I will strengthen Free SHS, not destroy it – John Mahama
Former president and a leading candidate for the NDC’s upcoming flag bearer contest, John Dramani Mahama has insisted on the need to review the implementation of the Free SHS policy introduced in September 2017 by the Akufo-Addo led administration.
According to former president Mahama the existing form of the Free SHS policy is fraught with several challenges hence the need for a stakeholder conversation for the best possible way forward as regards its implementation.
“I believe that if Ghanaians come together, we can come out with a workable time table and schedule for implementing Free SHS,” John Mahama said during a recent visit in the Central Region.
A statement released by the office of the former President suggests, among others, a deliberate attempt of “disinformation led by President Nana Akufo-Addo following comments by former President John Dramani Mahama that he will convene a stakeholders forum to address the challenges facing the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme.”
But the office of the former President is clarifying that John Dramani Mahama is not seeking to destroy a policy that will see scores of Ghanaian children educated for free.
Read below the full statement by the office of the former President
I WILL STRENGTHEN FREE SHS THROUGH A REVIEW CONFERENCE — MAHAMA
The John Mahama 2020 Campaign Team has become aware of a deliberate campaign of disinformation led by President Nana Akufo-Addo following comments by former President John Dramani Mahama that he will convene a stakeholders forum to address the challenges facing the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme.
Addressing delegates in the Cape Coast North constituency in the Central Region last week, Mr Mahama pointed to his government’s record of investment in the education sector, particularly secondary education.
His government, he said, committed itself to widening access to secondary education, improving quality and making education affordable.
On Free Senior High School, Mr Mahama observed that in its present form, there are many challenges with its implementation, yet “the government is not heeding to calls for a stakeholders review conference”.
He said further “I believe that if Ghanaians come together, we can come out with a workable time table and schedule for implementing Free SHS”.
Mr Mahama then proceeded to announce that he would convene a stakeholders’ forum to review the policy when he is elected into office in the 2020 elections.
It is important to point out that at no point during former President Mahama’s address to the delegates did he mention that he would collapse the Free SHS programme. That President Akufo-Addo could only come to that conclusion is regrettable, to say the least.
It is important to point out that “collapse” is not a synonym for “review” and it is therefore mind-boggling that President Akufo-Addo could come to that conclusion.
In any case, the call for review by former Mahama is consistent with the recent pronouncement made publicly by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who is on record as saying in a radio and television interview in Accra, that ““there must be changes in the way the policy is being administered in the future”. It is the considered view of former Mr Mahama that the challenges facing the implementation of Free SHS can be addressed, and he is committed to fixing that problem when elected in 2020.
Mr Mahama is deeply committed to the pursuit of high quality secondary education and he will spare no effort in making Ghanaian students as competitive as students from elsewhere on the continent and beyond when he wins the 2020 elections.
MONDAY, 1ST OCTOBER,2018.