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Opinions of Friday, 22 September 2017

Columnist: K. Badu

Won’t 1.3 million students show their appreciation in 2020?

It is true that the NDC faithful are well aware of the huge debt the Mahama government left behind, hence wondering how any government could afford to implement and sustain the seemingly admirable, albeit costly social intervention such as free SHS.

I must, however, confess that I feel extremely uncomfortable listening to the NPP government communicators persistently engaging in heated, albeit, in my view, needless debate with the opposition NDC operatives over the poverty reduction free SHS.

To me, the NPP faithful must not waste their precious time arguing with disputatious NDC operatives over the designated name of the programme. For it does not matter whether we call it progressively free or comprehensively free. What matters most is the benefits that can be derived from the programme.

The fact however is, by the year 2020, the NDC operatives will take back their progressively free appellation when all the three levels of the SHS become free.

In the meantime, they can go ahead and incite the forms 2 and 3 students who are not benefiting from the new policy.

The fact of the matter is that by 2019/2020 academic year all the students in the three levels will be enjoying the free SHS and will possibly show their gratitude to the NPP government for their great sense of foresightedness.

Somehow, credible sources have it that the current students in forms 2 and 3 are extremely unhappy with the erstwhile NDC government’s unfair treatment.

The students beef stems from the fact that although it was possible for the outgone NDC government to roll out the free SHS programme as shown by the NPP government, Mahama’s government woefully failed to do so.

The students, however, insist that if Mahama’s government had rolled out the programme a few years back, all the students would have been enjoying the free SHS by now.

There you go. If the NDC operatives think they are fighting in the corner of the aggrieved students and their families, they better watch out. The fact is, the students and their guardians are extremely unhappy with the erstwhile NDC government for letting them down.

In fact, I could not agree more with the disgruntled students and their families. Simply because, if just a little over eight months the NPP government has able to implement free SHS, what then prevented the NDC government from rolling out free SHS in their eight years in office?

Well, my advice to the NPP faithful is: refrain from debating the inveterate propagandists, whose prime objective is to seek to punch needless holes in the free SHS implementation by any means possible.

Since assuming office, Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides with a view to improving social mobility. Indeed, the implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others, will improve social mobility in the long run.

And since education is crucial to the advancement of a nation, all discerning Ghanaians must give their full support to Akuffo-Addo’s well-thought-through free SHS policy.

Unfortunately, however, it would appear that the minority NDC operatives are not supportive of the mode of the free SHS implementation.

As a matter of fact, the minority NDC operatives have a penchant for shrilling, grouching and opposing for opposing sake.

If that was not the case, how could a supposedly responsible opposition organize a press conference with a view to playing down the associated benefits of the newly implemented free SHS?

Dearest reader, what is the relevance in debating endlessly over the naming of the otherwise advantageous policy like free SHS?

It is indeed difficult to understand an opposition party whose main duty is to offer a credible opposition and yet failing to do so.

My heart will continue to bleed for my beloved Ghana, so long as we have in our midst the cunning wolves, who have unfortunately disguised themselves in sheep’s clothing.