NDC’s 2020 manifesto promises massive access to legal and medical education

Law Complex buidling constructed under the NDC Law Complex buidling constructed under the NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to vigorously reform and expand access to professional legal education in Ghana.

The party said it will provide opportunities to all qualified LLB holders by granting accreditation to certified law faculties to undertake the professional law qualification course.

The party led by John Dramani Mahama, further promised to expand medical education, training of Physician Assistants, nurses and midwives and Preventive health practitioners to sustain its promised Free Primary Health Care for all.

The section on education promised to repeal the controversial repeal the Public Universities Act if enacted by the Akufo-Addo government and allow public universities to exercise the autonomy the 1992 Constitution has clothed them with.

On the legal education, which has severely been restricted, the NDC said it will review of the Legal Profession Act in consultation with stakeholders, and establish a Council for legal education and training.

When this is done, the accredited certified law faculties will run the Professional Law Course subject to the oversight supervision of the Council taking away the job of the General Legal Council led by the Chief Justice, and has been the sources the frustration of LLB student in the country.

The party also promised to establish a faculty of law in the Northern Region to serve the northern sector.

This among others were contained the opposition party's manifesto launched in Accra yesterday.

The party promised to strengthen the regulatory role of the National Council for Tertiary Education and also absorb fifty per cent (50%) of fees of tertiary students for the 2020/2021 academic year as an incentive to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students and parents.

It promised to establish free Wi-Fi zones in all public and private tertiary institutions, and provide free laptops to tertiary students to facilitate participation in virtual classes.

It said, it will encourage shared laboratory experiences especially for those in the science and technology programmes and include private tertiary institutions.

The 143-page NDC 2020 manifesto christened "The People's Manifesto" further pledged to "complete the conversion of all polytechnics into Technical Universities (TUs) in line with our original vision of creating opportunities for professional mobility of practitioners and reposition the TUs to produce relevant manpower for national development".

Additionally, the NDC government in the next four years will equip all Amatrol labs and provide appropriate training both home and abroad for instructors and operationalise the National Research Fund.

While promising to enhance staff exchanges across/among public/private institutions especially among distinguished and experienced professionals, the party said it will encourage and support private investment in infrastructure especially for student accommodation and transportation.

The NDC will also "create equal opportunities for females and individuals with special needs and establish universities in the six new regions.

It will maintain the status quo with regards to payment of allowances for teacher and nursing trainees while abolishing the mandatory national service and teacher licensure examinations for graduates of the Colleges of Education.

The opposition party says it will restore the automatic employment of newly trained teachers and provide free tertiary education for persons with disabilities.

It will support tertiary institutions to invest in virtual infrastructure while resourcing the Student Loan Trust Fund to make timely and adequate payments to students.

It said it will increase students' loans to be commensurate with prevailing educational costs and abolish the requirement of guarantors as a pre-condition for accessing student loans to enable more students who need financial assistance access the loan.

This will done with the replacement of the guarantor eligibility system with possession of a recognised National Identity Card to facilitate tracking post-school tracking and loan recovery.

It promised to extend loan repayment period to ten years including a three year moratorium to commence repayment.

It will also remove all impediments to the ability of students to easily access the facility and extend coverage to students in public and private tertiary institutions and "reintroduce the SLTF Plus to enable students access loans upon admission".

Source: The Herald