Vincent Ekow Assafuah Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Education says the GETFund scholarship is not only for needy but brilliant students as widely believed.
He says the GETFund Act 581 which says the scholarship is to be given to needy but brilliant student is not entirely the case.
He added that the same Act also allows the Minister of Education in consultation with GETFund to promote education in Ghana and they can give scholarships to various individuals to study abroad so they use their knowledge and skills to help the nation.
“Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has not received any scholarship from GETFund since assuming office as Education Minister. However the impression that is also put out there that the GETFund Act 581 says the scholarship is only given to needy but brilliant students is false. The same Act subsection 2e also allows the Minister of Education in consultation with GETFundf to promote education in Ghana to give some sponsorship and scholarship to people to go to abroad and learn so they come and help the country. So it was in 2014 that Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh was awarded a scholarship to go and study at Harvard. It was a 3-week training and when you are done you need to come back and demonstrate what you learnt and so we have not been happy with the reports going round,” he spoke on the Joy Super Morning Show on February 24, 2020.
The performance audit report on the administration of scholarships by the GETFund secretariat between 2012 and 2018, named some key ministers of state, Members of Parliament, lecturers, heads of institutions and associates as well as media practitioners as beneficiaries of the GETFund scholarships, which are meant for needy but brilliant students.
Some of the names include Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, education minister; Sarah Adwoa Safo, procurement minister and deputy majority leader in Parliament; Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, employment and labour relations minister; and Prince Hamidu Armah, Executive Secretary of National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).
But critics are worried that in a society where party hacks have grabbed everything from tricycles to excavators, with the poor having limited opportunities with serious health challenges, the national decline in moral leadership should reach this level, especially within the Ministry of Education which administers policies for children to be trained in citizenship and morality.