THE Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has held a send-off meeting with nine of 10 Ghanaian students who would be travelling to Serbia to further their education in different disciplines.
The beneficiary students, made up of five women and five men, are the first batch to benefit from Speaker Oquaye’s Ghana-Serbia Scholarship programme.
Some of the disciplines in which the 10 would be trained in, include Masters and Bachelor’s Degrees in Industrial/Civil Engineering, Pharmaceutical Science and Medicine, amongst others.
In a meeting with the beneficiary students last Thursday before they embarked on their journey, Prof. Mike Oquaye admonished them to stay away from the internal politics of Serbia and focus on their studies.
“I will take this opportunity to entreat you not to get involved in internal politics of Serbia. Concentrate on your academic work and come back home with flying colours. Serbia is one of the countries that trained some of our doctors and several engineers.
“I know some of the beneficiaries of the Ghana-Serbia relations and I think you are also going for same and this time through the Speaker of Parliament,” Speaker Oquaye said.
Ghana and Serbia, the Speaker of Parliament noted has long standing relations dating back during the First President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.
Though the relationship had slowed down due to the Kosovo uprising when Ghana took a stance based on international policy, Speaker Oquaye entreated the students to be good ambassadors of Ghana in that country.
Urging the students to stay away from undesirable situations, he asked them to behave responsibly and not engage in any act that would affect the two nations improving bilateral relations.
“When you get there, you will be accosted to where you will be but study hard, behave well, know your limits and go by the rules. Expect that next year some of your colleagues too will be joining you,” the Speaker added.
The scholarship, the Speaker said, was granted to Ghana when he paid an official visit to Serbia some time last year and had a discussion with the President of Serbia, adding that the benefits were part of Parliamentary diplomacy.
He also urged the students to come back after their years of studies to help build the economy with their acquired knowledge.
Coordinator of the Ghana-Serbia Speaker Scholarship Programme, Steve Mawunyega, said the beneficiary students were selected randomly across the country based on the specific interest of the country and on diplomatic needs.
He however used the opportunity to advise the students to conduct themselves devoid of bad behaviour so they could achieve the purpose of their presence in Serbia.
Dennis Bortei Doku, a former student of Pentecost Senior High School, on behalf of his colleagues expressed gratitude to the Speaker for the opportunity granted them and promised that they would uphold the two nations’ relations and study hard to come back with success.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI