A leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba is arguing, the “primary source” of their position on a controversial educational policy is not what they said in campaign speeches.
“I don’t want to be drawn into press statements; I want to stick to my manifesto, my NDC manifesto. The manifesto was very clear”, he insisted on Joy FM’s Newsfile,
‘NDC Forum For Setting The Records Straight’ in a press conference October 24, 2012 organized by some deputy ministers in 2012 titled NDC’s Quality Education Versus NPP’s Azaa 419 Free SHS Education.
They said the NDC aims to “pay maximum attention to the basic level education- the root of the educational tree- by making it completely free, compulsory and universal and subject to resource availability progressively make higher level education affordable”.
And “unlike the New Patriotic Party (NPP), [the NDC] does not believe in putting the cart before the horse. The NDC understands that when the foundations are solid then an enduring educational superstructure can be built”.
The NDC has been fending off a barrage of criticism from the opposition following an announcement nearly a fortnight ago by the president to implement a free senior high school policy. The NPP believe, their rival has stolen their policy and has done a U-turn on a policy the NDC campaigned against.
Kweku Baako pointed out, the NDC is facing, “a deficit of credibility” after their u-turn. But Amaliba disagrees.
“We have never kicked against it”, Amaliba insisted. “Indeed the problem is, people are not listening and people just want to listen to one side”, he said.
He asked Ghanaians to “go and check page 17” of the party’s manifesto which said the NDC favoured a progressive introduction of free SHS as against NPP’s instant introduction.
“If you introduce free SHS at a go, you are going to collapse the economy. We argued against a wholesale introduction of free SHS but a progressive introduction will not”, he went further.
NPP MP for Asante Bekwai, Joe Osei Owusu rebutted, “the challenge is what people heard you say not what you wrote. What you go out to tell the people on the platform is what they will listen to”.