Kumasi, Sept 14, GNA-The Otumfuo Education Fund spent about 222.975 million cedis on needy students in basic and second-cycle institutions for the 2003/2004 academic year. Nana Brefo-Boateng, Executive Secretary of the Fund announced this when he presented the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Graduate Assistance Award to Mr Edward Brenya in Kumasi recently.
Mr Brenya, a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon, has proceeded to the Ohio University in the United States of America to pursue a Masters of Arts Programme in International Affairs under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Asantehene and Ohio University. Under the agreement, a scholarship package worth 31,139 dollars is awarded to a first good degree holder to pursue the course. The University of Ohio bears the tuition fees while the Fund pays the travel expenses of the beneficiary. Mr Brenya is the second beneficiary of the scholarship package, the first beneficiary being Miss Rita Cindy, who completed her Masters Programme and returned to Ghana.
Nana Brefo-Boateng said so far the Fund paid the fees of about 430 students last academic year with 280 of the students in second-cycle schools while the remaining 150 were in basic schools. He said the management of the fund would embark on an outreach programme to interact with beneficiary students of the fund in their various schools. The visit, he said, was aimed at affording the management of the fund the opportunity to meet the beneficiaries on one on one basis so as to motivate, encourage and urge them on in their studies.
Nana Brefo-Boateng said besides the scholarship package, the fund had a role to play in the moral and social upbringing of the students. He said while the school authorities were doing their best, they alone cannot train the children and therefore called on parents to join hands with school authorities and train the students to live meaningful lives.
Nana Brefo-Boateng reiterated that the audited accounts of the four years in existence of the fund would soon be published. He said lots of people both in and outside Ghana had contributed to the fund and it was only prudent to publish the accounts to enable Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the contributors and beneficiaries to see how these donations had been utilised.
Nana Brefo-Boateng therefore, assured all contributors that they would be rewarded at a ceremony to show appreciation. Mr I.K. Gyasi, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Fund, intimated that the fund would soon launch a programme with Merchant Bank to request all contributors to channel their donations through any of its branches in the country. He expressed profound gratitude to the Asantehene for his wisdom and initiative in setting up the fund, which now catered for needy but brilliant students in Ghana.
Mr Brenya expressed gratitude to the Asantehene, the Board of Trustees of the fund and all contributors for their support. He promised to return to the country and help in building the nation with the knowledge he will acquire.