But The Problems Confronting The Policy
On assumption of office as the helmsman at the ministry of education, Dr. Mathew OPoku Prempeh, has made it a point to attack anybody, who criticizes him and his administration of the ministry.
The situation hit the roof upon the introduction of free Senior High School, which was dogged with so many problems that could have been averted, had the minister and his people heeded to calls from well-meaning Ghanaians.
A fortnight ago, when he had the opportunity to tell the country, what plans he had for the ministry, he rather went into the gutters, accusing his predecessor, Prof. Jane Naana Agyeman, of not corruption, embezzlement, but leaving him with debt, which every government inherits.
Based on this reasoning, he will leave that ministry, without leaving a liability for his successor. Anyone, who knows Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the person should tell to quit his job, because he does not have the capacity to run a sensitive and strategic ministry, like the ministry of education.
Last Thursday, November 30, the minister when he took his turn at the meet the press series, arrogantly went after those who had raised concern about the problems associated with the implementation of the free SHS, with his cheap political rant daring them.
I have maintained that, although I am against anything free, including the provision of free education, no sane Ghanaian, will wish that, this programme fails. The concern his so-called critics have, is about the way and manner, they decided to put the horse before the cart.
It was the former secretary of state of the United States of America (USA), Collin Powell, who said a dream does not become a reality through magic. Nothing can be achieved without deliberate planning and execution.
Talking gets nothing done, except those who are paid to talk. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, is not paid to talk, he is paid to work, to achieve results and that includes taking suggestions from people, who have been there before him.
If he is as smart as he wants Ghanaians to believe, he will by now have contacted his predecessors to seek for advice, as to how they will able to manage the ministry, without any controversy, but Mr know-it-all, is rather on a frolic of his own to desecrate, and decimate their achievements.
Daring the critics of free SHS, is morally offensive, because they are not doing it out of malice or jealousy, but a shared concern for the future generation of this great nation.
Education, it has been proven worldwide that, it is the surest way out of poverty for every nation, an educated populace is an asset every country desires, so it in the interest of all that, this programme succeeds.
When he took his turn at the meet the press, Napo admitted that though the programme initially faced some teething challenges, most of the claims lack merit and are intended by the critics to divert public attention from the good policy the government has adopted to put the country’s educational system on a sound footing.
As of today, some students are still sleeping on the floor, while others do not have classrooms, as well as desks to sit on. The problems are not over as the minister wants us to believe. In fact some of the problems will outlive him, because the money to fix them, is not going to come from his pocket, but from the government, which is having to deal with so-many competing demands for the scarce resource.
At the beginning of the programme, 20percent payment was provided to the schools to enable the schools attend to the fresh students, when they report. The schools, will be vacating three weeks from now and the remaining 80percent of their money is yet to be released.
This is the first term and first year of the programme and already, we will be entering second term with arrears and by the time the first batch of the free SHS students reach SHS 3, the programme, will be suffocated with debt.
The government should tread cautiously in its bid to fulfill all campaign promises, they have a four year mandate and so must hasten slowly before they drag all of us into an avoidable ditch.
Napo, must learn humility, he must show maturity and must learn to take criticism, uneasy they say, is the head that, wears the crown. He should go back and read what he said about the past government in their handling of some issues, including the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
No leader is above reproach, mistakes are part of the learning curve and if he feels the kitchen is too hot for him, he should vacate it.
Napo, fits the post of Information Minister, it is becoming obvious by the day that, Napo and Mustapha Hamid are playing reversed roles.
Napo talks more than the minister, we pay to talk, the only commonality between the two is, the ease with which they can lie.
The future of Ghanaians from the basic to the tertiary level are in the hands of Napo, he can toy with it, by talking his way out of the problems confronting the sector or he can get down to the serious business of fixing it.
Posterity must remember him, as contributing his quota to the development of education and rewarded in the hall of fame or running it down and getting rewarded in the hall of shame.