A year after former President John Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) promised to institute a free tertiary education program for the country, President Akufo-Addo has announced he and his government are having the same program in mind.
On Thursday, July 29, the President told the Global Education Summit held in London his government is considering the program too.
“For now, what has been put in place is a system where students at the tertiary level are provided loans while in school to help them cater for their needs, but we’re considering free Tertiary education too,” he said.
The revelation suggests a backroom purloin of Mahama’s idea which he sold to Ghanaian voters in 2020. And Akufo-Addo’s ‘steal’ of the Free Tertiary Education idea from Mahama has been described as stylistic of Akufo-Addo.
In the build-up to the controversial 2020 election, the President and his government had led what would later be a manifesto war with a hurriedly composed and haphazard document that among others promised to build music studios for musicians who are already making professional music from their bedrooms.
Then, when Mahama and the NDC later released their manifesto, the NPP government of Akufo-Addo was stunned.
The practical and relatable promise that had been put together in the NDC’s Peoples Manifesto included the hit promise to legalize the Okada business which jolted government into a hurried, extra-manifesto promise to also legalize okada.
Eventually, as the public laughed off the rat race, the promise was changed by Vice President Bawumia who announced that rather than legalize okada like the NDC, the NPP would provide cars for okada riders to use as taxis. That promise was forgotten in a hurry after NPP had violently and controversially won the 2020 elections.
The free tertiary education promise was in the NDC’s Peoples manifesto as well. Almost a year after the elections, the NPP is promising to implement it as well, passing it off as the brainchild of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Meanwhile, the government’s failing wrestle with the Free SHS program is likely to make many doubt a hurried decision to also tackle free tertiary education.
Critics think it would not be wise of the government to take on the extra burden of funding tertiary institutions.