Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has credited
the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being the only party that has initiated
better policies to transform the education sector.
The Minister who is
also the MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi in the Eastern Region was addressing the 27th
Annual Residential and delegate’s summit of the Ghana National Union of
Technical Students in Kumasi.
Oppong Nkrumah said unlike President Mahama
who always opposes programs that support young people, President Akufo-Addo’s commitment
to the Ghanaian youth remains unchanged
” Very often you will
find that it is the NPP tradition that leads in interventions and programs that
are aimed at supporting young people and education specifically. The Kufuor
Administration under the NPP introduced the Capitation grants, school feeding
program and the extension of the senior high school program from three to four
years while introducing model schools for more intakes” he said.
He said the trend has
continued by the Akufo-Addo administration under the NPP with the introduction
of the Free SHS which gives every Ghanaian child a right to attend secondary
education for free whether rich or poor.
He added that it was
the believe of government that Technical and Vocational Education &
Training (TVET) was a major pillar for development hence the need to expand
technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels
and thereby strengthen the linkages between education and industry, as well as
give opportunities to the young ones, to deploy their skills, to employ
themselves and others.
‘’Government is also
undertaking structural reforms by setting up a TVET Service, and TVET Council,
and dedicating a whole division of the education service to Technical and
Vocational Education, which would have its own Director General.
The Ministry of
Education has also been restructured, dedicating one Deputy Minister entirely
to technical and vocational education”, he said.
His comment is coming
after former President Mahama has responded to claims that he had plans of
scrapping the free senior high school policy.
According to President
Akufo-Addo, “I know that there are people in this country who don’t want this
policy, who have been campaigning against this policy. They are dreaming that
they are going to come back to power to cancel the policy.”
He continued, “I want them to know that they are
not coming back to power, and the Free Senior High School policy has come to
stay. They still haven’t woken up from their dreams; they dreamt in 2016 that
they were on course for victory. They did not know that the Ghanaian people
were no longer interested in entrusting them with power. They still haven’t
woken up from their dreams”.
The President made this known on Tuesday, 13th
August, 2019, when he addressed staff and students of the Bolgatanga Senior
High School, Bolgatanga, in the Upper West Region, as part of his 2-day working
visit to that region.
Speaking at the 27th Annual Residential Delegates Congress organised by the Ghana National Union of Technical University Students in Kumasi on Wednesday, 14 August 2019, Mr Mahama said the policy is underpinned and guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and it cannot be overturned by any government.
“But all administrations, including this one (Akufo-Add government) and any future one has an obligation to make it a qualitative and enjoyable experience for our children. And I’m determined to make secondary education a beneficial learning experience more than the current miserable conditions our children are having to face under Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration,” he said.
The programme was under the theme: “Prioritisation of Technical and Vocational Education, a Vehicle to Accelerate Industrialisation”.
Mr Mahama further added that: “At a later date, before the elections of 2020, I intend to lay out, in detail before all stakeholders and the good people of Ghana, our blueprint for the education sector and experientially our plan for making the free SHS programme more sustainable”.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal