Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Mahama Ayariga has advocated the need for the government to review its funding arrangement at the tertiary level to enrobe students who attend private schools.
He admitted government liberalized the provision of tertiary education to enable private participation, but “unfortunately”, he said, the system has been arranged in such a way that state funding is limited only to students who access public schools – which cannot in themselves absorb the huge number of qualified students.
He said the government is still thinking through the modalities to ensure that students at private institutions also enjoy some level of government support, citing the GETFund which is now accessible by students in private institutions as a step in the right direction.
Mr Mahama Ayariga was speaking at the izwe Loans Scholarship Awards in Accra on Monday. In all, 10 beneficiaries selected from over 400 applicants were given a total of GH¢230,000 to cover the full cost of their tertiary education.
The deputy Minister commended the South African company, which was established in Ghana in November 2011, for seeing education as the corner stone of economic development, noting that no development can take place without quality education.
He called for a concerted effort to develop the right type of human resources to development the country at the “speed and equitable” manner we all desire.
He charged management of the scholarship scheme to ensure that they discharge their duties in a “free and unbiased manner”.
Provost of College of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Kwame Offei who chaired the occasion lamented the situation in the country where scholarships are awarded to the affluence in society and cronies of scheme managers to the detriment of persons who actually need them.
He said most of the students who graduated from the various universities and obtained high GPA come from deprived backgrounds, remarking that a numbers of such brilliant students are not able to further their education due to funding.
Chairman of the Board of izwe Scholarship Board, Prof. Kofi Agyekum, explained the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries. He noted that the application was received by an independent company who shortlisted the applicants to 30 and recommended them to the board for final selection.
He said the board certified that the 10 final beneficiaries were indeed needy and brilliant whose guardians are civil servants who earn less than a certain amount. The final decision, he said, was based on their academic performance.