Ghana has no room for pessimists -Bawumia
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has reacted sharply to the continuous pessimism of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), with regards to the NPP’s pledge to make secondary education free.
According to him, in Ghana’s quest to build a modern and first class society, there was no room for pessimists who are not ready to think big and act boldly in the interest of Ghana’s future.
Dr. Bawumia said this at a forum organised by the Bolgatanga Polytechnic chapter of the Tertiary Education Confederacy (TESCON) of the NPP on Saturday.
Speaking to a charged audience of hundreds of youths in the Bolgatanga municipality, the NPP vice-presidential candidate said: “We are going to take major decisions and tackle major issues. We are going to place the future of the youth at the forefront of economic transformation in this country. Our aim is to build a modern industrialised economy.”
According to him, any country that had industrialised had taken deliberate methodical steps towards that direction. “In moving forward towards this modern industrialised economy, we have no place for negative thinkers; we have no place for pessimists. What we need are bold, decisive leaders,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia stated that it was undeniable that Ghana was in a globally competitive environment, competing with various states across the world for a space to grow its economy, create jobs and develop, and said in such a global environment, Ghana could not afford to be found lagging behind, especially in the area of skills and education, because that was what it would take to make Ghana globally competitive.
The NPP vice-presidential candidate said that the goal of making Ghana globally competitive, and building a developed society, was seriously hampered by the fact that money continued to determine who gains access to education, especially at the higher levels.
“If we don’t eliminate money as a barrier in education, we would have a problem, and we are already having a problem with the hundreds of thousands who fall off the educational ladder each year, and that is why the NPP, under Nana Akufo-Addo, has decided to make education free to the secondary school level,” he explained.
In responding to the NDCs argument on infrastructure, Dr. Bawumia said he was bewildered by that argument of the NDC.
He reiterated the point that the NPP was not only talking about free education, but was also very committed to providing the needed infrastructure to support the programme and all other resources needed to prioritise education holistically.
According to him, it was for this reason that the NPP had promised to build 350 new secondary schools within the first four years, and to expand facilities, as well as construct new facilities at the existing schools.
Dr. Bawumia challenged the NDC’s argument that all infrastructure must be ready before a programme can be initiated, and questioned why the same NDC did not wait to provide even a significant fraction of the needed infrastructure for a university, before establishing two new universities.
“When Nkrumah introduced free education in the north, the whole of the three northern regions had just one middle school. In that same regard, if Nkrumah had said without infrastructure we are not making education free, President Hilla Limann would not have happened, and certainly, President John Mahama would not have happened, so why are we standing in the way of the younger generation?” he asked.
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