Vice President responds to Mahama’s free SHS criticism
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy introduced by the Government is a transformational policy meant to build the human capital of the nation.
He explained that government’s expenditure on the policy should be seen as a necessary investment for future development of the country.
Speaking at Obo Kwahu in the Eastern Region, Vice President Bawumia noted that when Ghana attained independence, the people in the North negotiated and obtained free education from the Nkrumah government.
Dr Bawumia said the Nkrumah’s free education policy benefited people in the north significantly, which he was a beneficiary.
“I am a beneficiary of free education in the north, just like many members of the NDC including former President Mahama.
“I am absolutely convinced that at this stage of our development, Free SHS should be enjoyed by every Ghanaian SHS student”, Vice President Bawumia emphasized.
He therefore, found it extremely difficult to understand that former President Mahama, who was a direct beneficiary of the free education in the north sought to derail the implementation of the FSHS policy.
Dr. Bawumia acknowledged that Free SHS was expensive but it would be more expensive for the country to have large number of the people uneducated.
“Our mission should therefore be to help grow and manage the resources of Ghana in a manner that will enable us to sustain this transformational policy,” he said.
The Akufo-Addo-led government in September 2017 rolled out the nationwide programme designed to provide free senior high school education to all Ghanaian youth.
However, former President Mahama and the NDC Communication Team have questioned the rationale behind the programme, arguing that it was a misplaced priority, which would have dire consequences on the country’s finances.
Vice President Bawumia insisted that the Free SHS could not be a problem on the country’s finances since it was designed to reduce hardships on Ghanaians.
Vice President Bawumia mentioned the implementation of other human-centred policies by the Akufo-Addo-led government such as the One-Village, One-Dam and One-District, One- Warehouse policies, as well as increasing the Capitation Grant and allowances for People Living with Disability.
He added that government had reduced import duties on goods and vehicles, engaged 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps, cancelled fees for postgraduate medical training, restored book and research allowances for lecturers and stopped the freeze on public sector employment resulting in over 350,000 people employed.