Former President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated his intention to review the Free Senior High School Policy if voted into office as President in 2020.
Mr. Mahama who was speaking at the NDC’s Campus Lecture Series at the University of Cape Coast on Thursday said an NDC led government will ensure that broader consultations are made on the free SHS policy to ensure its proper implementation.
“I want to assure you that if I become President again, three months into office, we will hold a stakeholder consultation on how to implement this policy so that we don’t toy with the lives of our students” Mr. Mahama assured.
Mr. Mahama said the FREE SHS policy as introduced by the NPP government was not carefully thought through and thus its effect is heavily affecting the development of basic and tertiary level education. Describing the trend as worrying, Mr. Mahama added that the use of ad hoc committees in addressing the educational needs of the country is out of place but rather, a broader stakeholder consultation was needed.
“For an important and critical policy like FREE SHS, we say, let’s hold a consultation, let’s bring students, let’s bring educational experts and all together and plan on how to implement this policy but government has refused completely and says they have done enough consultations already.”
Mr. Mahama noted that, the development of every nation is hinged on education and such should not be manipulated for political gains. He said, “Knowledge is important that is why the topic of education evokes such passion in our nation, because it is about the future of our young people”.
“We cannot experiment with the future of young people because they only have one opportunity. If that opportunity is missed, it scares the child for life and that is why all aspects of education must be taken carefully especially the basic education” he added.
He said it was sad to note that due to the free SHS policy, quality service delivery has reduced drastically.
“One of the things the teachers in the secondary school tell is that some of the materials that arrive at the door of secondary education, they cannot do anything with.”
According to the former president, his administration prioritizing education initiated the building of the ‘E Schools’ which have been abandoned by the NPP government. He said the government has been hostile to individual teachers who shared dissenting views on the implementation of the free SHS policy, defeating the purpose of democracy.
KOJO DEI/ATL FM NEWS