GETFUND DESPOTISM ;GHANAIAN STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER
The future of our education in Osagyefo’s Ghana is in a serious limbo under Nana Akuffo Addo and it is overly overwhelming to be penning down articles like this but duty calls, the pen must talk.
It is heart-rending and agonizing to see that the very ones who are supposed to be the custodians of the law and actually the implementers and defenders of it are the very brutalists and the hijackers of it. This has again and again proven that surely, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy without can do you no harm.”
Education, just as the motto of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) clearly indicates; Is a right not a privilege.
The 2016 Report of the National Accreditation Board gives a vivid detail of enrollment within the various tertiary education institutions as;
Public Universities – 209,790
Quasi-Public Universities / Public Specialised Inst. – 9,208
Private universities – 70,085
Polytechnics – 49,980
Colleges of Agriculture – 744
Colleges of Education – 44,447
Colleges of Nursing – 12,010
There is a relative scale up in these enrollment numbers this year. Just as the saying goes; “if you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance”. The numbers above picture the zest and quest of Ghanaian students in the pursuit of higher learning which is a giant step in beefing up the human resource capital of mother Ghana.
The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), a public trust set up by an Act of Parliament in the year 2000 with the core mandate to provide funding to supplement government’s effort in the provision of educational infrastructure and facilities within the public sector from pre-tertiary to the tertiary level has woefully failed students under the stewardship of Richard Boadu.
Appendix ( 5 ) of the lastest performance audit by the Auditor General on the administration of scholarships by GETFund Secretariat to ordinary Ghanaian students unravels the despotism of the administrator of GETFund; as the resources specifically allocated to meet the financial demands of education are inappropriately spent on politicians and top government appointees.
The performance audit exposes the insensitive nature of some leaders in the ministry of education who have acutely failed in their supervisory role in regards to the Getfund allocation for scholarships. I got perturbed when I saw Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh himself and his compatriots on the list of scholarship beneficiaries amiss the numerous brilliant students who hit stony rocks to meet the financial needs of their respective courses of study. This attitude of our very own Dr. Prempeh, the Minister of Education is none different from “Mr. Kafu” a teacher turned politician. In Amu Djeleto’s “Money Galore” Mr. Kafu, the teacher-politician who should have understood the plights of students better became a worse looter than Mr. Vuga. Our leaders conduct is the exact replica of “Mr. Kafu”
Most especially, the story of students living with disabilities pierces the heart like a sharp dagger.
Loans from the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) which are the primary means of survival has also become a wild goose chase as the majority of claims for beneficiaries and requests by new applicants have still not been paid. The government of the day is unconcern about the plights of these students at the tertiary level as his appointees are looming the very entitlements of the ordinary Ghanaian student in a political galamsey. Posterity is the best judge!
NUGS Secretary for Societies & Welfare