The MP for Assin Fosu North, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong, has lambasted Policy think thank, Imani Ghana, for suggesting that Nana’s proposed Free SHS policy was unfeasible and unrealistic.
Imani Ghana had stated in a report commissioned by GhanaReporters, that funding the NPP’s free SHS policy would cost three times more than the NPP had projected.
Imani estimated that about $1.1 billon, rather than the NPP’s envisaged $400,000 , would be required to fund the project after four years of implementation .
The policy think thank added that investing such a huge amount of money in making SHS free may not be economically prudent, as it could cause other sectors of the economy to suffer.
Imani, therefore, described the proposed free SHS policy as ” too ambitious”and “unrealistic”, calling on the NPP to explain how it intends to finance the programme.
But this does to seem to have gone done well with NPP functionaries, as many of them have publicly condemned and rejected the Imani report outright.
Kennedy Agyapong, the latest NPP top gun to condemn Imani, called on Ghanaians to disregard what he described as Imani’s cynical comments, and believe in Nana Addo’s ability implement the free SHS policy.
An obviously incensed Honorable Agyapaong pointed out that Imani could not tell NPP what they could do or what they could not do, adding that under Nana Addo’s ”visionary leadership”, SHS will be made free no matter the cost.
Honorable Agyapong was speaking on Oman FM’s Boiling Point yesterday.
He said in deciding to make SHS free, the NPP and Nana Addo were motivated by the need to make education affordable to all, adding: “That is the only way Ghana can develop economically.”
Honourable Agyapong warned Imani Ghana and the NDC not to question how Nana Addo will fund the SHS project, saying the NPP flagbearer’s vision, determination and commitment would see him through.
“Moreover”, he said, Nana Addo would rather invest the country’s money in making SHS free than in paying judgment debt.
Honourable Agyapong said: “When former US President, John F. Kennedy said he would take America to the moon, did anybody ask him how was going to fund it or how he would go about it?”
“Ghanaians should just trust Nana Addo to fufil the free SHS promise”, he emphasised.
When GhanaReporers contacted Imani on the issue, Mr Bright Simons, a Senior Researcher responded with the following message:
“Well, we believe that insofar as Ghana does not have an infinite budget, costs and trade-offs will always be an issue no matter how noble a policy is. Furthermore there is a difference between “political feasibility” and “economic feasibility”. What is politically expedient is not always economically sustainable.”
“Lastly, the fact that something can be done is no basis in and of itself to do it. Beyond asking whether it can be done, it is important to ask whether it OUGHT TO be done, whether it has merit. Nobody is putting “education” or its importance on trial, what is being scrutinised is a specific policy targeting a specific segment/level of the educational system.”
” What IMANI is asking is whether there are superior paths or means to attaining the same lofty destination.