Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said that while the Mahama administration built only 23 out of the 200 Community Day Senior High Schools (E-blocks) it promised, the Akufo-Addo government, in its first term of office, has been able to add 27 more E-blocks to accommodate senior high school students enjoying the Free SHS programme.
Dr Bawumia told Techimna-based Link FM during his tour of the Bono East Region that unlike the Akufo-Addo government, former President John Mahama and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) “do not believe” in the Free SHS programme even though they claim they will do.
Dr Bawumia also said he does not understand Mr Mahama’s thinking behind his promise to add private schools to the Free SHS programme and wondered if that meant a future government of the NDC would take over the private schools if they are to enjoy free SHS.
Speaking at the manifesto launch of the NDC last month, the party’s vice-presidential candidate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, stated that the next NDC administration will expand the Free SHS programme to include private schools in deprived areas, adding that, the programme’s “numerous challenges will be addressed, and higher standards introduced.”
“The next NDC government will make the Free Senior High School Programme better by ensuring that its numerous challenges are addressed, and higher standards introduced.
“We'll expand the Free SHS programme to cover students in private Senior High Schools in underserved/deprived areas,” she said on Monday, 7 September 2020 in Accra.
The former Education Minister said the next NDC administration, if elected into office, will also “abolish the double-track system.”
In August, Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s boss, former President Mahama, said he has no intentions whatsoever of abolishing the free senior high school policy instituted by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Speaking at the Dagbon Overlord’s palace during a courtesy call on the Ya Na, as part of his campaign tours of the Northern Region, Mr Mahama said: “Free Senior High School education has come to stay”.
“If anybody tells you that I, John Dramani Mahama, son of E.A Mahama, will abolish Free SHS when I come, tell the person he is a bloody liar”, he insisted.
According to him, “What I am against is the poor implementation of the free SHS, which is creating great inconvenience for the parents, for the students and for the teachers and the point I have made is that we can make it better.”
“If this government had followed our plan of continuing with the 200 new Senior High Schools that we were building, we will not have the current situation that we have in our free SHS plan”, he said.