NPP MP for Assin South Constituency in the Central Region, John Ntim Fordjour, says the opposition NDC’s progressively Free SHS policy was a poor attempt at removing the barriers to secondary education.
According to him the argument that starting a comprehensively free senior high school programme would burden the country is flawed because the current administration, led by President Nana Akufo-Addo, has demonstrated otherwise.
Speaking on current affairs programme, Hard Truth, on the Joy News channel on MultiTV on Wednesday, Mr Fordjour admits that the current Free SHS policy that has been rolled out by the NPP administration is not as comprehensive as the policy champions would have hoped for, however, it is markedly better than what NDC did when it was in government.
“Their position was clear that free SHS was not possible. Today they are taking a U-turn and saying that they were going to give progressively free SHS...We probably would have gotten to Free SHS in the next 100 years. We have come and we have started immediately,” he said.
The NDC government, under John Mahama, rolled out what it called a progressively free SHS in 2016 in a bid to quell the popularity of the then opposition NPP's campaign promise to deliver free SHS if it wins the election.
Under the NDC programme, about 120,000 boarding students from extremely poor backgrounds were selected as beneficiaries.
The NDC holds that rolling out a blanket free secondary education policy would suffer sustainability challenges.
However, speaking on Hard Truth as a singular guest, John Ntim Fordjour told the show host, Nana Akosua Konadu, that the NDC failed to provide a credible timeline on when it was going to roll out a free SHS policy that would cover even first-year students as the NPP has done.
The lack of timeline, according to the NPP MP, meant the NDC had not plans of implementing a free SHS policy.
President Akufo-Addo launched the flagship free SHS policy on Tuesday amid mixed reactions from the public and policy analysts.
Read: Akufo-Addo fulfils major campaign promise as free SHS starts today While some say the policy will face serious sustainability challenges, others say the President's resolve is a sign that the policy will be a success.