Senior High School (SHS) students in the Ho Municipality of the Volta Region, are being dragged literally from their classroom to participate in the region’s first ever Town Hall Meeting and exhibition programme, slated for today, Friday June 28, 2019.
A request letter from the Regional Co-ordinating Council, dated June 26, 2019, and signed for the Regional Minister, Archibald Yao Letsa, to Regional Directors of Education, said every SHS in the Municipality, is required to present some 25 students from each school.
The students, are expected to fill the Ho Technical University Afeti Auditorium, the venue of the meeting at 9am school hours, where various Ministers and appointees of the Akufo-Addo government, will be engaging residents of the region about government’s programmes and policies.
While on the surface, many may not see anything wrong with the involvement of these students in the meeting, The Herald, has gathered that, there is more to the whipping of students to be massively involved.
According to information, government is anticipating a low turnout and, so it is being proactive by ensuring that the spaces at the auditorium are filled, so that in the event that the public, does not show up in their numbers, the seats would have been occupied by the students.
the Minister’s letter titled ‘Regional Town Hall Meeting Request to invite students from Senior High Schools” said, “In view of the importance and educative nature of the programme, we kindly entreat you to request the Heads of the Senior High Schools within the Ho Township to each bring twenty-five (25) students from their respective schools to participate in it”.
The theme for the programme is “towards enhancing provision of social services and investment in Human Capital in Ghana”.
A copy of the programme, said Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh aka Napo, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, Health Minister, Kweku Agyeman Manu, will form part of the Ministers who will speak.
Others are Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Letsa and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) Dr. Ibrahim Anyas, Municipal/ District Chief Executives, Heads of Departments.
Chairman for the programme, will be the President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbe Sri III.
The Volta Region, is one region the government, has been accused of not implementing its flagship programme, One District One Factory (1D1F)
A group calling itself, the Coalition of Health Care Monitors, weeks ago, demonstrated in the Volta Regional Capital of Ho, over what they term as the deterioration of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Region.
The demonstration dubbed, “Mie Kukum” to wit “we’re dying” was to draw government’s attention to the issue.
The MP for Ho Central, Benjamin Kormla Kpodo, in his address to the demonstrators, called on the government to immediately pay all health facilities in arrears.
“Today’s peace march is to demonstrate very strong support for the National Health Insurance Scheme. We want to send a signal that we support the National Health Insurance Scheme. But we don’t want it to be functioning like this. Former President Rawlings started the NHIS on the pilot basis, then former President Kuffour came and made it national and we are paying dutiful, social security and National Insurance are contributing toward the scheme so there is money for the scheme to operate,”
“That is why we are asking that the money should be given to the NHIS so that they can pay the health service providers,” he said.
Last year the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) CEO, Dr. Samuel Annor, said the NHIS may not exist as we know it in 12 months time because of its financing challenges.
According to the CEO, the scheme, had run out of funds to operate, he said the scheme had zero reserves and owed service providers huge sums of money and appealed for ways of getting funds to defray their debts.
He appealed to the government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) component of the NHIS from 2.5 per cent to at least 3.5 per cent, so that the (NHIA, would have the needed funds to manage the scheme properly.