Free SHS programme was implemented to simply win votes – Former Army General

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Former Chief of Defense Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, has said that the Free Senior High School Programme, was implemented for political purposes and not to improve the educational system of the country.

According to him, the policy was not planned with honesty because Ghana’s economy is not capable of adequately funding the programme but the strong urge to win power influenced the government to make promises without thinking through it properly.

“I don’t think we planned it with honesty. There was a political purpose to use it to win votes. I am putting it very bluntly, I am not going to pull any punches here. If I have to hit I will hit. We did it to win votes not because we want to create a better system of education,’’ he said.

Speaking on the Prime Morning Show, Monday, Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah made reference to the British educational system where the government intervened throughout his children’s education by bearing the cost.

He noted that free education is a possible agenda, but it is highly dependent on the kind of economy a country has.

“I was in Britain in the early eighties, my children went to Britain. At a point, the government intervened not along the way, all the way. It is very possible that you can pay your way, you can pay for education with the economy you have but you couldn’t do it. But because of winning the biggest prize, political power, you promise anything. If you want power, so it is said in politics, if you have to sell your mother, sell her, if you get the power you go and take her back. There is nothing that you cannot do with power, except to turn a man into a woman and vice versa”

Comparing the previous politicians to the current ones, Brig. Nunoo-Mensah said the past politicians are different from new ones because they took decisions not for personal gain but for the public interest.

“When Nkrumah and others were in power, they are human, they may have done things wrong but they did it not for gaining something out of it’’

He, therefore, advised Ghanaian politicians to always assume power with the purpose of changing the society for the better and not with the intent of enriching themselves and also urged them to bow out when their goal is achieved for others to take over.

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