Sunday, 23 October 2011

WOULD MOST GHANAIANS FIND AN INCREASE IN VAT TO FUND FREE EDUCATION FROM KINDERGATEN TO UNIVERSITY ACCEPTABLE?

One is growing increasingly alarmed by one particular example of the practical manifestation of the gulf between the wealthiest Ghanaian families and the poorest families in our nation.

There are far too many families in our homeland Ghana, struggling to educate their wards - from the junior secondary level right up to the apex of our educational system, the tertiary level.

That is why it is important that there is a national conversation about how best to have a sustainable free education policy (from kindergarten to university!) in the Ghana of today.

And as is becoming increasingly obvious to many discerning Ghanaians, an underclass, for whom participating in the economic life of our nation in any meaningful way, is an impossible dream (because they are ill-equipped to do so - lacking an education), is growing steadily.

That has serious public safety and long-term national security implications, that could even threaten Ghanaian democracy eventually.

Yet, for all we know, the vast majority of Ghanaians may find an increase in value added tax (VAT) to fund free education in Ghana, right from even kindergarten to the tertiary level, an acceptable burden to carry - if it will help the younger generation of Ghanaians to acquire an education: and realise their full potential.

The media ought to provide the space and platform for such a national conversation - and take the lead in getting this much-needed conversation going (and this is this blog's humble contribution in that direction).

A poor developing nation, said to be on the cusp of becoming an "emerging market", which aspires to become a prosperous society, cannot afford not to have free education for all its people who have the aptitude to study (to whatever level they are capable of). Clearly, the transformation of our country cannot take place quickly, if there isn't access for all, at all levels, in Ghana's educational system.

Far better to ensure that by increasing VAT to fund education to make such a policy sustainable in the long-term - than allowing politicians and top-echelon public servants to fritter away hapless taxpayers' funds needlessly: in wasteful schemes that in reality only actually benefit the powerful and well-connected in society. A word to the wise...

Tel (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
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