Award scholarships to poor but brilliant students GRASAG

Accra- Mr Samuel Sagoe, President, Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG), on Thursday suggested that scholarships should be awarded to poor, but brilliant students instead of high profiled government officials, well-resourced lecturers and other public officials.

He said the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) act as captured by the Auditor General’s report constituted an abuse of the discretionary powers by the Board of the Fund adding that most applicants were denied the opportunity because they lacked political connections.

It is really unconscionable that sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and other officials will even put themselves up to be considered for scholarship meant for needy students.

This shows what the political class and the elite in society have carefully been orchestrating against the masses in this country, he said.

Mr Sagoe stated at a joint News engagement held by GRASAG and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) to address GETFund, Coronavirus and the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) issues.

He said Section 2(2b) of Act 581 Section 2, Clause (2b); GETFund is to provide supplementary funding to the Scholarship Secretariat for the grant of scholarships of gifted but needy students for studies in the second cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in Ghana.

He said by the Act, GETFund did not have the mandate to award scholarships in the first place as it was the sole mandate of the Scholarship Secretariat.

He said the Auditor General’s report revealed that GETFund did not establish any systems, policies and procedures to ensure economic, efficient and effective use of public fund from 2012 to 2018.

Mr Sagoe said the fact that the officials did not go through any robust competitive selection process before receiving their scholarships was enough grounds to ask them to refund the said amount.

He called on the Attorney General and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate such matters.

According to him allowing the GETFund to continue awarding scholarships without recourse to the Scholarship Secretariat amounted to duplicity of functions and must be curtailed.

The GETFund is not living to its mandate because it’s expected to pay 10 per cent of revenues accrued to SLTF to enable them provide loans to poor students, but failed to do so and students loans are not paid, he said.

Mr Jay Hyde, NUGS President speaking on Student Loans said, beneficiaries of the SLTF did not received payments for the past two semesters, but were counting on the Ministry of Finance to redeem its promise to release a G0 million Cheque by Friday, February 28 to be disbursed by Monday, March 2nd.

He said in view of the assurance, they called off their intended demonstration scheduled for March 10, we once again hope they keep to their promise.

He said in relation to students in China and the Coronavirus, they in partnership with NUGS China supervised and followed the distribution of monetary allowance of $500 and food to about 99 per cent of the 344 Ghanaian students studying in Wuhan China.

He assured parents of the safety of their wards and all measures taken by government was in the best interest of the nation and their brothers and sisters in China.

Source: Ghana News Agency