An applicant to the Ghana Education Trust Fund whose name appeared on a list of beneficiaries published in the Auditor-General’s Report currently in the news, says even though she applied for the scholarship and had received an award letter, she never received the grant.
Hajia Ramana Shareef, currently based in Germany, in response to questions put to her on social media after she made posts stating that she never received the funds and yet her name is on the list of beneficiaries, said she applied for the scholarship in 2013 after she gained admission at the University of Reading to study an MSc Communication for Innovation and Development.
“It was granted and I was given an award letter. But the tuition fee which the UK High Commission insisted is paid in full before a student visa is granted was never paid,” she said.
She indicated that because the tuition fee wasn’t paid,tThe time for her departure elapsed without payment and she had to defer to 2014.
“In 2014, I followed up again with them but they still didn’t pay. And I requested to defer again but the school wrote back that I will have to reapply all over again because they can’t defer more than twice,” she added.
Ms. Shareef, eventually cancelled her admission and relocated to Germany to settle in family life.
But according to her, she found on social media that her name is on a list of beneficiaries.
“I was shocked and very disappointed, and so I had to let it go and cancelled the admission. Also because I was already in Germany for family responsibilities,” she said.
She then asks, “How can my name be on a list of beneficiaries when I didn’t receive a dime. Does that mean someone took the money in my name? I tried speaking briefly to the former Administrator who was in charge in 2013, and he claimed it might be an audit mistake.
I am writing formally to the Auditor-General and the GETFUND calling for an investigation into the matter. I need my name to be cleared from the list because I didn’t receive any money. And I also want to know where the money went. I will be very disappointed if it turns out my award letter was only given to me to enable someone use my name to get the money for him or herself. I am just imagining how many other people might have gone through this same ordeal,” she added.
Ms. Shareef is listed as having received a total of £22,730 – £12,600 covering tuition and £10,130 for living allowance.
Following the publication of the list on social media, debates have swirled around it.
In the Executive Summary of the Auditor-General’s Report submitted in 2019, among other things, it says the GETFund breached the objective of the Fund and administered the funds themselves, illegally funded foreign scholarships against the law that established it.
Section 2(2b) of the GETFund Act 2000, (Act 581), states that the Fund is to provide supplementary funding to the Scholarship Secretariat for granting scholarships to gifted but needy students to study in second cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in Ghana. The Act makes provision under Subsection 2(2)e that allows the GETFund to promote other educational activities.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi