About 30 Ghanaian graduate students on government scholarships in China have not been receiving their monthly stipend for the past 12 months.
The students, who were awarded Scholarships by the Scholarship Secretariat of Ghana between 2012 and 2015 to pursue various courses in varied Universities in China, have not received their stipends and book allowances due them since January 2015.
“The terms of the [scholarship] award dictate that the Scholarship Secretariat advance to us through the Ghana Mission in Beijing, a monthly stipend for our upkeep and an annual book allowance. But as at 31st December 2015, none of these monies have been paid us from January 2015, thus, a period of 12 months of non-payment, “a press statement released by the students noted.
The desperate students also say their academic work has stalled and their living conditions are worsening due to the non-payment of their allowances.
“…we are appallingly demoralized and disheartened to say that our awarding agency, the Scholarships Secretariat, has not lived up to their end of the bargain, and thus, while our academic works have stalled, our means of livelihood is at the mercy of friends.”
The statement further added, “All students under this award are either Masters’ or PhD students and therefore utilize part of their stipend to fund their research works, as a result, most students have suspended their research works, which if further delayed will not guarantee their timely graduation.”
Speaking to Citi News later on, a member of the group who pleaded anonymity revealed all efforts to resolve the problem with the scholarship secretariat have failed.
The student said, “We tried our best to call secretariat back home. Fortunately, we were able to call one person there who told us that the money had been transferred to the embassy in China here. When we called them, they said they have not received any money… That is when we decided to appeal to the authorities so that they would act as quickly as possible.”
The student further appealed to Citi FM to probe the issue in order to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
“…In the long term, we will like to appeal to you as a news agency to further investigate the real underlining reasons why for 12 months students could not be paid their monthly stipend so as to prevent the re-occurrence of this situation.”