To identify and support academically brilliant yet financially constrained students, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has held a dialogue with selected heads of senior high schools across Ghana.

The engagement was to equip the educators with the knowledge to identify deserving candidates for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, particularly for those with limited financial means.

Empowering Leadership and Professional Development

The dialogue commenced with a presentation by the Business Coordinator at the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, Dr. Mrs. Florence Ellis, focusing on leadership and managing people.

Emphasizing the importance of nurturing educators, Dr. Ellis highlighted the need for annual or biannual retreats to alleviate the stress associated with large class sizes.

Additionally, she stressed the significance of empowering school heads to develop themselves and their tutors professionally, whiles aiming for promotion and personal growth.

"This retreat or break can be in a form of money or appreciation for the tutor’s hard work over the term. During the break, tutors can visit other schools, set their vision for the year and assess their performance. Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program also requests that Heads of the Educational Institutions empower their tutors to develop themselves professionally, aim for promotion and personal development. That is a positive indicator of being an effective leader," she advised.

Enhancing Quality Education and Community Impact

Mr. Charles Asamoah Boateng with the Admissions Support Unit at the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program shed light on the university admissions processes and requirements at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

He highlighted the university's commitment to merit-based admissions, emphasizing the importance of core subjects and accurate application information.

“The University looks out for passes in the core subjects which is Core Mathematics, English Language, Integrated Science or Social Studies. Integrated Science as a requirement often sparks debates as some applicants’ question why the University insists on getting a credit pass in Integrated Science before admission when they want to offer courses in Humanities. As a Science and Technology University, the University curriculum is designed to factor in the sciences, hence the decision," he revealed.

Chairman of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, Professor William Otoo-Ellis echoed the importance of quality education and ethical leadership, urging school heads to prioritize transformative teaching.

He stressed the critical role of educators in shaping ethical leaders and emphasized the need for continuous improvement in communication, program objectives, and community engagement.

Community Engagement and Mentorship Program

The dialogue also highlighted the importance of community engagement and mentorship in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

Principal Investigator and Lead for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at KNUST, Professor Kofi Owusu-Daaku, urged school heads to support scholars in making a positive impact in their communities.

He believes this will foster a sense of trust and collaboration between educational institutions and the foundation.


Throughout the dialogue, feedback and key lessons were shared, with Professor Kofi Owusu-Daaku, emphasizing the importance of improving communication, clarifying eligibility criteria, and ensuring regular involvement of schools in program-related activities.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and senior high school heads affirmed their commitment to working together to identify and nurture brilliant students, ensuring equitable access to quality education and opportunities.

With a focus on identifying and recruiting brilliant but needy students, educators like Diaka Ibrahim Salifu of Damongo Senior High School in the Savannah Region is leading the charge.

"I've made it my mission to ensure our students are equipped to navigate the application process for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program," shares Salifu. "It's about more than just filling out forms; it's about empowering them to seize opportunities that can change their lives."

Echoing Salifu's sentiments, Williams Egbawu, Assistant Headmaster at Kpando Senior High School, emphasized the importance of accurately recommending deserving students.

"We've learnt from past mistakes. It's not enough to simply provide reference letters; we must ensure our recommendations truly reflect the potential and needs of our students. Teaching them to fill out application forms accurately is a crucial step in this process," he said.

Patricia Agoteba Anaaba, Headmistress of Bolga Girls Senior High School, underscores the impact of the program on both students and communities.

"By identifying the right recruits, brilliant but needy students, we're not only changing the trajectories of individual lives but also empowering future leaders who will give back to their communities," Anaaba said.

For Cynthia Asamoah Gyimah, Headmistress of St. Monica's Senior High School, the program has toned down misconceptions about scholarship accessibility.

"I used to believe scholarships were reserved for privileged students, but I've learned otherwise," Gyimah admits. "Now, I'm committed to ensuring that deserving students from all backgrounds have access to opportunities like the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program."

With educators like Salifu, Egbawu, Anaaba, and Gyimah leading the charge, Senior High Schools across the country are not only nurturing academic excellence but also fostering a culture of equity and opportunity.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.