President Akufo-Addo's plan to have a scholarship scheme for children of farmers, fishermen and other agricultural workers has been given a major boost as Registrar of Scholarship Secretariat has revealed that an amount of GHC1 million has been set aside to roll out the programme.The scholarship when instituted will cover the fees of children of farmers and fishermen at the tertiary level only offering courses in Agriculture or related fields.
Registrar at the Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang who made this revelation insisted this initiative sums up the president's desire to have equitable distribution of the nation's resources and providing access to the education.
President Akufo Addo announced the package while addressing a gathering at this year’s annual farmers day celebration in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale on Friday.
Mr Akufo-Addo said: “This year, the government has added to the national awards package for farmers and fisherfolk, a total of 24 scholarships for the wards of farmers and fisherfolk” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “This gesture is a further testimony of government’s commitment to making agriculture attractive to all especially the youth. I want to end by thanking and congratulating the farmers of Ghana for their great response for the government’s programme of Planting for Foods and Jobs which has enabled our country to not only experience a bumper harvest this year but also for the first time in a long while export food to our neighbours.”
The Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat assured the President and the general public that there is more than enough funds available for the commencement of the initiative.
"As you are aware, President Akufo-Addo last Friday at the 34th National Farmer's Day celebration held in Tamale in the Northern Region yet again demonstrated his commitment when he announced that government will offer 24 scholarships to pursue higher education ranging from first degree to PhD in Agricultural subjects and its related courses. The amount for this project has been earmarked to the tune of GHC1...I must assure the President that there are enough funds to support the scholarship package" Kingsley Agyemang stated.
Kingsley Agyemang made these comments in his opening remarks at a stakeholders forum organised by his outfit, Ghana Scholarships Secretariat, on the theme "Consolidating the Free SHS - Securing Alternative Funding for Tertiary Education" in Accra on Monday.
GHC30 million set aside for new scholarship scheme for 'struggling' Ghanaian students
Kingsley Agyemang also disclosed that barring any unforeseen circumstances President Akufo-Addo has ensured the setting up of a GHC30 million scholarship fund to assist students at the tertiary level in Ghana.
This the Registrar observed is handy in aiding students particularly beneficiaries of Free SHS policy who find their way into universities without adequate funding to see them through.
Nursing Training Colleges, Colleges of Education, Technical and Vocational Universities, Polytechnics, University Colleges, Universities, Accredited post-Secondary School and other Diploma Awarding Institutes both private and public are categories of institutions to benefit from the new scholarship scheme introduced by the President.
The Scholarship Secretariat Registrar mentioned, "it is in this direction that the president has calved out a new scholarship line called local tertiary. This new scholarship is to pay for academic user fee for Ghanaian applicants for both in public and private tertiary institutions in Ghana. An initial amount of GHC30million has been earmarked for this scholarship in the next academic year."
He announced plans of his outfit to decentralise their processes to the district level to improve transparency and fairness in the selection process and make it more convenient for students to gain knowledge and access the processes.
The programme held at the Accra International Conference Center is the first of its kind and brought together heads of tertiary institutions and other related educational institutions to brainstorm on the way forward particularly in identifying other sources of funding of tertiary education in Ghana.
Stakeholders stressed the need for such programmes highlighting the need to move away from over-reliance on academic user fees paid by students as the only or main source of funding for running tertiary institutions.
They called for more collaborative efforts outside the conference to actively address the challenges identified in the educational sector.