Wisconsin International University College, Ghana Special Public Lecture Series for Flagbearers Takes off with Former President John Dramani Mahama

The former President and flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has taken his turn at the School of Communication Studies organized Special Public Lecture Series and interaction with Students and Faculty of the Wisconsin International University College Ghana.

The former president addressed various issues of national concerns in two parts including improving the education system, increasing employment, and infrastructure development.

EDUCATION


Addressing issues on education, the former president described the prevailing education system as appalling and said it needed a holistic approach, stakeholders’ engagement, and visionary leadership to be addressed. Mr. Mahama said his government would not facilitate an education system that only focused on access but would expand infrastructure and ensure equity and quality outcomes.

Former President Mahama who was accompanied by his running mate, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, and some executive members of the party also said education must be centered on the entire development of the youth — intellect, character, and skills. He added that his government would build education on three thematic areas of expanding access, ensuring quality and equity.

He said he would prioritize the construction and renovation of schools in underserved communities and remove schools under trees. The flag bearer said his government would also focus on equity, and inclusivity and provide final support by “enhancing the students’ loan scheme to provide sufficient loans to students”.

On free SHS, Mr. Mahama was emphatic that the Free SHS initiative would not be cancelled but see further improvement based on stakeholder dialogue emphasizing that the double track system currently being practiced in SHSs would be abolished, while more community SHSs (E-Blocks) in high urban population areas would be built and dormitory blocks provided for community day schools in rural areas.

The former President added that with the creation of the six new regions in the country, his government when given the nod would establish public universities in those regions to ensure tertiary education opportunities were accessible to all.

INFRASTRUCTURE


On infrastructure development, the former president raised concerns about the prioritization of the construction of a national cathedral over crucial educational and infrastructural needs in Ghana, highlighting the importance of addressing pressing educational and infrastructural challenges before embarking on projects like the national cathedral.

The former President argued that if given the opportunity to allocate $400 million, investing in textbooks for students or upgrading vital infrastructure such as the single road from Accra to Cape Coast to a dual carriageway would likely yield greater benefits for the nation.

YOUTH AND EMPLOYMENT


On the youth and employment, John Mahama re-echoed his readiness to create a separate ministry to cater for youth development which will serve as a focal point for coordinating policies, programs, and initiatives tailored to meet the diverse needs of Ghanaian youth.

The proposed youth development ministry, according to Mr. Mahama, will shift its attention from sports and focus primarily on employment, spanning across agriculture and other vital sectors of the economy.

Mr. Mahama raised concern over the surge in unemployment rates in Ghana, citing a recent figure from the Ghana Statistical Service, which is pegged at 14.7 percent, as worrisome.

The lecture series which aims to foster dialogue and engagement between the respective flagbearers in the upcoming 2024 general elections to articulate their visions, policies, and strategies pertinent to the youth demographic, which plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our nation, will see the flagbearers of the NPP, the Movement for Change and the New Force take turns to address students and faculty.

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