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We need a law to regulate who qualifies for scholarship and who doesn’t – Scholarship Secretariat Registrar

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The Registrar of The Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang

The Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, Dr Kingsley Agyemang, is advocating for swift legislation to streamline the distribution of scholarships in the country to address numerous misconceptions about the scheme.

He highlights the current challenge faced by officers in making decisions due to the absence of clear legislation defining who qualifies as a needy individual for a scholarship.

According to him, even though the acquisition of scholarships under his watch has been decentralized and digitized to minimize centralized discretion and to enhance the openness of the process, many still hold misconceptions about how scholarships are issued.

Dr Agyemang’s stance comes in response to a recent publication by the Fourth Estate dubbed ‘Scholarship Bonanza’ alleging, among other things, that scholarships are being unfairly distributed to well-connected affluent individuals.

However, in an interview with Joy News, Dr Agyemang emphasizes the necessity of legislation to dispel any misconceptions about eligibility criteria.

“Sorry to say that there is no establishment Act for the Scholarship Secretariat. It’s been an issue that needs public discussions. There’s no enabling Act. So looking into the future, I think we need a scholarship Act.”

According to him, the claims that middle-income earners are unjustly benefiting from the scholarships and that such persons do not need to benefit from them are untenable, as many of the so-called middle-income earners in Ghana are largely civil servants whose incomes are nothing to write home about.

“In Ghana, those we usually refer to as middle-income earners are public sector workers. Or those that we are defining as middle-income earners, are they really middle-income earners in tandem with best practices or best economic conditions?”

He added that “Civil servants are largely paid between a 100 dollars or maybe 300 dollars, and you call that one a middle-income earner? So of course, every Ghanaian qualifies except the high earners. Who is a needy person? How do you guys assess who a needy person is?”

He believes that a scholarship legislation, if introduced, will set out comprehensive parameters for how funds ought to be administered and who deserves to benefit, adding that such a law must be crafted in line with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in tandem with the country’s priorities.

“So looking into the future, I think a scholarship legislation is so eminent and that will set out everything that we need to do and how the funds need to be managed. It’s been managed over the years by the dexterity of leaders; what they think is so important. This can be done in conjunction with maybe the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to identify priority areas that as Ghanaians we need to focus on.”

The Fourth Estate in its latest publication christened ‘Scholarship Bonanza’ has named persons close to key government officials as beneficiaries of scholarships that it deems inappropriate. But the Registrar maintains the secretariat did nothing wrong.


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