The success of every nation largely depends on how well its citizens are educated. Aristotle defined education as ‘the process of training man to fulfill his aim by exercising all the faculties to the fullest extent as a member of the society”.
To be able to achieve the aim of man through education solely depends on the accessibility of the citizenry to formal education in the country.
Many couldn’t live to exercise their fullest capacity in the society because of their inability to access formal education, which is mostly caused by financial constraints.
Recently, a research was conducted at our various prisons and clearly, the larger number of adolescents who were imprisoned mostly fell under the category of school drop outs. This simply means, if the Ghanaian child is given access to formal education, the likelihood of not being a vagabond is assured.
In 2008, the then Presidential candidate for the NPP, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo promised FSHS after former President John Agyekum Kuffour had successfully, implemented Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education(F.C.U.B.E). This meant, every Ghanaian child of school going age, could have access to free education from Kindergarten to Senior High School. Many were those who never believed in him. Most Ghanaians were of the view that, it was just a promise to win elections. He couldn’t get the nod to lead Ghanaians that year.
In 2012, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo once again led the NPP into the general elections, once again, the promise of making Senior High School education took the centre stage of his campaign promises. The same doubting Thomasses were of the belief that, it was just an empty promise and the aim was to deceive Ghanaians. Once again, he was rejected and lost the bid to former President John Mahama.
In 2016, the NPP once again, presented Nana Akufo-Addo as it’s flagbearer. The Free Senior High School Education promise, once again, featured in their campaign promises and it was one of the most talked about promises in the heat up to the 2016 general elections. On the contrary, the then President, John Dramani Mahama and his party, were vehemently opposing the idea of Free Senior High School education. The NDC is on record, to have run twenty different adverts which were all aimed at opposing the implementation of Free Senior High School Education. To them, the implementation could only be possible in 20 years time. This time, Ghanaians responded to the call of electing Nana Akufo-Addo as their president. Indeed, he is on record, to have won general elections in this country with the widest margin.
Fast forward in 2017 after H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo was sworn in as the first gentleman of the land, he announced his intention of fulfilling the promise of making Senior High School Education free. Many were of the view that, his government was very young in office, and to implement such a flagship program at such an infant age, could be disastrous. To the surprise of Ghanaians, the determined President insisted, the program should be implemented and kick off in September, 2017. Lo and behold, it came to pass as instructed by the President with the aid of his able ministers responsible for Education.
From then till now, the policy has been a success and in fact, over 1,200,000 children have had access to Senior High School education under this policy as compared to previously, when parents had to pay fees for children to attend.
The Free Senior High School policy has reduced drastically, the burden on parents going in for loans to fund their wards education, hence reducing the risk of drop-outs and streetism which could lead children into social vices such as drug abuse, armed robbery and prostitution.
Ghanaians have once again, the chance to go to polls come December 7th, 2020 to make a choice between the FSHS man and the one who said, it could only be possible in 20 years time. Your guess could be good as mine, which of these candidates, the beneficiaries of the policy including their parents shall vote for?
Baba Alhaji, Former Polling Station Chairman, Manhyia North Constituency.
Source: flyfmonline. Com/Kwabena Frimpong