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We Are Starving In China - Ghanaian Students Cry Out


 

 

Ghanaians students on government scholarship in China are once again drawing attention to their apparent neglect from the government, with respect to the payment of their stipends.

 

A statement from the students, numbering about 25, laments that they have been left stranded "as the payment of our scholarship allowances continue to be a major problem."

 

These students were awarded scholarships through the Scholarship Secretariat between 2013 and 2016 to pursue various courses leading to the award of Masters and Ph.D. degrees in various Universities in China. 

 

The terms of the scholarship dictate that the Secretariat pays them a monthly stipend for upkeep and an annual book allowance.

 

"But again, for several months, monies which date back to 2016 have not been released, even though we were promised 2 months ago that there will be prompt payment of allowances for us to focus on our studies and dissertation," the students have said.

 

"Most of the affected students are expected to graduate in 4 weeks, but we still have no idea whether our allowances and our flight fares will be released in due time, bearing in mind that we will be kicked out of our schools after our graduation and we cannot break the laws of this country by staying after our visas have expired."

 

'Gargantuan lip service'

 

The student had raised concerns in February 2017, in a previous statement, and the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat responded by insisting that it had paid over $78,000 to clear outstanding allowances owed Ghanaian students on government scholarships in China.

 

The students, however, feel the assurances from government appear to be mere lip service "as this has been a repeated and deceptive excuse."

 

"To our surprise and disappointment, this promise turns out to be a gargantuan lip service. After our press release on 19th February 2017, the Scholarship Secretariat which is responsible for the arrangement and payment of our stipends promised prompt payment of all our allowances."


 

Find below the full statement

 

GOVERNMENT REMAINS ADAMANT TO THE CRY OF GHANAIAN SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS IN CHINA AND CONTINUES TO STARVE THEM

 

About 25 Ghana government scholarship students who were awarded scholarships by the Government of Ghana through the Scholarship Secretariat between the period 2013 and 2016 to pursue various courses leading to the award of Masters and Ph.D. degrees in various Universities in P. R. China have been left stranded as the payment of our scholarship allowances continue to be a major problem. We are humbly imploring your outfit to help us carry our concern through your medium for the authorities that matter to respond to our plea. The terms of the award dictate that the Secretariat pays us through the Ghana Mission in Beijing, a monthly stipend for our upkeep and an annual book allowance. But again, for several months, monies which date back to 2016 have not been released, even though we were promised 2 months ago that there will be prompt payment of allowances for us to focus on our studies and dissertation.

 

Most of the affected students are expected to graduate in 4 weeks, but we still have no idea whether our allowances and our flight fares will be released in due time, bearing in mind that we will be kicked out of our schools after our graduation and we cannot break the laws of this country by staying after our visas have expired. Overstaying can also attract punishments such as payment of fines and detention by the China Immigration. Even as a number of us are preparing for our thesis defense, the issue has severely affected our academics and preparation for our final dissertation since we have not received any indication from the Scholarship Secretariat. Currently, most students are highly constrained in their research work, which if further delayed will not guarantee their timely graduation. It is worthy to note that the freshmen who were admitted in September 2016 have also not received allowances which date back to December 2016 and this has affected them in settling and adapting to the system.

 

Our usual checks have not yielded any result apart from the usual promise of prompt payments which never happens. We have since had several communications with the Ghana Mission in Beijing seeking to find solutions to these challenges. Our contacts with the two state institutions (Ghana Scholarships Secretariat and the Ghana Mission, Beijing) responsible for our upkeep and welfare, have received conflicting responses always. Therefore, our group has made several calls to the Scholarship Secretariat seeking official clarification on this issue and in response to our request, they claim that the monies will be released soon. We are afraid to say that in our current situation that promise seems to have been a lip service as this has been a repeated and deceptive excuse. To our surprise and disappointment, this promise turns out to be a gargantuan lip service. After our press release on 19th February 2017, the Scholarship Secretariat which is responsible for the arrangement and payment of our stipends promised prompt payment of all our allowances. As a result, we feel that it is our responsibility to make your outfit aware since we have been together to find solutions to this problem.

 

We are therefore strongly compelled to draw the attention of our nation through your reputable medium and to appeal to the authorities to act quickly to assuage the headache of those who are working on their projects and those whose research have stalled. And in the long term, we will like to appeal to you as a news agency to further investigate the underlining reasons why student stipends continue to delay so as to prevent the re-occurrence of this situation as we have seen over the years. Also, the situation in which we are left now paints a bad image for a country like Ghana.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ghanaian Government Scholarship Students in China.

 


Published by GWS Online GH : 2017-05-30

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