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Dr Onzy Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, has commended President Akufo-Addo for the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.

 

According to him, the nation cannot afford not to educate its people therefore, it was important to have removed the main hurdle in education which is the cost, to enable every Ghanaian to be educated, especially at the secondary level.

 

To that end, the Free SHS programme must be supported by all so that it succeeds.

 

Dr Onzy Nkrumah told Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Thursday, September 21 on the occasion of the celebration of Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday, that: “I congratulated him when he first came with up this. By the way, all the policies of Kwame Nkrumah are available to be copied, plagiarised and abused, and so Nana Akufo-Addo should use all of them not just that one on free education.

Free education was one of the pillars of my father, and if Nana will allow himself to use all of the ideals and the goals of Kwame Nkrumah, that will be terrific and I will support him all the way.

 

“I just don’t think he was well advised to take this course of action about adding founders and using the UGCC as the founders. I think it is just an unfortunate mistake, and when I get the chance to talk to him one-on-one, I will explain it to him in a logical and historical way.

 

“We are brothers, we have to love ourselves as much as we can, so we can really be able to manage our own affairs not our own downfall. When we are divided, we are unable to do it but when we are together we can do it and I will pray for that (SHS).

 

“The Free SHS is absolutely a necessity, it is overdue. I think even with the overthrow of Nkrumah, the people should have continued it. Can we really afford not to educate our people? No …So I think this is a step in the right direction.”

Source: Ghanaweb.com

ATL FM has introduced a new programme dubbed ‘Parliament on Air’. This Saturday will be the maiden broadcast. It is a new debate programme for members of the University of Cape Coast Parliament on ATL FM.

The programme airs weekly from 9:00pm on Saturdays and seeks to offer a platform for students and their representatives to share their views on critical issues concerning students, the nation and the world at large.

The programme was launched on Saturday on the ‘A Week on Campus Show’ at the Campus Broadcasting Services (CBS) center.

A former Deputy Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah is still doubtful about the quality of teaching that will take place in second cycle institutions under free Senior High School policy introduced by the current government and has vowed not to allow his wards to be beneficiaries.

 

“I am not guaranteed of the quality of the teaching under the free SHS, so I will not allow my children to be part of it. One of them gained admission to Achimota but I have asked that he attends Akosombo International School where I am guaranteed of quality”, he disclosed on Agoo TV.

 

According to the former lawmaker for Mfantseman West, he would rather prefer where he can get value for money that enroll his wards in a wholesale policy whose quality remains questionable.

 

“When I know I am paying fees, I will demand accountability but when I am not it is difficult. I am actually not averse to the implementation but the mode in which it is being implemented is the problem. My ward passed, got admission at Achimota but I decided he should go to Akosombo International School”, he reiterated.

 

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government early last week introduced the free SHS flagship programme which was one of its major campaign tools in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 campaign promises to Ghanaians.

 

Government indicates that about 400,000 students from Junior High Schools across the country are expected to benefit from the project which will cost $10 Million dollars out of which 25% has been paid into respective accounts of implementing schools.

Mr Patrick Boamah, the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, has donated assorted learning materials to the pupils of Tesano Cluster of Schools and Apenkwa Basic School in Accra.

 

The items included exercise books, erasers, pencils, crayons, and bags, and it was aimed to support “My First Day at School” of kindergarten and Class ‘1’ pupils of the schools.

 

Mr Boamah advised the pupils to be obedient to their teachers and avoid being truants.

 

He asked the children to study hard, do their homework and pay attention while classes are in session.

 

Mr Boamah urged parents to play their roles effectively by ensuring that their children attend school regularly while providing them with their basic needs.

 

The MP called on parents to occasionally visit the schools of their children to enquire about their performance saying “avoid the tendency of just dumping the children in the schools.”

The authorities at the Accra Girls Senior High School have refused to grant a Rastafarian an admission due to her dreadlocks.

 

The worried father of the student explained that it is against their religion to cut off their locks.

 

“I tried to see the headmistress. She was locked in her office. We want to see her to clarify things. We are Rastafarians as such our kids need to be educated just like every other region. I don’t see why she won’t be able to keep her locks …” he said.

 

He has since called on the government to intervene.

 

Meanwhile, the National Secretary of CHASS has asked parents whose wards are being denied admission based on their belief should report to the Ghana Education Service.

 

He has however admonished his colleague heads to desist from denying students with dreadlocks admission.

The second lady of the Republic of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, has encouraged Ghanaian children to cultivate the habit of reading for intellectual growth and literal adventure.

 

She also asked them to be conscious of what they eat as they exercise and keep their environment tidy to avoid infections. Mrs Bawumia had visited the Oninku Drive, Rahmanyya Islamic, and Kotobabi Basic Schools in Tema where she presented some items including exercise books, pencils and drinks to the children.

 

Welcoming her, Madam Pascaline Ninfaa Kang, Head Teacher of the Oninku Drive Basic School, pleaded for a safe and conducive teaching and learning environment. “Their learning environment is very appalling. Then the fence wall; sometimes we’ll be teaching and learning and a mentally deranged person would walk into the classroom, and then when you want to talk they want to beat you up. So please we are pleading, if we have a fence wall they can’t just walk inside.”

 

She therefore pleaded for security to be provided by saying that “they have stolen every teacher’s phone in this school. You leave your phone in the bag while teaching and somebody steals it, and in the night here is hell. They break the doors because they want a place to sleep.”

 

She also observed a situation in which footballers had taken over their playing field to the extent that they played into the teaching period which created noise and other inconveniences.

 

Madam Ninfaa Kang pleaded for Exercise Books and other logistics to assist in their work saying “we sit four on a dual desk which is highly undesirable. We don’t have text books and so teachers are given just one to write almost everything on the board for children to read.”

 

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema, Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La who accompanied Mrs Bawumia observed that with the launching of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy by the Ghana Government “the future of these children has already been planned by the President of Ghana.”

 

He agreed that the Oninku Drive Basic School was in bad shape: “as we can see, the ceiling is falling; this is a complete death trap as far as these children are concerned.”

 

He added that, “The desks the children are sitting on doesn’t befit the City of Tema. When I turn round and see the black board, at least by now we have to move on to the level of the white board. And this school is even in the centre of the world and a school on the Greenwich Meridian has desks like this. I think the Assembly I am heading has a big job to do, and we promise the Head teacher that within the shortest possible time, we are coming back to look at all these.”

 

He said the issues of fence wall had been captured in the Education Restoration Agenda, and that over 36 schools were going to be fenced with adequate security within the Metropolis to deal with the issue of intrusion.

 

He commended the teachers in the school for their hard work, adding that “with all these challenges we can see they are managing and at the appropriate time, we will come to their aid.”

One of the best things that should ever happen to Ghana is free SHS. It is national in character, the impact is huge but it is costly. So any government that demonstrates the audacity to implement such a policy must be supported by all, more especially when such a policy is a constitutional obligation.

 

In the collective wisdom of Ghanaians the NPP demonstrated convincing commitment in the last election campaign and in their manifesto to implement this policy in a more desired manner and has been offered the mandate to do same. This however does not immune the Nana Addo’s government of the inherent deficiencies that come with implementing such a huge policy.

 

Ghana is not the first country in the world to implement free SHS, however, the development experiences of Ghana and the challenges of Ghana is Ghanaian specific and requires indigenous Ghanaian solutions to them.

 

We are Ghanaians and we know ourselves better. We know the unacceptable levels of economic and social inequality that exist here. We know the kind of salaries and allowances that government appointees take home. We know the kind of salaries and allowances that the article 71 public sector workers take home. We know the ex-gratia of the Ghanaian parliamentarian in his four year term, and we know the kind of outrageous salaries that ministers and board members take home excluding their entertainment, security, fuel and dressing allowances.

 

We also know the daily struggle of a roadside coco seller just as we know the predicament of an average street vendor. We know the poverty of the ordinary civil and public servant just as we are not oblivious of the conditions of Ghanaian subsistence farmer.

 

We know about the financing challenges we have with other social intervention policies such as the National Health Insurance Program, the school feeding program and the capitation grant. We are aware of occasion where wages and salaries of workers are paid on the 4th and 5th of the next month due to difficulty in mobilizing adequate funds. We know about the monthly and quarterly interest payments on our loans which is almost half of our GDP as we still borrow further. We know about our statutory payments to MMDA common fund and GET fund. We have not forgotten about the One million dollars per each of the 216 constituencies annually which amounts to 216 million dollars annually. One village, one dam and one district one factory amongst other promises. We recognize the effort of our president in blocking lots of the existing loop holes but we are also not unaware of allegations of others being created under your watch.

 

Beyond these exorbitantly paid political appointees and the article 71 public sector workers, there are several other people in the private sector who make so much money. These people hold the wealth of this country; they are comfortable and are capable of paying the fees of their wards which they will happily do anyway, so why not give them the chance to pay? Why at all is the need in paying the fees of a minister who enjoys a salary of over ghc17, 000 each month plus all forms of flimsy allowances and per diems? It is great to be audacious but unbridled audacity may be a recipe for chaos.

 

Allow the rich to Pay so you can treat the poor better!!