Countries in general award scholarships and assistance to their citizens to pursue studies in different fields of specialisation so that, they in turn can invest the knowledge gain to the benefit of their nations. In line with the state duty in this direction, I was lucky to be part of the 2008 group of students awarded scholarship to pursue further studies in the United Kingdom I was very honoured, pleased and proud to be one of those to have received such a privilege. Not only because of the fact that we were going to gain knowledge and skills from renowned institutions but also for the reason of being on state scholarship with will accord us the peace of mind to concentrate of our studies.
Sadly however, this has never been the case for most if not all of us studying under the umbrella of the state scholarship in the UK and other countries. Since January 2008 the year I commenced my education in the UK payments of our fees and allowances has being so irregular that, this has lead to some of us being unable to meet up with our anticipated completion period due to reasons completely beyond our control. The reason ranges from late payment to non payment of fees in certain cases at all!
This has led to some students unable to attend lectures and to participate in various assessments. Such has being the case of most of us including myself who was unable to attain classes and sit for two semester’s Examination from January 2008 to December 2008 as a result of suspension due to non payment of fees for a year. The situation was so bad that most of us had to always moving around becoming beggars virtually looking not only for what to eat but even where to sleep.
With the deplorable nature of the issues, I decided to contact the government representative in the United Kingdom (Ghana High Commission) after relating the situation, all I got in response was “ they have nothing to do with the problem and that it all is coming from Ghana and I should contact them”. I was very shocked and at the same time astonished, and humiliated to get such a response from Ghana High Commission an institution that is to represent our interest! This smacks a complete lack of respect for the people it represents.
At the time of writing this piece, we still have outstanding unpaid arrears for six months and nothing up to date is been mentioned as to when this issue will be resolved! London is a very expensive city to live and it is very difficult to survive without a source of income. This being our only source of income that we solely rely on for our daily activities, its absence has made it very difficulty for us to concentrate on our studies.
I am by this article bringing to the attention the government of Ghana, the Ministry of Education of Ghana and the scholarship secretariat of the problems that we are encountering, and hereby call on them to look into the issue as a matter of urgency and find a long lasting solution to it for students now and in future. This should be done to prevent a situation where government was spending extra money on students as a result of the delays the payment of the fees has caused. It is my believe that if things are done very well it will save Ghana extra cost.
A. A. IBRAHIM TANKO
H.WATT UNIVERSSITY LONDON