General News of Monday, 24 July 2017
Ghanaian students on the GETFund scholarship programme in the United Kingdom (UK) have called on government to pay the outstanding arrears for September and October 2016 allowances.
The students’ letter addressed to the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh indicated that most of them had been moved out of their private accommodation due to their inability to foot their rent.
The students, who have been writing series of letters to the GetFUND over delays in the payment of their monthly stipends say the situation has affected their academic work.
“We write as a follow up to our previous letter dated 7th July, 2017 regarding the situation we have found ourselves in as a result of the non-payment of our stipend as GETFUND sponsored students (Master’s and PhD students). Our worry is heightened particularly for not hearing anything from your outfit since we sent you our letter calling for your swift action to restore our dignity from what we are currently going through.”
“The most challenging situation now is that those of us who were in University Accommodation have been moved out to look for private accommodation to pave way for the institutions to get the facilities ready for new students beginning September. While we still owe arrears of rent of the Universities, we are equally stranded in terms of finding landlords who will be willing to take us in without the initial payments,” the letter said.
They, therefore, demanded the payment of their stipends, saying “We are therefore by this follow-up letter, reiterating our call on you too, as a matter of urgency, step up efforts to permanently resolve the crisis situation for us.
In particular, we are desperately appealing that you swiftly respond to our unbearable plight before the close of next week. We also wish to suggest that a payment arrangement or plan should be put in place for our subsequent fees and stipends to avert the embarrassing situation we have been made to go through over the period. This is especially for those of us on PhD studies. This is vital as the 2017/2018 academic year commences in September.”
GETFund students in UK threaten demo over unpaid fees
In February, some group of students on the same programme threatened a demonstration over a similar challenge.
“We are tired of struggling and have waited patiently for the transition in governments but we cannot bear the struggle any longer.All attempts to gain the attention of government and the secretariat have proved futile. We have been struggling since we arrived for our PHD and other postgraduate programs but we’re at our wits end now,” the statement said.
It added that “the embarrassments of being chased for fees and rent because of government’s abandonment is unbearable hence our decision to demonstrate.”