Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All

Who Really Owns Free SHS? – Setting The Records Straight Once & For All

Peter Sedufia, a perceived NDC supporter (although he hasn’t publicly confirmed his stands) and movie producer, months ago made this post and honestly, this was exactly what happened regarding Free SHS. This is what I will base my argument on.

He wrote

“Politics de3, when elections are nearing, it feels like a collapsing bank. “Panic withdrawals” nkoaa.

It looks like the free SHS policy by Nana Addo and NPP from 2012 became so popular that the NDC feared they’ll lose the elections if they didn’t do something about it. So, in 2015/2016, they started the free SHS for Ghanaian schools; only it was for day students.

I think it was rather too late, so, they lost.

NPP won, came in and added boarding students to make it free for all.

In 2020, it’s the issue of Okada legalization which is becoming very popular. The NPP has widely opposed and criticised any such attempt to legalise the activity.

But, in what seems to be a sharp twist, members of the NPP, including the transport minister, say government is considering legalizing Okada, and are in consultation with stakeholders.

Another “panic withdrawal”?”

Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All
Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All 10

The truth is what Mr. John Mahama implemented in 2015, the progressively Free SHS, was based on a ‘panic’ reaction to Nana Addo’s Free SHS which he had trumpeted since 2008. Yes, President Nana Addo had been campaigning with Free SHS for years and that had always been his vision. Free SHS was growing popular and Ghanaians were eager to give Nana Addo a chance to implement it, therefore in a panic reaction, Mahama introduced ‘Progressively Free SHS’, which targeted day students. And this is a fact!

Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All
Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All 11

In fact, Nana Addo after feeling vindicated after all the years of attacks on him by the NDC — after the implementation of their “Progressively Free Education” praised Mahama.

He said it was good news for Ghanaians because he knew its benefits.

In an interview with an Accra based Oman FM in 2016, which was captured by CitiFMOnline, Nana Addo said if the President and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government now considers the free SHS education policy possible then it is good for Ghanaians.

”I see it as good news to Ghanaians; everything we[politicians] do is to improve the lives of and benefit Ghanaians. It’s good news to all of us Ghanaians,” he reiterated.

I remember a lot of people praised him for showing maturity and finally feeling vindicated.

In the same interview, the host asked him if they had a campaign message for 2016 general elections since the free SHS he had touted for years had been implemented by Mahama, but he disputed such claims.

He said ”we will have a campaign message; they are a lot of campaign messages, the issues will be about what the NDC was able to do in power.”

However, whatever was implemented in 2015 obviously wasn’t Nana Addo’s vision because he came back with the Free SHS campaign in 2016 and we didn’t see a single NDC member, not even the then flagbearer, oppose him that they had already implemented it.

Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All
Who Really Owns Free SHS? - Setting The Records Straight Once & For All 12

Why? Because what the NDC had implemented, albeit rushed, was completely different from what Nana Addo called ‘Free SHS’.

Let’s take this scenario, if someone should promise to implement ‘Free SHS’ in 2021, Ghanaians will call the person or candidate dumb or worse because that policy called ‘Free SHS’ exists already and every Ghanaian knows this. However, why didn’t the NDC argue way back in 2016 that they had already implemented Free SHS so what Nana Addo was promising was irrelevant?

Nana Addo’s Free SHS belongs to him and the Ghanaians who don’t have short memories know this. Unless we choose to be intellectually dishonest in the quest to win votes.

So who actually own Free SHS, the ball is in your court!

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