Democracy: What the NDC has for children

BY: Eugenia Asare Tandoh

In our last discussion, we talked about what a manifesto is and also touched on the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) manifesto.Today, we are going to look at the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The NDC calls its manifesto, ‘The People’s Manifesto’ because it says its plans,  when voted into power, will not only generate growth, but also prosper all Ghanaians. It said it would create not only jobs, but sustainable and decent jobs, so that people could live dignified lives. In a nutshell, the NDC says its  manifesto is a social contract between the party and the people of Ghana.

On health, the NDC says every Ghanaian deserves quality, accessible and affordable health care and calls this ‘Health for All’. That is ‘Universal Health Coverage’.

Under this,  “the next NDC Government will, therefore, implement the following policies”.
. Provide free primary health care
. Amend the law to provide four months maternity leave, in addition to legal maternity provisions and grant seven days paternity leave.
. Provide free sanitary pads for girls in school, etc.

On education,  the NDC says that as a social democratic party, which puts people first, it is their belief that the human resource of the nation is the most valuable asset and it is, therefore, their resolve that no child is left behind.

“We shall place emphasis on quality, access, affordability and relevance with our new approach to deliver education to all Ghanaians”, the manifesto said.
On basic education, the next NDC government will:

. Expand and refurbish educational facilities to make them fit  for 21st century education.
. Provide all eligible children, especially those in under-served areas, with the necessary support and incentives to remain in school.
. Increase budgetary allocation to basic education to enhance teaching and learning activities.
. Provide pre-school facilities closer to markets, ministries and city centres to ease the burden of child care on mothers and promote productivity while the children learn.
. Encourage the private sector to invest in pre-schools and recreational facilities for their workers, etc.

Secondary Education
. The next NDC Government will make the Free Senior High School (SHS) Programme better by ensuring that its numerous challenges are addressed and higher standards introduced.
 . Expand the Free SHS programme to cover students in private SHS in undeserved/deprived areas.
. Set up schools in disadvantaged, over-populated and under-served areas, including the Zongos and other deprived communities, etc.

Social protection
According to the NDC, this year marked 20 years since the Beijing Platform for Action on Gender Equality was adopted.

It said Ghana had made strides in ensuring gender equality and equity, protecting children’s rights and creating a conductive environment for empowering persons with disabilities and the elderly.

In view of this, the next NDC Government will:

. Continue to strengthen the legal and policy framework for the protection of the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons.
• Provide daycare centres, skills training, micro-entrepreneurship training, school enrolment for children, out of school adolescents, and survivors of gender-based violence.
• Expand the School Feeding Programme and implement the programmes targeting street children, including head porters( kayayei), the vulnerable and unemployed youth, etc.