In the immortal words of President Akufo-Addo, “education is the foundation on which any nation is built”. It is by this belief that it does not come as a difficulty for him to make education the center-policy of his government. The sheer passion and drive are anchored on his desire to see every child of school-going age in the classroom irrespective of their financial status – no child should be left out on this vehicle of progress.
This vision was made clearer when he first attempted to seek the mandate of the people in 2008 where he suggested that it was time to make Senior High School free and by extension a free tertiary education in the next phase upon a successful roll-out of the free primary education by the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
We cannot also ignore the apparent fact that many of our senior citizens who by dint of hard work find themselves in academia, politics, medicine, law, business, banking etc would not have attained such grace but for free education that was advanced to most of them. It is important that we work-back to such an era – governance should be a progression and not retrogression. Indeed, there are former Presidents who had the benefit of Free SHS and University education which was topped-up with an allowance.
True to the words of President Akufo-Addo, he has taken the bull by the horn and offered courage, compassion, selflessness, and patriotism to realise this dream of our forebears. Today, we have all lived to witness a successful implementation of the Free SHS which has seen a significant number of our brothers and sisters who would have hitherto been at home but found themselves in the four corners of the classroom.
The next NPP government under President Akufo-Addo promises to take a giant leap by ensuring that no person who has gained admission into a tertiary institution is deprived of access as a result of their inability to pay their fees. This forward-looking policy will provide all such students except for nursing and teacher trainees who are already on the allowance, the option to obtain a flexible student loan. The game-changer is that students will no longer be required to provide GUARANTEES which has been a bane to students throughout these years – all one will need is an IDENTIFICATION NUMBER from the Ghana Card. The repayment of the student loan will be deferred with a one-year grace period after the student has completed their national service. Therefore, technically, the payment of the loan will begin in 3 YEARS time after school.
There is also good news for our potential lawyers who seek to undertake their vocational training in Ghana. The current system until now did not have a positive outlook regarding the admission of eligible students to progress to the Ghana School of Law with a lack of infrastructure being the primary reason. The next phase of the Akufo-Addo Presidency promises to expand the infrastructure to increase access to legal education to all eligible students in Ghana. The first phase has already been rolled-out which has seen a wider number in admission for the present academic year through a double-track system.
The Akans have an adage which goes as “W’aforo Gyama asi, dua b3n so na worekope Kotokoro?” in other words, you don’t return from the place where you can get something and ask of it somewhere.
Simply, 4 more to do more!