Coalition of Aggrieved GRASAG Presidents Confront GSS

      Coalition of Aggrieved GRASAG Presidents Confront GSS

      A coalition of Aggrieved GRASAG Presidents nationwide has issued a strong worded press release addressing the inconveniences and hardships that the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat is causing to them as graduate students. Below is the press statement by the coalition.


      For immediate release: February 27, 2023


      The media, and the general public, Greetings!

      We are compelled to use this medium to trumpet the chronic anguish of the entirety of Local Presidents of Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana (GRASAG) across all the public universities in Ghana against the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat (GSS) with regard to its total nonchalant attitude and refusal to disburse the national bursaries to our members.

      1) We, the coalition of local GRASAG Presidents across Ghana, whose position and on whose behalf we are presenting this press release today, have never, since 2021, had our grievances acknowledged by the GSS leaving us with the only option to grope in the dark to appreciate why for CLOSE TO THREE (3) YEARS there has been NO DISBURSEMENT of the national bursaries to our members across the country and the sinister motive to delay the opening of the portal to register new
      members from the 2021/2022 academic year is obviously to defer payment of the bursaries.

      2) We wish to reiterate the intent and purpose for the payment of the national bursaries to graduate students across the Public Universities in Ghana and the fact that it is time-bound and must be
      released on an annual basis and with a specific purpose to aid students in conducting their academic research. However, the GSS knowing all these realities lately, prefers to close the stable door whiles the horses have bolted, this literally means that, inexplicably the GSS always release funds to students after they have completed school which clearly defeats the purpose of the fund. This is not only an act of willful neglect of duty but also tantamount to misappropriation of funds.

      3) The level of harm this late disbursement of funds is having on graduate students in the public
      universities is immeasurable as the majority of the students who solely depend on this bursary to aid them in conducting their research are unable to do it which impedes their completion of their programme of study on schedule because they are not able to work on their mandatory thesis and dissertations. We, the undersigned, on behalf of the entirety of our members are appalled at the levels of insensitivity demonstrated by the GSS over the period. We are saying so on the following grounds:

      4) Chronology of events
      (a) The GSS has NOT paid a penny of the national bursaries to all graduate students across all the Public Universities in Ghana from the 2020/2021 academic year up to date. Under the circumstance, no attempt whatsoever has been made by their outfit to open the portal to register
      our members from the 2021/2022 academic year up to date to serve as a foreshadowing and commitment to paying our outstanding debt one day. Because of a lack of respect for us as major stakeholders, at no point have they attempted to exchange correspondence with any of the
      member associations on why there hasn’t been a release of funds for quite a long time, and the inaccessibility of the portal to register new members. However, if for any reason the national institution (GSS) has mysteriously been abolished without our knowledge to the extent that we don’t hear from them anymore, the earlier they inform us, the better it will save us from this
      endless dilemma.

      (b) Since school resumed for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years, there has not been any informal or formal notice from the GSS about whether or not they will open the portal for students to register, not to talk of full payment of the 2020/2021 academic year bursary. We keep watching the space to hear from them but it appears the GSS as usual finds solace in hiding
      relevant information from we, the major stakeholders, which has completely eroded our confidence in them of releasing the bursaries to our members anytime soon.

      (c) We have also observed that there have been exceptional and peculiar issues of patchy and blatant discriminatory disbursement of the fund against two of our sister universities, that’s GRASAG￾UEW and GRASAG-UENR, who for the past three consecutive academic years have neither been paid their bursaries nor had access to the portal to register their members. This gave GRASAG-UEW the course to have even released a presser earlier this month, precisely on February 1st 2023 to express its displeasure against this same institution over longstanding non￾disbursement of the bursaries to its members. Despite the widespread media publicity both on radio, TV, websites and social media, the GSS has decided to sit on the offense without
      acknowledging the receipt of their message. This is the clearest demonstration of nonchalance
      and insensitivity on the part of the GSS toward GRASAG-UEW.


      5) Our demands
      We the coalition of local GRASAG Presidents across the country in unison demand as follows: That,
      (a) the GSS take immediate steps without to delay pay outstanding bursaries of 2020/2021 to ALL
      Public University Graduate Students by March 7, 2023.
      (b) the GSS pays ALL outstanding bursaries owed to individual Association by March 7, 2023
      (c) the GSS as a matter of urgency should take steps to ensure the bursary registration portal is opened for students to register for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years by March 14, 2023.

      6) Following the ample evidence of non-commitment demonstrated by the GSS to deliver on its mandate and the total disrespect to us on grounds of starving us with the relevant information about the delayed disbursement of the bursaries, we do not anticipate any prolix explanations from them than the immediate opening of the portal and disbursement of the fund to our members. We are tired of their rhythmically rehearsed excuses that “we are cash-trapped”. We must re-emphasize that we will not countenance any excuses.

      7) We plead that major stakeholders like the Hon. Minister of Education and the Director of Ghana Tertiary Education Council look into this chronic issue that poses a dangerous threat to the capacity building of graduate students who are the fulcrum around which the transformation and development drive of our nation revolves through their research and innovative ideas. If only we are not acting like the proverbial vulture who only learns to put up its house only when it is raining, then let’s reminisce on how the Covid 19 exposed every facet of our lives as a nation which was
      diametrically opposite to how the advanced countries responded to the pandemic with less impact on their socio-economic life especially on their education sector, all because of the prioritization and huge investment in research.

      8) This delayed disbursement of the bursary to graduate students for varied years up to now can be characterized as a national crisis and it is for this singular reason that we are obliged to call on the President of the Republic of Ghana who is an avid crusader of access to quality education to also intervene given the fact that research and postgraduate students are bedfellows, hence the need for the disbursement of the bursaries to our members.


      See also: United Nations Young Professionals Program [Google search for the official website of the awarding institutions or locate the official website here]
      9) We, the coalition of local GRASAG Presidents across the public Universities in Ghana as an association, have observed that the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat has shown bad faith and tone-deaf posturing in response to the demands of Graduate Students thus far; therefore, we are giving the government and management of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat two weeks to do the necessary before any inconvenience occur. We reiterate that we are ever ready to pursue all legitimate measures
      possible to ensure that all outstanding payments are made and the portal is made available for members to register and their due bursaries paid to them as soon as possible.

      Ransford Samovie – GRASAG President, UEW (Co-Convener)
      Achire Adam – GRASAG President, University of Cape Coast President (Co-Convener)

      Mark Amoah Nyasapoh – GRASAG President, University of Energy and Natural Resources (Co￾Convener)
      Charles Nyarko Osei- GRASAG President, AAMUSTED
      Franklin Duncan S. Adjato – GRASAG President, University of Health and Allied Sciences
      Rev. Dr. Ing. Ato Turkson – GRASAG President, Methodist University
      Sebastian Akudugu Mbugri – GRASAG President, CK Tedam University of Technology and Applied
      Elfreda Nettey – GRASAG President, Takoradi Technical University (TTU)
      Clinton Kwadwo Kwei Ofosu – GRASAG President, Ghana Communication Technology University
      Benjamin Nyamekye – GRASAG President, UMaT
      Abdul-Rahmann Al-kali Seidu – GRASAG President, SDD-UBIDS
      Frank Ampofo – GRASAG President, Kumasi Technical University


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