Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has asked Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, running mate to John Mahama, National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer in the 2020 elections to always check from the data when in doubt about the achievements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Ghana’s educational sector.
He expressed shock as to why the former Education Minister will not consult the data available in the education sector, saying that consulting the available data for information will clear doubts in the mind of the former Education Minister.
Dr. Bawumia made the remarks when chronicling some of the achievements and investments of his government in the education sector at the launch of the Konkomba Education Endowment Fund on Sunday, November 7, 2021, where the former Education Minister, Professor Opoku-Agyemmang was in attendance representing her boss.
“You can see, Prof. Naana Jane, look at the data, the data cannot lie. When in doubt check the data,” adding that the NPP government led by President Akufo-Addo has invested in the education sector more than any government in the Fourth Republic.
The Vice President explained that the free SHS is transforming families, providing access to children who would have dropped out of school.
He mentioned that most middle-class families in the capital have been deprived of house helps as a result of half of the over 400,000 extra students who benefitted from the Akufo-Addo government’s free senior high school program were girls because the girls’ parents went for their wards from such homes so they could access free secondary school education
“An additional 400,000 students have benefitted from Free SHS half of them were girls; many of whom would have been at home because their parents could not have afforded [SHS education].
“When we implemented Free SHS, a lot of middle-class families in Accra and the other cities were finding it difficult to get house girls because the parents of the girls came for them and put them in school”, he noted.
“So, Free SHS has been very beneficial for the girl-child in education”, the Vice President said
Justifying the policy, Dr. Bawumia said: “We introduced Free senior high school education to create equal opportunities for the poor without compromising quality”.
He said despite the good intentions of the policy, some opposed and bastardized it.
“When we introduced Free Senior High School education to create equal opportunity for the poor without compromising quality. Some opposed and bastardized the introduction of free SHS. They said it was a hoax, a 419 promise. They said if they had GHC2 billion, they will not spend it on Free SHS. They said Free SHS would collapse the education system. If we had listened to them, Free SHS would not have happened but Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stuck to his guns and we successfully implemented the Free SHS,” said Dr. Bawumia.
He said that however, the predictions of doom and naysayers against Free SHS have not materialized.
The Vice President observed, “Thankfully, the prediction of dooms for free SHS has not materialized.”
Buttressing his point, he said “Indeed the 2020 results of the WASSCE candidates is the only year in the past six years that more than 40 percent of the candidates who sat for the examination obtained between A1 and C6 in all core subjects. This is the first time in 6 years more than 50 percent passed. We’ve also implemented not only Free SHS but we did Free TVET as a key component of government free SHS and over 65,000 so far have benefitted from the free TVET in the various technical institutes under the Ministry of Education.”