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General News of Monday, 24 February 2020

Source: Peace FM

'False' GETFund scholarship story 'calculated to cause embarrassment and public ridicule' - Napo


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Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh popularly known as 'Napo' has denied reports that he is a beneficiary of GETFund scholarship.

A performance audit report of the Auditor-General on the administration of scholarships by GETFund named Dr Opoku-Prempeh among some politicians who allegedly received funding for their studies abroad.

Dr Opoku-Prempeh is listed to have received US$11,200 to study National and International Security at Harvard University and US$12,800 as tuition and living allowance.

But in a Facebook post, the Education Minister said the statement is false and calculated to cause him embarrassment and public ridicule.

"I have noted with dismay a news carried by some media, that suggests that I have as a Minister, received a scholarship from the Ghana Education Trust Fund for studies at Harvard."

"This impression is false and calculated to cause embarrassment and public ridicule. I have not received any form of sponsorship for any program or course of study from GETfund of scholarship secretariat since becoming a Minister."

"However, I have been a recipient of GETfund award in 2014 to participate in a 3-week certificate program at the Kennedy School of Govt, Harvard University."

"I urge the public to disregard this story, borne out of mischief and lies, intended to cause disaffection," he said.

Some ministers in the Akufo-Addo government and other government appointees have been listed as beneficiaries of GETFund scholarships, which are meant for needy but brilliant students.

A performance audit report of the Auditor-General on the administration of scholarships by GETFund revealed that Education Minister Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, Procurement Minister and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo as well as the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Prince Hamidu Armah have all benefitted from the scheme.

Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are qualified Ghanaians (brilliant but needy students and workers) who have applied for scholarship, gone through the selection process and are on scholarship grants.

Beneficiaries on foreign scholarship are to enter into a bond to return to Ghana immediately on completion of programme to serve the nation for not less than five years.

In default of the bond, beneficiaries are required to refund the sums expended on them plus an interest at the rate of 15 per cent.

Payment of tuition

When a beneficiary is awarded scholarship, the academic institution is to furnish the sponsor with the student’s bill and the sponsor instructs its bank to pay the tuition fees to the academic institution.

The institution acknowledges receipt of payment by crediting the student’s account and issuing a receipt to the sponsor. The institution provides admission documents to the student to present to the consulate offices for a visa.

Payment of Allowances

Students are entitled to a monthly living allowance and other allowances that are paid to them once they secure their visas. When beneficiaries arrive in the country of study, they are to open an account and furnish the sponsor with the bank details.

The sponsor submits the names of beneficiaries together with their bank details to the sponsor’s banks and instructs the banks to transfer the allowances into the accounts of beneficiaries.

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