We are going to redefine education …. Nana tells international forum in Accra
The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has said he and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are going into the December elections with a radical agenda to redefine education.
Addressing the opening session of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA) Party Leaders meeting in Accra, he said: “We are redefining basic education, which is education that the state is obliged to give every child, to start from kindergarten and end at Senior High School. If you listen to some of the discussions in the country, you will hear that our opponents are claiming that we cannot do it, they call it a mission impossible, they say it is too expensive and Ghana cannot afford it.”
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, in this 21st Century, it was unacceptable for Ghanaian children to be left with junior high school level education, and expect them to be able to compete successfully in the global economy.
“The next NPP government will do what is right by the youth of Ghana. I hesitate to prescribe policy initiatives for other countries, but, on the matter of education, I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending that all African countries adopt the policy of free compulsory education from kindergarten to senior high school. This is one of the most important things we have to do, if we are to make the transformation from our current state to prosperity.”
He added: “It is a deliberate decision we have made, and we have looked carefully at the figures, and we know it can be done. We need to have an educated and trained workforce to be able to run the modern economy that Ghana will soon become. If, God willing, we win the elections, we shall implement this policy rapidly.”
Nana Akufo-Addo also spoke of the NPP’s philosophy, which is the centre right philosophy.
According to him, “It has always been the champion of democracy. It has been the philosophy of freedom. It has been the philosophy of the free market. It has been the philosophy of creating opportunities for people.”
Though much of Africa has embraced democracy as the model that promotes opportunity, freedom and growth, Nana Akufo-Addo, however, said, “Sustaining democracy cannot be done with just the vigilance of avowed democrats like us.
“We cannot help the democratic sustenance by just being a union of opposition parties and shouting ourselves hoarse about how our countries are being run by half hearted democrats. To sustain democracy, we must get into power and help in the economic transformation of our countries. Now, there is no longer an argument about whether or not there is a relationship between democracy and economic development. So, to deliver prosperity to our people, as Dr. Danquah and our forebears envisaged, we must win the hearts and minds of our people. We must convince our people that centre-right policies are the best that can create the societies of opportunities that we ought to create in Africa, in order to raise rapidly the living standards of our people.”
Mrs. Philippa Broom, who is the International Secretary of the Conservative Party (UK), applauded the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its commitment to democratic principles and the well-being of Ghanaians.
She reiterated Nana Akufo-Addo’s commitment to enhance Ghana’s democracy, rule of law and accountability, adding that Nana Addo’s life and work reflect on the democracy that has made Ghana a shining star on the continent.
“It is my wish,” Mrs. Broom said, “that Ghana will see a Centre-Right party back in power to enhance economic transformation.”
Mr. Eirik Moen, Secretary General of the International Democratic Union (IDU), congratulated the NPP for winning the 2000 and 2004 elections, and also praised the party for fully cooperating in the 2008 transition, though the party lost by a slim margin.
He urged other developing countries to emulate Ghana’s democratic achievements.
Mr. Moen was optimistic that Ghana would, once again, go through the December 7th polls as a peaceful and united country.
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