Deputy Information Minister Pius Hadzide

Deputy Information Minister Pius Enam Hadzide has described as scandalous former President John Mahama’s claim that his administration initiated the highly publicized free SHS program.

The Free SHS policy was a flagship campaign promise of the then Akufo-Addo campaign ahead of the 7th December 2016 general elections.

But Mr Mahama during his campaign trail in Northern Ghana said his administration started progressively free SHS. A claim that has received backlash from the NPP including president Akufo-Addo.

Mr Hadzide addressing the development on the Morning Starr Thursday, November 26 described the claims as an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians.

He told host Francis Abban “I am quite scandalized. Is it not curious that today we are being told that the former president is claiming that he brought free shs? I think this is scandalous.”

The host then quizzed if it is not a fact that progressively free SHS started in 2015 under president Mahama, he responded “this qualification is neither here nor there. Because we know free shs, I can share with you the GES, and then the MoE released school fees in 2914, 2015,20i6. I used to pay fees for my family members and so even as late as 2016 I was paying school fees.”

“And so this idea of free shs was brought in John Mahama’s tenure to say the least is very insulting to the intelligence of Ghanaians. We cannot pamper and temper with the truth so that we can massage the egos of politicians.”

He continued “Mr Mahama told a blatant lie and he must be called out. He did not start free shs. If you are talking about the payment of subvention which every administration, Kuffuor paid subvention, Rawlings paid subvention but those cannot be called free SHS. So, if John Mahama paid subventions of about GHC40 for day students, he cannot claim that that is free SHS.”

Today we do not pay admission fees, we do not pay tuition fee, we do not pay PTA, we do not even buy textbooks. Day students in 2015 paid school fees. and I’m saying I have the GES fee schedule and receipt because I used to pay fees myself. That’s why I’m saying Mr Mahama is insulting our intelligence and he must be called out,” he added.

Source: Ghana/