October 31, 2011

A former Minister of Education under the erstwhile Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party administration, Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, has cautioned the leadership and the rank and file of the NPP not to focus their attention on the failures and incompetence of the ruling government but rather concentrate on telling Ghanaians what they intend to offer when given the chance to rule the nation once again.

In the view of Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi, it should not be the main focus of the NPP to educate the electorate about the incompetence and the flaws in the Mills-Mahama led NDC government because the masses have been witnessing it for themselves.

He believes what remains very critical is for the NPP to educate the electorate about the sound programmes the next NPP administration under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has in store for the people.

Speaking on TV Africa’s talk-show programme “The Bare Facts” on Tuesday, the former minister noted that members of the NPP were paying too much attention to the happenings in the NDC while neglecting the core duty of explaining the vision of the party’s flagbearer to the masses.

The situation, he noted, could cause a serious problem for the party during the 2012 electioneering campaign. He took a serious swipe at the Mills-Mahama administration over its mismanagement of the national economy, which had led to increasing hardships for the people. “The once expanded economy, left behind by ex-President Kufour, is now shrinking under the incompetent government of President Mills. Now, the government is broken. Loan borrowing, upon loan borrowing has taken place; and yet, the country has achieved nothing,” he lamented.

The MP for Techiman North added: “We are aware that the NDC can no longer make anything better happen to Ghana; this every Ghanaian is aware of. What we need to do as a party is for us to constantly trumpet to the people what Nana Addo and the NPP can offer.”

His belief, however, is that members of the NPP have not been doing enough to let Ghanaians know about the good policies of the party’s flagbearer, stressing that the time had come for them to “make sure Nana Addo’s vision for a prosperous Ghana is trumpeted at all platforms.”

Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi described Nana Addo as ‘the ultimate provider of change’, adding that Nana Akufo-Addo had projected a tough, mature, and presidential image with high card of experience. “He is a great and ambitious man, bursting with energy and ideas. He looks purposeful, serious, and poised to win the 2012 presidential election. He deserves the opportunity to prove his salt, and implement all manner of his ideas to our gradually sinking country,” he stated.

According to Prof Akumfi, the country’s current mood has been moving towards a proper change due to the monumental disappointment of President Mills’ government, echoing that the wild promises he made to the people still remained unfulfilled.

Touching on education, the one-time Director General of the Ghana Education Service reiterated why Nana Addo’s Free SHS education is a every good policy, explaining that apart from the therapeutic potential of education for the individual, Nana is also aware that when education is properly organized, the society as a whole benefits in terms of socio-economic development.

He added that fresh SHS students currently pay various fees and levies that total between GHC300.00 and GHC500.00, while continuing students pay between GHC150.00 and GHC200.00 per term. “The fact that many parents in the country can simply not afford these high fees cannot be contested. Our flagbearer believes that the ‘ability to pay’ should not be a barrier to a child who wants to access basic and secondary education, hence, his determination to abolish fee paying at the senior high school level,” he explained.

He noted that since 2009, the quality and standards of education has drastically fallen, insisting that the nation needs a visionary leader like Nana Addo to salvage the deteriorating situation.

According the renowned educationist, the way forward to reversing the current abysmal academic performance of students at both the JHS and SHS levels requires massive infrastructural development, and provision of more qualified teachers as well as quality curriculum.

These, in his view, are missing in the educational policies of the ruling NDC.

The New Statesman