Post graduate students in public universities across Ghana have given government two weeks to pay outstanding thesis and bursary grants due them or be prepared to face their wrath.
According to the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG), over 50% of graduates could not submit their thesis for graduation due to government’s refusal to release funds for the payment of the bursaries for the 2014/2015 academic year.
This was revealed in a statement signed by GRASAG President, Raymond Ayilu, following the Association’s 21st Annual Delegates’ Congress held at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa.
“In our opinion, there is a conscious effort by some members of government to delay and deny post graduate students the very-necessary funding for research. We have tried relentlessly since the start of this academic year to get funds released from government for the payment of bursaries but to no avail,” the statement added.
GRASAG has made several appeals to the government for the release of funds towards the payment and noted that the plea has “obviously fallen on deaf ears.”
As a consequence, they have issued two weeks ultimatum to government to pay up or be met with protests.
“To all post graduate students of Ghana and well-meaning Ghanaians, please be informed that plans are being put in place for a massive protest if there is no clear timeline for the payment of the thesis and bursary grants by two (2) weeks starting from Monday the 11th of August, 2015.”
The statement called on the various stakeholders in the post graduate education delivery such as ministry of education, the national council for tertiary education (NCTE), Vice Chancellors Ghana(VCG), University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to add their voice to their call on government to immediately release the funds allocated for the purposes of paying bursary and research grant.
GRASAG also instructed member institutions “not to accept or tolerate any government functionaries on official duties on their respective campuses if we do not hear from government within the said period.”
The annual bursary and thesis grants are paid to PhD, M.Phil and Masters/Postgraduate Diploma students working on research for one academic year while the bursary grants are paid uniformly across broad annually to mitigate the course cost of postgraduate education.
STORY: NAPO ALI FUSEINI
According to GRASAG, this is the first time the bursaries have been delayed this long