THERE WAS drama at the St. Jerome Senior High School at Aboffuor in Offinso yesterday, when students of the school, in unison, knelt and begged Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, to go all out and win the December polls so as to fulfil his free SHS promise.
The charged students chanted on top of their voices: “We want free education,” immediately they spotted Nana Akufo-Addo on their school campus.
The NPP leader, accompanied by other party gurus like Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, F.F. Anto, the Ashanti regional NPP chairman among others, had stormed the school as part of his 10-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
Nana Akufo-Addo, for a moment, looked surprised upon seeing hundreds of students of the school on their knees passionately appealing to him to campaign vigorously to win the elections in order to make Senior High School (SHS) education free in the country.
Utterly shocked about the strange and touching behaviour of the students, the NPP presidential candidate instantly stood for close to 10 minutes before taking his seat at the high table at a mini rally in the school.
The students did not stop even after Nana Addo had taken his seat, as they were heard chanting, “We want free education” following it with shouts of “Nana Addo, Ghana needs you.”
When order was restored, Nana Akufo-Addo, in his succinct remarks, stated that his free SHS promise was real, and that Ghana had the financial wherewithal to sponsor the social intervention programme.
According to him, those who were spreading rumours that free SHS was not possible in Ghana now, did not have the interest of the country’s youth at heart and reiterated that Ghana had the money to finance the free SHS programme.
Nana Addo said even before Ghana struck oil in commercial quantities, the country had the potential to sponsor free education. He added that ex-Finance Minister, the late Kwadwo Baah Wiredu once told him that free SHS was possible even before the oil was found in the country.
He stated that his free SHS promise was a not a political jargon to woo voters and that Ghana could develop and rub shoulders with advanced countries if education was made free for the populace.
Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the days when students dropped out of school because they lost their parents or their parents were poor would be a thing of the past if Ghanaians gave the NPP the nod to rule the country in the December elections.
He said education held the key to Ghana’s future advancement and stressed that Ghana ought to massively invest in the education of her youth, in order to make the country achieve her ambition of becoming an industrial country soon.
Throwing more light on his free SHS policy, Nana Addo noted that education in the country would be reformed, as basic education would start from kindergarten to the SHS level.
He said the free SHS policy, when in fruition, would see an expansion in educational infrastructure, while teachers would be given premium attention and care from the incoming NPP government.
Nana Addo reiterated his stance that under no circumstance should a child drop out of school and noted that the free SHS programme would ensure that at least, children stayed in school till they turned 18 years.
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Aboffuor, Offinso
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