About 50 students from various tertiary public institutions have benefited from the Volta River Authority (VRA)’s educational scholarship under its Community Development Programme (CDP).
The initiative, among other things, seeks to support brilliant but needy students in communities affected by the operations of the authority, as well as ensuring the development of human resources to contribute to the sustainable growth of the communities and the country.
The scholarship, which would cover tuition and hostel fees of beneficiaries is estimated at a value of GH¢745,000.00.
This came to light at a ceremony held in Accra on Thursday, on the theme: “The New VRA: Building Human Capital for Sustainable National Development”.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education, who read a speech on behalf of the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, commended the VRA for sustaining the CDP, saying, “Your decision to empower these students aligns largely with government’s efforts to provide education for every child.”
He said, “Despite the introduction of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy, you have used the opportunity to increase the number of beneficiaries at the tertiary level as well as considering the inclusion of students at the technical and vocational levels.”
Dr Adutwum indicated that the introduction of the FSHS policy and the double track system was to accord every child an opportunity to be educated, adding that without the intervention, “it was going to take the country over 20 years to build all schools before every child can go to school”.
Speaking on the theme, he noted that the only way to transform a country was through education, as it would equip the youth with the requisite knowledge and human capital required to facilitate the country’s transformation agenda.
To ensure the sustainability of businesses, he called on corporate entities to support government’s efforts to improve education by stepping up to be interested in the courses taught at the schools.
Dr Adutwum further urged all stakeholders in the sector to voice out challenges in the sector, as the quality of education affected their businesses.
Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive Officer of VRA, on his part, said the CDP scheme was developed after broad consultations with stakeholders.
On some achievements of the scheme, he indicated that about 279 students from senior high and tertiary institutions have benefited from the scheme since its introduction eight years ago.
Additionally, he mentioned that some beneficiaries had excelled to pursue law, biomedical engineering, medicine and education among others.
Assuring stakeholders of the authority’s commitment to sustain the scheme, he announced that the authority would increase the number of beneficiaries at the tertiary level and include candidates who qualified to enter technical and vocational educational training.
Congratulating beneficiaries, Mr Antwi-Darkwa, appealed to stakeholders to continue collaborating with the authority to ensure the sustainability of the scheme.
Reverend Joyce Aryee, a board member of the authority, advised the beneficiaries to be patriotic and contribute their quota to nation building.
The event was attended by traditional leaders, municipal chief executives, assembly members, regional directors of education and parents of beneficiaries, among others.
FROM ALLIA NOSHIE, AKUSE