MTN Ghana is phasing out its scholarship scheme in favour of a bigger package that would benefit more pupils and students at all levels of education without having to apply directly through MTN.
MTN Ghana Founder Project Coordinator, Frazier Malcolm, told Ghana News Agency (GNA) that; “MTN has decided to phase out its own scholarship scheme, but have committed its support to financial aid offices of some of the country’s public and private universities, who will in turn extend assistance to many needy, but brilliant students.”
He said MTN would also partner some established educational scholarship funds and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support pupils at the basic level.
Since 2000, the holding company of MTN, Scancom Limited had, through its two previous brands, Spacefon and Areeba, instituted a scholarship scheme to benefit at least 1,000 needy but brilliant pupils and students in the country.
MTN inherited 370 beneficiaries on the scheme two years ago, but currently there are 294 beneficiaries being sponsored at all levels until their completion at the university level.
Beneficiaries had to apply to MTN through detailed online application forms on its website, and it benefited a limited number of applicants at a time.
Mr Malcolm explained that management was no longer sponsoring new beneficiaries, to allow it to phase out within the eight-year period ending 2015, for the new package to begin early next year.
He said under the new scheme, the selected institutions would select students based on their own criteria but would report to MTN on the performance of the students as well as the performance of the scheme.
“MTN would continue to make contributions into the scholarship funds of the selected institutions and allow their respective financial aid offices to manage the funds,” he said.
Mr Malcolm said MTN was proud of the beneficiaries of its scholarship scheme, some of whom had grown into top professionals and contributing their quota to national development in various capacities.
“There are some beneficiaries whom we knew as masters and misters but are now doctors, telecommunication engineers and finance experts,” he said.
He mentioned some of the past beneficiaries as Dr. Angela Frempong Durowaa – Madina Clinic, Dr. Herzuah Andrew – Central Regional Hospital, Dr. Jimah Bashiru – Cape Coast Regional Hospital, Kwame Amoako Appiah – Telecoms Engineer, Huawei /MTN, Isaac Adu – UBA, Dr. Akandi Isaac – Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Daniel Oppong Nyinah – MTN Ghana (Finance Division), and Fawaz Inusah – MTN Ghana (Finance Division).
When GNA contacted Dr. Angela Frempong Durowaa, a General Medical Practitioner, she said she was on the verge of truncating her medical education when MTN intervened.
“MTN is a life saver,” she said, adding that she was going on transfer to Kumasi.
Mr Kwame Amoako Appiah, who now works with Huawei on MTN project, said with excitement, “my brother, my brother, MTN saved my life – and you know I had First Class in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, all because MTN intervened when there was no hope anywhere.”
Mr Malcolm said MTN was also going to increase it sponsorship package for this year’s National Best Teacher Awards Scheme, “in spite of the global economic downturn.”
Last year, the company provided two saloon cars worth GH¢18,000.00 for the overall winner and first runner-up, plus a year’s insurance and maintenance cover for the overall winner; and in 2007, the sponsorship package for the scheme was worth GH¢15,000.00