Today can authoritatively report that Ghanaian students on scholarship studying in the Democratic People’s Republic of China are gearing up for massive demonstration against the Ghana Embassy in China over delay of their allowances for their project works and thesis.
The students paint awful pictures of their living conditions in China.
The paper learnt that the situation in which the Ghanaian students find themselves are unbearable and has made their lives uncomfortable to the extent that they hardly are able to concentrate on their academic work.
According to the students, who are mostly graduate students from Ghana studying on scholarship in China, the Ghana government must come to their aid and pay their allowances because they find it very difficult to make ends meet over there.
“Students under Ghana government scholarship have not received their allowances from January 2010 till date. Some of these students will be graduating in June 2010, and they have neither had any positive information from the embassy nor the scholarship secretariat as to how they were returning home.
…This kind of delays has the tendency of compelling students to over stay their visas and be ejected from their places of residence, which can also be disastrous,” President of the China chapter of the National Union of Ghana students (NUGS), Mr Anthony Joe Turkson,
revealed in a press release.
According to NUGS China, other allowances that were to be received in 2009 to help graduating students write their thesis and publish articles were not given.
It further disclosed that students had to write their thesis and publish articles by borrowing monies from friends, which has to be paid back.
“The last time students received allowances from the government was in October 2009. In China, students are not expected to work, if one gets a part-time teaching job and is caught by the police he/she will be jailed, forfeit scholarship, and be sent back home, these restrictions make the situation even worst,” the president revealed.
The union also pointed out that the Scholarship Secretariat has been sponsoring annual congresses since the inauguration of the union, at which forum the ambassador or a representative from the embassy honours the congress with his/her presence and interacts with students, get to know them personally, discuss problems facing students, and counsels them.
“Sadly enough this year, the government through the scholarship secretariat has failed to respond to all three letters sent to the secretariat through the mission.
The annual congress is around the corner and we do not know what to do now. The Ghana mission in China’s responses to NUGS phone calls are nothing to write home about; the least talked about it, the better.
…The union has tried several times without number to get this problem resolved all to no avail; there have been promises upon promises from the embassy which have not be fulfilled, and there has been a meeting which has yielded no fruits. The matter has now gone beyond us,” Mr Turkson sadly expressed.
Mr Turkson and NUGS therefore gave the NDC government up to the 10th of June 2010 and warned that “if they do not receive any positive feedback, Ghanaian students in China will match to the embassy in Beijing and picket against them.
The union therefore made a passionate appeal to all Ghanaians home and abroad, all media houses and all stake holders concerned to come to their rescue in these troubling times.
On the operations of the NUGS China, the president indicated that it was formed in1988 to foster unity, strengthen and reinforce the union among Ghanaian students.
He said one of its mandates is the right to defend members and awaken the spirit of solidarity.
The union automatically consists of all Ghanaians studying in China under full or partial scholarship and fee paying students.
STORY: WILLIAM BEEKO