Gov’t has abandoned us – Scholarship students in China cry over stipends

The Ghana Scholarships Secretariat’s handling of beneficiaries abroad has been called into question again with Ghanaian Government Scholarship Students in China saying they have not received their stipends over the past 12 months.

The students, numbering about 20, in a statement, said they have been left “appallingly demoralized and disheartened” by the fact that they appear to have been abandoned and forgotten by the authorities.

The students also say their academic work has been “seriously affected by this unnecessary delay” whilst their means of livelihood is at the mercy of friends.

Their concerns come some 12 months after Ghanaian students on government scholarship in Russia, also threatened to embark on a demonstration to demand the payment of their allowance which had stalled months.

In this case, the beneficiaries, Masters’ and Ph.D. students, were awarded by the Scholarship Secretariat of Ghana between the period 2013 and 2017, to pursue postgraduate courses in key areas at universities in China.

“We do not want to believe that we have been forgotten since for over a year no monthly stipend nor book allowance has been sent to us. We are fully aware that there has been a change in government but government business still continues as these allowances were monies which were supposed to be paid in the 2016 budget year,” they said.

Their statement also noted that, they raised similar concerns in February 2016 which was followed by the promise of prompt payment of the monthly stipends by the Scholarship Secretariat of Ghana.

“We, however, regret that till date no monies have been paid us for over a year. We have since had several communications with the Ghana Mission in Beijing seeking to find solutions to some of these challenges but all to no avail. Anytime we contact the two state institutions, the Scholarships Secretariat and the Ghana Mission in Beijing responsible for our upkeep and welfare, the responses we have received are always conflicting, to say the least.”

“Therefore as a group, we have contacted the Scholarship Secretariat seeking official clarification. In response to our request, the Scholarships Secretariat claims that the monies will be released soon, but we are afraid to say that in our current situation that promise seems to have been a lip service as this has been a repeated and deceptive excuse.”

The students reminded that they utilize part of their stipend to help fund their research work.

“As a result, most students are highly constrained in their research work, which if further delayed will not guarantee their timely graduation. We are therefore strongly compelled to draw the attention of our nation through your reputable medium and to appeal to the authorities to take action quickly to especially assuage the headache of those who are working on their projects and those who are about to graduate.”

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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