Former President John Dramani Mahama has hinted at a major stakeholders’ meeting within the first three months of his next presidency to forge consensus on how the Free senior high school (SHS) policy must be implemented.
He observes that there are major challenges affecting the policy as a result of the ad hoc manner in which it was implemented.
The former president stated these while addressing a lecture at the University of Cape Coast last Thursday.
The lecture was to assess the state of education in Ghana today.
It was hosted by a former Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.
Mr Mahama, who will contest the next year’s presidential elections as candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), indicated that the country must open up consensus building as regards the incumbent government’s flagship policy.
“I want to assure you that if I become president of this country again or let me say by the grace of God when I become president of this country again, within the first three months of assuming office, we will hold a stakeholder meeting on free SHS and we will forge a consensus in this country on how it should be implemented so that we do not toy with the destinies of our children.”
He said the ad hoc nature of the implementation reared its head in the reaction of government functionaries when he indicated that the double-track system accompanying the policy will be abolished under the NDC.
He said government functionaries began by saying that the system will be abolished within seven years, then they came down to two years, then one year “and the next thing I hear is by September”.
He said it is not possible since not a single dormitory has been put up by the government since assuming office in 2017.
He said they are depending on the mortgaging of the GETFund and the first tranche of $500 million.
“[But] even if it arrives, the process you have to go through for procurement and all that will definitely take you beyond September.”