The Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid says Former President John Dramani Mahama has an issue with the interpretation of what education is.
The minister made this claim on Citi FM yesterday December 4, 2019, when he was reacting to the former president, who had accused the government of misappropriating the Zongo Development fund at the expense of tackling major issues confronting Zongo communities such as education.
According to the Minister, Former President Mahama’s accusation comes without basics since the current government has made various policy investments in the development of education in Zongo’s including recruiting some three thousand Arabic instructors, who hitherto were unemployed under the previous administration.
“He mistakes education for English Language, all these Imams and so on who have gone to Azhar, Qatar, Madina University and have studied, and have come are all educated. The medium of instruction at Azhar is Arabic but it doesn’t mean it is not education.”
The minister further stated that the decision by the Akufo-Addo government to employ the over two thousand Arabic instructors to engage in an education frame beyond the conventional English language education, proves a fundamental difference between the visionary thinking of President Akufo-Addo and former President Mahama in terms of the nation’s development.
“The principle that somebody thinks that these are illiterates, these are uneducated and another president like Akufo-Addo says no they are not uneducated, they are very educated except that the language of instruction under which they studied their various sciences is Arabic and therefore they are Ghanaians who must be engaged to serve a public within our society, I believe that there is a fundamental difference between their thinking in terms of who has vision for the development of our country.”
The zongo Development Fund which is meant to speed up development in Zongos since its establishment has been used to among other initiatives, build football complexes and pitches, embark on the Inner Cities Household Toilets Project, sharpen skills of Zongo Food Vendors on safety measures, introduce the Zongo Coders Programme and built the capacity of Zongo Youth for the labour market.
But commenting on the application of the fund during a meeting with the Federation of Muslim Councils, Former President Mahama said the fund is being used for things that are not issues of major concern.
He described the current application of the Zongo Development Fund as a “romantic fund” being used for funeral donations, the teaching of women on how to cook waakye and the construction of Astro turfs, which are not as important as other issues on education and infrastructure bothering Zongo communities.
The comments by the former president who is also the National Democratic Congress presidential candidate for the 2020 elections, has attracted various criticisms from members of the current government, including the minister who sternly condemned him in his interview with Citi FM last night.