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General News of Tuesday, 29 January 2019


Akufo-Addo gives Ghanaian students new scholarship line

The Scholarships Secretariat, headed by Kingsley Agyemang, has introduced new operational reforms aimed at deepening public trust, ensuring transparency and restoring public confidence in its scholarship awards.

Addressing a section of Ghanaian students in the United Kingdom over the weekend at the maiden National Conference of the National Union of Ghanaian Students Association, UK, Mr Agyemang gave the assurance that the ‘once defunct’ secretariat was now better-placed to offer more scholarships at the tertiary level of education to Ghanaians locally and abroad, for training in various programmes.

The Conference was on the theme ‘Mobilising Ghanaian students in the UK; engineering the rebirth of our ‘National Vision, Freedom, Justice, Unity and Development.’

District Scholarships Review Committee

As a means to decentralise the scholarship awarding processes to ensure accessibility, the Registrar of Scholarships said the Secretariat was liaising with the Regional Coordinating Councils, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies for the establishment of a District Scholarships Review Committee (DSRC).

“The objective of this initiative is the systematic decentralisation of scholarship awarding processes with the view of increasing transparency and accessibility to available funding opportunities,” he said.

He added that a new scholarship line carved by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was also in the offing.

“I am happy to report to you that an initial amount of GHS30 million has been earmarked for a new scholarship line called local tertiary scholarship, carved by His Excellency the President. This new scholarship is to pay for the academic facility user fee of Ghanaian applicants in both public and private tertiary institutions in Ghana,” he said.

Addressing challenges

Mr Agyemang told the students that the era where students, especially those abroad, had had to abandon their study programmes due to funding constraints was over, as his outfit was working with the ministries of Finance and Education in the development of policy guidelines to absorb private Ghanaian students abroad and offer some government support to aid the successful completion of their study programmes.

With regards to the challenge of securing jobs after the completion of the studies, the Registrar said various initiatives have been introduced to address these issues.

“The Scholarship Secretariat in conjunction with Associations of Ghana Industries (AGI) is establishing what we call a Labour Bank. This would register all graduates from foreign institutions with specialised degree certificates to serve as a skill database for our industries in Ghana. Soon, the question as to what to do on completion of the study programme and return would no longer be a constraint,” he assured the students.

Word of advice

With the Government of Ghana providing scholarships to about 120 students to study in the UK, Mr Agyemang entreated the students not to only focus on knowledge or skill acquisition but the effective application of this acquired knowledge and skills to national development.

“Ghana belongs to us and it behoves on us to make it a better place even for the unborn generations. With students in various universities here in the UK, I am very optimistic that the future of Ghana is very bright and together we can all help in the transformational agenda,” he said.

Mr Agyemang urged the students to be good ambassadors of Ghana in their host institutions.

“You must eschew indiscipline and all forms of vices that will disrupt your studies, inhibit your progress and bring the international image of Ghana into disrepute.

"The saying that to whom much is given, much is expected should always guide us in our dealings even as we learn here,” he said.

Some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion included Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Papa Owusu Ankomah; Ghana’ Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, among others.