The Paramount Chief of Pulima and the Gandawii Traditional Area in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region, Kuoro Osman Deiwa virtually moved to tears on Wednesday, November 10 when he gave a testimony about the impact of the much talked-about Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
The Free SHS policy was introduced by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in September 2017 to the surprise of many including the Mahama-led opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who had literally mocked the policy and ruled out the possibility of its implementation.
The policy makes room for every child in Ghana who qualifies for second-cycle education to be placed freely in a public Senior High School for his or her secondary education to be catered and absorbed by government.
It has benefitted many who otherwise could not have afforded the cost of paying school fees.
This is what compelled an obviously overwhelmed chief, Kuoro Osman Deiwa to share his joy during a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House this evening.
“The introduction of the Free Senior High School policy has touched a raw nerve of struggling parents like myself that I’m struggling not to be emotional about the impact of that policy”, was how he started it.
His reason was simple “the positive impact is unimaginable.”
“Indeed, your Excellency must be doing something extraordinary for your political opponents to want to continue the policy in the event that they get the mandate of the people of Ghana in the impending elections”, he noted.
For that matter, he said “Mr President, when you eventually leave office as the Constitution envision, please note that your name will be captured in history books as the only President that has given Ghanaian school children all at once to cultivate and nurture their brains for future leaders to come and harvest for the growth…of Ghana”
The chief also took the opportunity to laud the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and the Rearing for Food and Export (RFE) programmes as good initiatives which could not have come at a better time.
That, he said was because “most peasant farmers in my area are now prolific maize growers, thanks to the PFJ policy.”
He therefore commended the Minister for Agric, Owusu Afriyie Akoto for a yeoman’s job since it is his firm belief that the Sissala land can now feed the whole country for one and half years with grains as have been suggested by the Upper West regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Salih.
“Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of the Upper West region and for that matter the Sissala land, we the chiefs here say thank you for the Planting for Food and Jobs”, to a spontaneous applause from his kinsmen and other government officials present.
The Pulima Kouro narrated the ‘One-Constituency, One-Ambulance’ policy has also helped to save lives, revealing that “just recently, there was a gory accident, but for the timely intervention of the Ambulance Service, the story would have been different.”
He however decried the deplorable road network in the Upper West Region, but was quick to admit that but for the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the progress of work on most their roads would have been at advanced stages if not completed.
Kuoro Osman Deiwa thus appealed to the President to help fix the Wa-Tumu-Bolgatanga highway to ease the suffering of commuters as well as the Tumu-Gwollu trunk road in honour of the late President Hilla Limann and the Tumu-Welembelle-Kojokwale road.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the chief and his people for their kind words of commendation.
He promised to help fix the aforementioned roads some of which he said are on the drawing board and would be addressed and asked for their support in the upcoming elections.