Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that the move by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to solicit for funds from the public will not be successful to keep the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy sustainable.
According to him, the NPP government failed to conduct extensive consultations to explore sustainable means of funding and the challenges faced after implementation of the policy in September this year, will mostly likely increase in subsequent years.
The government of Ghana revealed that it will set up a trust to receive donations from the public to support education in Ghana.
This was contained in the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement under the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work”.
But Mr Mahama has said that: “This voluntary contribution ‘lalasulala’ will not be successful. We need a broader discussion on how to fund the Free SHS. Just the first year of implementation and we are seeing the challenges. By the time it gets to the second and third years then these problems are going to be multiplied by three”.
He made these comments during an address to party supporters as part of NDC’s Unity Walk held in Tarkwa on Saturday, November 25.
The event is the fourth in a series of walks after similar events were held in Accra, Tamale and Cape Coast.
Mr Mahama said he was at a loss why the government hastily implemented the programme even though funds are lacking to sustain the Free SHS policy.
“Why is government in a hurry to introduce Free SHS whiles the constitution states that it should be introduced progressively? Progressively means implementation gradually and not all at once or by force. However, somebody just came and he says within three years he will implement Free SHS and the outcome is what we are seeing now,” he stated.
Mr Mahama advised the President Nana Akufo-Addo led government to immediately hold broader consultations on funding and resolving the myriad of challenges associated with the policy.
“My advice to Nana is that, it is not too late to call a national stakeholders conference immediately and solicit for people’s opinion so that we can make Free SHS sustainable because it was not originated by one person but enshrined in the 1992 constitution,” he admonished.