A total of 11 brilliant undergraduate students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) have received scholarship to the tune of GHC31,200, to pursue journalism and public relations respectively.
The recipients comprised of seven females and four males.
The ceremony, which forms part of the Lebanese government’s initiative to alleviate the financial constraints of brilliant but needy students at the institute, was held in Accra yesterday.
Addressing the recipients, the Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Maher Kheir, noted that journalists are partners in social transformation. He said, “Journalism is a noble profession that does not only challenge stereotypes, breaks myths, defends truth, but empowers people to make meaningful contributions to society.”
He expressed excitement towards the scholarship scheme as several beneficiaries have emerged as prominent people in society.
“Through this initiative, many of our students have become professional lawyers, journalists, development communicators and public relations officers, among others,” he said.
Mr Kheir revealed that all this was made possible through the commitment of the Lebanese community and support from the school.
He added that as part of efforts to promote and deepen the existing cultural and educational co-operation between Lebanon and Ghana, “we introduced comparative research between Lebanon and Ghana at the Masters level. I reckon that they’ve discovered a lot through their research as we believe a journalist should have a panoramic view of the world.”
The Rector of GIJ, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, said this year’s scheme was special as it would be the last time scholarships would be rewarded to students of GIJ.
“Moving forward, GIJ will be part of the newly merged University of Media, Arts and Communication that brings together Ghana Institute of Languages, National Film and Television Institute and GIJ,” he said.
He added that the merger would provide students with several opportunities and also appealed to the government to ensure a smooth measure so as to provide a seamless movement of students from one institute to the other where they could take courses to complement each other and ultimately make themselves more marketable.
He lauded the Lebanese government for providing the students of the institute with such an opportunity whilst tasking the students to also maintain a good academic performance and sustain the confidence reposed in them.
He described the accommodation crisis at the University of Ghana as unfortunate, but went on to say that the management of the institute had put plans in place to partner with owners of private hostels to house the students in order to address the accommodation challenges also faced by students of GIJ.
“GIJ historically has not been an institution that provided accommodation for students but we understand that there’s a need for students to be accommodated, so we are working on it to partner with the private sector, where they will build hostels to accommodate students but the process is long,” he added.
One of the beneficiaries, Samuel Nyimabo, thanked the Lebanese government for providing them the opportunity, whilst emphasising that they would work hard and honour the confidence reposed in them.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR
Pix: Eleven Students 1/samba/18/01/2022