The University of Ghana branch of the Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana has expressed its displeasure with the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat and the government for the delay in paying graduate students’ bursaries since 2019.
“Research is an important tool for national development. As graduate students, whose major preoccupation is research, we dedicate our time to finding solutions to the plethora of challenges that confront society,” Ms Christiana Adu, President of the University of Ghana GRASAG, said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency.
“This we do with all dedication and diligence in pursuit of the development of our nation,” she stated.
“It is somewhat surprising that a government that believes in education and is determined to turn the fortunes of this country post-COVID-19 pandemic has not prioritised our academic research work.”
She said the association had observed with “great concern the lack of urgency by the government and the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat in paying the bursaries of our members.”
According to her, the government had ignored multiple appeals by their mother association, GRASAG National, to ensure the payment of overdue bursaries to certain students in the 2019/2020 academic year, as well as payment for the 2020/2021 bursary and registration for the 2021/2022 academic years.
“The 2020/2021 academic year ended with no commitment from the government to pay bursaries due graduate students,” she added.
She said many graduate students were unable to complete their thesis due to the non-disbursement of the bursaries, which was hampering the flow of academic work.
Ms Adu also said the Association had contacted the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat and had called on the Minister for Education to seek his intervention for the payment of the bursaries, but all of their attempts failed, and the bursaries remained unpaid.
She added, “We are still urging the government and the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat to expedite payment of our bursaries in earnest.”
She also called for an upward adjustment in their bursaries from the present level of GH¢ 420 for each student pursuing a master’s degree, saying: “This amount is woefully inadequate and insignificant under the current economic circumstances to fund academic research.”
However, while asking the government to send payments into their accounts by Thursday, September 22, 2022, she stated that if the government continued with its current posture, “we may advise ourselves in a manner most appropriate and lawful.” -GNA