Former President Jerry John Rawlings has commended the Scholarship Secretariat for decentralizing the scholarship process.
In a meeting with some representatives of the Secretariat, the former President said the move will make it easier for deserving students to obtain scholarships should they supervise the process adequately to ensure that there is no discrimination.
“I am impressed that responsibility has been devolved to the Districts. There has been so much prejudice against the scholarship secretariat because of the perception that there is discrimination in the choices made and it only benefits privileged persons. You have to monitor the devolved process otherwise the very thing you are trying to avoid will be repeated.
“During my tenure as President, I devoted 40 percent of my time to checking corruptible tendencies. That is why I was able to contain corruption.
“We have difficulties giving fairness a chance in this country with influence often overriding ability and merit. This development makes me feel good and I urge you to give the new process more publicity so deserving students can take advantage of the process,” former President Rawlings said.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary candidate for Tema Central, Ebi Bright, who was part of the meeting, stated that there is a cultural tendency towards patronage in the country.
People who have access to power tend to always compromise situations.
She noted that even with the devolution of the process it is still going to be difficult to balance the good intentions of the Secretariat and urged the Registrar and his team to do their utmost to support local talent and ideas in a fair environment.
Aide to the former President, Dr Donald Agumenu noted that the Scholarship Secretariat plays an integral role in building human capital and called for a fair distribution of scholarships and adequate and regular evaluation of the process.
On his part, the Scholarship Registrar said his outfit will working closely with regional and district authorities develop the selection process to ensure that deserving students across the country were offered opportunities to obtain scholarships to further their education.
Kingsley Agyemang said district assemblies will be responsible under stated guidelines for publishing scholarship openings using local information channels.
Shortlisted applicants will then appear before the District Scholarship Secretariat after which a recommendation will be made to the Central Scholarship Review Committee secretariat for the award of scholarships.
The Composition of the Review Committee will be made up of the District or Municipal Chief Executives, a representative from the traditional authority which is very dominant within the district, a representative from the Ghana Education Service or from any tertiary institution in the district, and two other representatives to be appointed by the Scholarship Secretariat.
Other members of the Scholarship Secretariat at the meeting were Richard Aidoo – Director of Accounts, Joseph Essah – Deputy Director, Administration, Grace Afari-Mensah and Jennifer Evelyn Bedu – Assistant Protocol Officers.
Members of President Rawlings’ team included Dr. Anthony Dzegede, Kobina Andoh Amoakwa and Ogochukwu Nweke.