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02.12.2020 Education

Don’t politicize scholarship for tertiary students – EduWatch to scholarship secretariat

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Don’t politicize scholarship for tertiary students – EduWatch to scholarship secretariat
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Africa Education Watch (EduWatch) has charged the scholarship secretariat to desist from politicizing scholarship for tertiary students to ensure needy but brilliant students are not left out.

In accordance with plans of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, the scholarship secretariat is planning to offer scholarships to 200,000 students that will be enrolling in tertiary institutions in the 2020/2021 academic year.

According to EduWatch, the budgeted GHS20 million for local tertiary scholarships when administered at 4,000/Year, can only take care of 5,000 students from the 200,000 in the plans of the government.

EduWatch believes it is better to administer full scholarships to needy students who have no means of enrolling and completing tertiary than administer GHC1,300/year handouts which takes care of less than 50% academic and residential user fees, putting students at high risk of dropping out.

“Moving forward, it is very important to de-politicize the award of scholarships and ensure fairness and transparency in the process. Knowing how things work in that office, the greatest fear is the likely event of the list of members of the NPP-free SHS graduate association which was launched a week ago, and whose coordinator is the Head of the Scholarship Secretariat being used as the approved scholarship list,” a statement from EduWatch signed by Kofi Asare has said.

Below is the full statement from the group:

Gov't Should Depoliticize Scholarships!

The minimum cost of a scholarship for a needy but brilliant tertiary student is GHC 4,000/ year: 2,500 for academic facility user fees & others, 1,500 for accommodation & related expenses.

Under the GNPC scholarship, students receive up to GHC 7,000 a year.

The scholarship secretariat claims to have budgeted GHC 20 million for local tertiary scholarships (freshmen). That is great! The said amount, when administered @ 4,000/Year, can take care of 5,000 students out of government's anticipated 200,000 freshmen.

We believe is better to administer full scholarships to needy students who have no means of enrolling and completing tertiary than administer GHC 1,300/year handouts which takes care of less than 50% academic and residential user fees, putting students at high risk of dropping out.

Moving forward, it is very important to de-politicize the award of scholarships, and ensure fairness and transparency in the process. Knowing how things work in that office, the greatest fear is the likely event of the list of members of the NPP-free SHS graduate association which was launched a week ago, and whose coordinator is the Head of the Scholarship Secretariat being used as the approved scholarship list.

The criteria for selection & list of beneficiaries should be published for all to see.

In conclusion, we recommend full scholarships for 5,000 needy students and not partial scholarships for 15,000.

Kofi Asare, Eduwatch

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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