Mr. Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of Eduwatch has called on government to publish the criteria for selecting scholarship beneficiaries for programs.
Expressing his intent in a statement, he recommended the inclusion of full scholarships for needy students instead of partially catering for some fifteen thousand scholarship beneficiaries.
Mr. Asare also noted that will be prudent on the part of government de-politicize the award of scholarships by ensuring fairness and transparency.
According to him, under the GNPC, scholarship beneficiaries receive up to GHC 7,000 a year and as the scholarship secretariat claims to have budgeted GHC 20 million for local tertiary scholarships (freshmen), he reckons it to be “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 it’s 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 [are] 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.”
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) via its National Chairman of the, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo on Tuesday December 1, announced that it has accepted for incorporation in the Peoples’ Manifesto the absorption of full fees of tertiary students.
Reacting to the statement in a tweet, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said described the move by the opposition party as a “consistent inconsistency”.
“How does a candidate who wants to be taken seriously announce 6 days to an election that he intends to amend his manifesto? Consistent inconsistency!!”
Meanwhile, the incumbent government, rolling out their own scheme under the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat have estimated an amount of GHS20 million as budgeted expenditure for the government’s tertiary scholarship programme for the first graduates of the Free Senior High School (SHS).
The amount set aside is to cater for 15,000 beneficiaries for the 2020/2021 academic year.
A statement from the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat indicated that the scholarship covers academic facility user fees for all accredited public and private local tertiary institutions.
All Free SHS graduates who sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2020 and have gained admission or have applied for admission into an accredited local tertiary institution are eligible to apply.