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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Columnist: Agyemang, Peter

Ghanaian Scholars In The UK Are Now Beggars

Ghanaian students studying in the UK on scholarship provided by the GETFUND through the Scholarship Secretariat have perpetually been turned into ‘beggars’ by those whose duty it is to pay us our stipends. For six (6) months now our stipends have not been paid and I am wondering how the authorities concerned expect us to survive here in the UK knowing very well that times are very hard for even those who work full time. How would any one of the authorities feel if for six months they are not paid their wages? Must it always take the threat of a strike action to get the authorities working? Our counterparts in China, who had also not been paid their stipends for six months, issued an ultimatum and threatened to march to the Ghana Embassy in China and the very next day money was found to pay them.

In fact we are tired of ‘scrounger’ tag we have been made to assume. We constantly have to put up with threats of eviction from landlords as a result of failure on our part to pay our rents and the countless warning letters we receive from our institutions due to non-payment of tuition fees. What has become of the agenda for a better Ghana, does that exclude us? It used to take the authorities three (3) months to pay us our stipends and even then we complained. Now it takes the authorities six months and even with that we will not be given the full complement of our stipends.

Should we also threaten to march to the office of the Ghana High Commissioner here in the UK before we will be paid? I shudder to think that is the norm!