General News of Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Ghanaians Students In Turkey, Cuba Distressed

GHANAIANS IN both Turkey and Cuba are distressed over the delayed payment of their allowances.

Information received from some Ghanaian students in Cuba indicates their monthly allowance that is paid to them by the Government of Ghana is usually delayed for about three months on many occasions.

This has put some strain on parents because they have to find money for their children in Cuba. In addition, the process of transferring money is only done through the Tower branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank.

The source alleges they suspect that Ghana Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba diverted the money paid by government for other uses and then claim the government has not yet sent in money for the allowances.

Checks with the Scholarship Secretariat indicate the monies have been sent to the Ghana Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

The students are therefore calling on government to find out what actually happens to their allowances after it has been paid to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because this behavior by the staff of the Ghana Embassy in Havana is causing disaffection and suffering among the students.

From Turkey comes a similar report about some 30 Ghanaian students undertaking various undergraduate and graduate programmes.

Pleading for anonymity, the students are complaining that “our monthly stipends for the entire year of 2012 have not been paid despite numerous petitions in the form of phone calls and written letters we have forwarded to the scholarship secretariat and other stakeholders.”

The situation they said “has put us in a very difficult situation as we are not able to afford daily living expenses as well as purchase academic materials such as text books.”

The situation is worsened they stated by the fact that unlike other European countries, Turkish law bars foreign students from working.

“Students are compelled to resort to borrowing from friends of other citizens in order to live. This situation if not addressed with the needed urgency and attention would compel students to abandon their various studies and return home (which is not even possible because they cannot afford the cost of plane ticket) or resort to other means in order to make ends meet.”

They are in view of the challenges appealing to the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat to expedite action on their allowances to save them from further undue stress.