At any ordinary day, I would just have read the President’s speech without bothering to comment on it. But this time round, I feel I should since it has something to do with my area of interest now, education.
With some few days leading to this year’s May Day celebration, a media friend of mine posted that he would be shocked if the president made any new promises to workers. I wondered why but understood where he was coming from. He felt that the many sweet promises of the President to Ghanaians have been unfulfilled.
The President never made a promise on May Day. I guess his advisers might have told him it would be unwise to do so considering the agitation at the labour front.
A day after the May Day, the President left for Kumasi on a three-day visit and over there made a fantastic promise to school children. He was going to provide free shoes to school children.Children will not be left out of the promises the President is making to his people. If this announcement had been made at a school gathering, the President was sure to receive his loudest applause in his political history from the school children.
He made this known when he opened The Defense Industry Holding Company factory in Kumasi. This will be a welcoming news for school children as they get ready to go back to school.
The free shoes and sandals will be an additional boost to the already existing free school uniforms, bags and exercise books to school children in deprived districts in the country. I need to also add the school feeding programme. Should I say this new intervention is laudable and in the right direction. The overall aim by government I suppose is to increase access and improve quality education at the basic level.
With this new government policy announced by the president will be the second intervention by the Mahama’s government for education. Earlier in the year, the President cut sod to commence work on the 200 community day secondary schools. The program is expected to start next year. . I will be taking a tour to Nyanoa, near Adeiso in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region to see progress of work on the first community secondary school to tell Ghanaians what you are doing. In the meantime, I will tell the Minister of Education to remind you that we have only 17 months into the implementation of the programme and you have cut only one sod. When will the rest of the 45 take place.
This latest announcement however bring to bear questions about challenges earlier interventions are faced with and if these interventions are actually aiding the attainment of quality education.
If efforts are not made to improve the provision of teaching and learning materials and infrastructural like classrooms, laboratories and libraries, these interventions will only be to score political points.
Mr. President, will you indeed provide free shoes and sandals to our school children? Parents will be spared some few cedis which they will have used in buying shoes and sandals for their children. But you fell short to tell us when exactly we should expect them and the cost involved. My school children will be expecting them should I tell them the package you have for them.
Am sure my children will walk to my office every day to remind me about my announcement from you to them. If that happens, you are also sure, I will come bothering you about this promise.