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General News of Monday, 24 February 2020

Source: Class FM

GETFund scholarships: Leave interventions to the poor, needy – Gyampo


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It is inappropriate for officials who because of the critical and important positions they occupy in government are well-catered for by the state, to use their power and influence to “jump the queue” to benefit from interventions meant for “poor people”, Professor Ransford Gyampo has said.

Prof Gyampo, who was recently suspended by the University of Ghana, noted that interventions meant for the poor and needy must be truly ring-fenced for the poor and needy.

His comment comes on the back of a report that some top government appointees were beneficiaries of GETFund scholarships meant for brilliant but poor students.

The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Dr Prince Armah, who was named as a beneficiary, in a statement, said although he was a beneficiary of a GETFund award, it was well-deserved and predated his appointment as NaCCA boss.

Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, for his part, noted that he has not been a beneficiary of GETFund scholarship since becoming a minister in 2017.

According to him, he was a recipient of a GETFund award in 2014 to participate in a three-week certificate programme at the Kennedy School of Govt, Harvard University.

These revelations, among others, have generated outraged among some Ghanaians on social media.

Reacting to these developments, Prof Gyampo, in a Facebook post, however, said “there may be nothing wrong if the state, through its agencies, decide to sponsor an official to undertake a course or programme aimed at not satisfying the personal self-aggrandisement of the individual public official, but improving the capacity of the official to serve the people better.”

Below is Prof Gyampo’s full Facebook post:

Prof Yaw Gyampo writes:

1. Purely from the taxonomy of Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy as “Government for the People”, I dare say that, it is inappropriate for officials who, because of the critical and important positions they occupy in government, are well-catered for by the state, to use their power and influence to “jump the queue” to benefit from interventions meant for the “Poor People”

2. CMB Scholarships for instance, meant for children of poor cocoa farmers, must be enjoyed by its intended beneficiaries, and not the children of rich government appointees.

3. Interventions meant for the poor and needy must be truly ring-fenced for the poor and needy. The criteria for selecting beneficiaries must satisfy Max Weber’s prescriptions of “rational-formalistic-impersonality”

4. It must however be noted that, there may be nothing wrong, if the state, through its agencies, decide to sponsor an official to undertake a course or programme, aimed at not satisfying the personal self-aggrandisement of the individual public official, but improving the capacity of the official to serve the people better.

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