Feature Article of Sunday, 14 October 2012

Columnist: Yawose, John

Educational Thin-Tank Group are Rabble-Rousers'

I get sick when intellectuals of the NDC ‘hardened-hearts’ stock
open their mouths to try to prove the impossibility of the free SHS concept which
has become a flagship campaign programme for NPP and their indefatigable Presidential
candidate - Akufo Ado, for the December 2012 polls.

Their arguments are certainly off course, way down into the Dodowa
forest or perhaps the KOGYAE and DIGYA forests in the Afram Plains — but they
still become so aggressive and emotional trying to convince people with their
nothingness. They make the subject sound

so complicated but it is simple. Their
objective is to confuse and diffuse the issues

to win undeserved votes from our
unfortunate illiterate siblings.

I am reminded of similar
arguments from NDC ‘hardened hearts’ during the challenge on Gulfstream
Aircraft purchase during NDC 2 administration and recently the $10b STX obnoxious
housing deal. Alban Bagbin, Tony Aidoo and the evil dwarfs and greedy bastards
did use big English couched in verbosity, sophistry and deceit to persuade
people including Parliament to accept those stinking deals. They also did it
with Woyomegate- a simple technical mistake on their part which they have succeeded
to let it look legally complicated- and thereby succeeded to pay Woyome several
millions of dollars from the treasury for no work done.

They are at it again. They are at it again using their meaningless
big English to

try to retain power and thereby scuttle the commencement of Akufo
Ado’s great SHS free

policy including the redefinition of the basic school concept
to totally embrace Kindergatin-Primary School-JHS-SHS schooling for our future

Last Friday, there was a news item in the papers thus:

‘’Free SHS is not attainable – University Lecturer

Ghana First, an academic think tank
of some university lecturers, on Friday said infrastructure in the country’s
Junior High Schools (JHS) and Senior High Schools (SHS) is woefully inadequate
to accommodate the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) free SHS policy.

At a press conference in Accra addressed by
Dr. Ebenezer Kofi Hayford, lecturer, Department of Earth Science University of
Ghana said the number of pupils from JHS ready to enter the SHS is more than
the existing facilities can accommodate.

This year alone, 376,859 candidates sat for
the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) to fill 175,000 vacancies in
the existing SHS schools nationwide.

The vacancy available leaves a surplus of
201,000 pupils who will not be able to gain admission into the SHS.

These 201,000 are unable to enter the SHS
not because of cost but because of infrastructure deficit which includes
laboratory space, dining halls space, ICT centres----‘’

I dare say Dr Hayford was talking about irrelevancies here. Dr. Hayford
on infrastructural inadequacies in education, so what? Are Dr Hayford and his group
also going to use sophistry and intellectual dishonesty to bamboozle and confuse
issues? Dr Hayford must answer the following

1. A Why can’t Akufo Ado start
free SHS with the 175,000 students - which the infrastructure can currently
support—out of the 376,859 candidates? -- using Dr. Hayford’s figures in the quote
in paragraph 3 above?

2. B Why should it be that if
free SHS is to be pursued, then Akufo Ado should take on board all the 376,859
candidates at a go even when the infrastructure can’t support the venture?

3. C Why can’t new infrastructural provisions be progressively effected year
by year until we are able to accommodate all the BECE candidates as required?
4. D Was Nkrumah‘s free SHS scheme in the North in the ‘60s, frustrated by
lack of infrastructure at that time?
5. E. Did Nkrumah wait for all
necessary infrastructure to be built before the start of the scheme, then?

In his press conference, Dr.
Hayford made emphatic pronouncement on
the financial cost of providing the necessary infrastructure to provide
desirable accessibility and quality in free education scheme thus; -- ‘’There
are 511 SHS country-wide. Now Greater Accra (with 45 SHS) carries 9.2 per cent
of the cost. The nation-wide projection will therefore cost 1,370,000,000 (1.37
billion) Ghana cedis.’’

I ask again, so what? Dr. Hayford, why are you frightened with 1.3b
Gh cedis? NDC attempted to sink a
whopping $10b of our oil money into the infamous STX housing and the present
parliament approved of it? Did it please you, Dr. Hayford? Was that a prudent

Dr Hayford and Prof Lewis
Enu-Kwesi must compare 1.3b Gh cedis oil money expenditure into infrastructure
for free SHS education and $10b oil money expenditure into STX housing and come
again. The Ghana
First, Educational Think -Tank Group does not impress at all, just seeming like
a rabble-rousing Group.

John Yawose