Daffiamah Students Fail To Access Scholarship Fund

JaneJunior High School graduates in the Daffiamah-Bussie-Issa District of the Upper West Region have failed to access a scholarship scheme instituted by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area because they have been unable to satisfy the bench mark of aggregate 10.

The scheme was instituted 2011 by the MP to assist needy but brilliant students in the area, but has become increasingly difficult for the students to access it due to the poor academic results obtained by children in the area.

For instance in the 2013 academic year, out of the total number of 403 students who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), only one person obtained aggregate 14 which also happened to be the best grade for the entire district.

However, as part of the requirement for accessing the scheme, basic school pupils in the district are expected to attain a minimum of aggregate ten at the BECE, to qualify for the scholarship.

Only one person has been able to qualify for the scholarship since its inception in 2011.

A situation has been described as worrying by the MP for the Area, Mr Mathias AsomaPuoza.

As a result, he is considering reviewing the bench mark for girls to aggregate 12 in order for more persons to benefit from the sponsorship package.

The MP, who presented quantities of office equipment to the District Directorate of Education here yesterday, bemoaned the situation, saying it was unfortunate the scholarship facility has been woefully utilised.

The items valued at GHc20,000 include a car engine and tyres, a refrigerator, photocopier machine, laser jet printer, computers and other accessories.

He said the desire to keep the bench mark at aggregate ten was to ensure the qualification to the scholarship scheme was competitive and also serve as a motivation for the students to bring out their best.

Mr Puozaa said it was unfortunate that barely three years after instituting the scheme only one person have managed to access it, adding that the situation was a reflection of the fallen standards of education in the area in particular and the country as a whole.

He said as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, his aim was to promote the improvement of education in the country since it was the only way by which the youth of the country could secure a better future.

Touching on the challenges confronting the educational sector, he said the difficulties were largely as a result of the fact that “as a the country we have allowed population to outstrip the available educational facilities.”

According to him, “facilities have not increased and improved to match population growth over the years and this is unfortunate.”

He said the poor state of the country’s educational sector was not the making of any particular government adding that “the lapses in education are not the making of any government”.

Mr Puozaa said the government’s bid to increase school facilities and make them available and accessible in even remote communities even though was meant to bridge the deficit gap they were not enough.

He said the time had come for all stakeholders to take education seriously by supporting efforts of government in providing quality education.

The District Chief Executive for the area, Mr Fidelis N. Zumakpeh expressed his gratitude to the MP for the support he had been offering the district, especially in the area of education.

He said as one of the newly created districts, it was bedevilled with a number of infrastructure and logistical challenges which they were grappling to address.

He noted that the fact that the district directorate of education was still housed in “borrowed” premises in Dafiama instead of the district capital clearly affirmed the needy status of the district.

From Cliff Ekuful, Daffiamah

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