They are now gradually being revered as apostles of impossibility as their communicators fumbles at government policies especially the now touted FREE SHS.

From 2008 to 2016, when the then candidate and now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo was preaching the gospel according to FREE SHS, scores from the opposition including the then president and now former president John Dramani Mahama were skeptical and making senseless comments about the coming of the “messiah”. Let me share few of what they were saying about the free SHS message;

•Anything free is not quality - Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, 4th July, 2012

•Ghana doesn’t need free SHS - Asiedu Nketsia, 18th February 2012

•Free SHS can only be achieved in the next 20yrs to come - Lee Ocran, 21st November 2012

•Nana Addo can never implement free SHS, he’s only deceiving Ghanaians - Murtala Mohammed 15th October, 2012

•Where is Nana Addo going to get the money for the free SHS - Kwesi Pratt, 31st July 2012

•Nana Addo doesn’t understand the term free SHS and doesn’t even know the cost - Felix Kwakye, 3rd July, 2012

•Free SHS is 419 - Asiedu Nketsia

•We need quality education not free SHS - John Dramani Mahama, 29th November 2012

•Free SHS is a scam and sham - Omane Boamah 1st July 2012

•We are already implementing free SHS - John Dramani Mahama, November, 2016

These annotations are born out of shear propaganda, lack of focus and the inability to think deeply. Now that the NDC can see and feel that with vision, determination, hard work and competence and political commitment, all dreams can be achieved, they are shifting the goalpost.

Now Okudzeto Ablakwa, who used to say free SHS is not achievable is now saying “it is not sustainable: won’t stand the test of time” he shamefully supported the most unscrupulous and antagonistic comment as “what is clear to me is that government is going to struggle to find the money. For an adequate implementation of free SHS, you will need GHC 600million a term”
This is the very person who said they have started the policy with about 10000 students at a cost of GHC 2000.00 per student for a year.

Disgracefully, for the total visionary leadership of his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and Dr. Mahumudu Bawumiah, the policy started with more than 400,000 students at a cost of GHC 900.00 per student for a year.

This is in total contrast to politically acclaimed “Social Democrats” to a “Capitalist” type of government. For the proposed cost of GHC600 Million per year for the policy by the NDC, I am not surprised because the party is known for creating, looting and sharing and basically inflating and overpricing of any cost for the past eight years. I will only stick to the recent revelations ($74M dustbin and GHC 98M fumigation contracts by JOSPONG) of Manasseh Azuri Awuni of Joy FM.

Today free SHS is here! My granny used to say, “when you cook for a blind man and he didn’t appreciate it, why then wash and iron his cloths?” Let’s not heed to the propaganda mechanism of the NDC and move on as a nation. The recent mad rush to the MoE and the pressure on the CSSPS by parents and students of the free SHS is an enough convincing evidence that the policy has come to stay. On the onset, what we only discussed was about school fees that will be absorbed by the government.

We didn’t even know the policy covers even school uniforms, textbooks, free meals and sandals. The greatest positive impact of this policy is that, every first year student in Ghana now is going to school the first week of the first term: historically unprecedented. In my village, almost all first year students go to school in the second term and those who even go the first term, at least waste a whooping ten weeks or more of the first term in the house because of money.

In the near future of the free SHS policy, I know the NPP government will abolish the writing of BECE and SHS education be made the basic education for all Ghanaians. I want to recommend that the NPP government reconsider the cutoff aggregate for entry to SHS by the free policy. Initially I was thinking like the NDC who were polluting the air that the cutoff point for the CSSPS will be aggregate 24 but subsequent comments from government communicators made me believed that it will be the pass aggregate used previously by GES, thus 36.

Contrary to my assumptions, the government rather pegged the pass aggregate at 45. A stand I think will position a dire consequence on private schools. The private SHS concept was originally developed to cater for students who could not be admitted because of their inability to get the stipulated aggregates for the entry into the public schools. If this current aggregate is maintained, the private educational sector will collapse because of enrolment.

Therefore, I want the government and the Ghana Education Service to peg the cutoff aggregate at 24 to make way for private schools to absorb the unfortunates.