Feature Article of Friday, 12 October 2012

Columnist: Jones, Kwabena Asante

President Mahama’s Optimism Gives Credence To Nana Addo’s Free SHS

The president John Dramani Mahama has given Ghanaians hope that optimism will help this country to develop in the face of numerous challenging problems facing the nation, thereby giving credence to Nana Addo’s free SHS promise to Ghanaians.

The president made these remarks last Sunday when he paid a visit to the World Miracle Church International, at Dzorwulu in Accra. The president admonish Ghanaians to have can do spirit instead of being pessimists. “We see a nation which has become and will continue to be the model of Africa, we see a nation which will continue to have successful elections and hand over power from leader to leader and continue to make progress… We see a nation where we will see technological progress because we are optimist,” he observed. The stands taken by the president, defeat the positions taken by his own ruling party who have attacked the free SHS policy by Nana Akufo Addo saying it is not feasible. Communicators of the ruling NDC who have had chance on any platform to interact with the electorate, ask quetions about the rationale behind that promise. The attack started on BBC programme straight talk when Nana Addo refused to disclose his source of funding because he says it will not be fair to Ghanaians to disclose it on that platform. Nana Akufo Addo later explained his policy of free SHS to Ghanaians during the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) evening encounter with presidential candidates and gave details about his sources of funding stressing that the oil find will be a major source of funding.

The NDC led by the education minister Honorable Lee Ocran held a press conference to tell Ghanaians that Nana Addo’s promise is just a political propaganda to deceive Ghanaian voter for their votes.He said free SHS can never be possible now on unless 20 years time and that Ghanaians should not take Nana Addo and the NPP serious. Honorable Lee Ocran as pessimist as he is, and his party not thinking outside the box believes that anything outside the box will never be possible. NDC communicators like Felix Ofosu Kwakye was on record to have said on Joy Fm programme news file 0n 6th October 2012 that, Ghanaians should not buy into Nana Addo’s manifesto promise to make education at the senior high school free, saying the policy is misleading and fraught with misdiagnosis, another pessimist. Interestingly, the NDC has not come out with anything new on Education in their manifesto which was lunch in Volta Regional Capital Ho on October 4th 2012 apart from duplicating their policy on Education in their 2008 manifesto.

The National Democratic Congress is preaching about accessibility to education but not thinking about how to fund free Senior High School to relieve the burden of an ordinary Ghanaian parent. If the president is telling us Ghanaians to be optimistic and have a can do spirit, and then he should be able to tell government communicators to be optimistic about Nana Akufo Addo’s free SHS and stop being pessimistic.

The question we should start asking ourselves is if Ghana’s first president Dr. Nkrumah implemented his free education policy and people benefited including our current president John Mahama why can’t it be done now? I remember what the NDC said about the National Health Insurance during former president Kufour’s government. When canvassing for votes in the 2008 elections,the NDC promise Ghanaians one time premium for the National Health Insurance but 4 years of being in office we are yet to see when that promise will see light. A lot of broken promises can we trust them again? Let’s us be wise Ghanaians.

Kwabena Asante Jones. ACCRA.