Brilliant ‘Galamsey’ Boy Asks For More Support
…After GNPC Scholarship
By Gifty Arthur
Stephen Koomson, the brilliant Mpohor Senior High School (SHS) student, who could not further his education to the university because of financial challenges, thus forcing him to go into illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, has finally gotten support.
The brilliant but needy SHS graduate, who earlier spoke to The Anchor last Tuesday, had indicated that, even though his uncle has brought him to Accra without knowing what his trip is for, he will be going back to Tarkwa to continue the galamsey business if help does not come his way.
But the 21-year-old, whose plight was highlighted by The Anchor, has been granted a full scholarship by the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation (GNPC) to further his education. The package will cover hostel fees and tuition fees.
He is however asking for more financial support to procure a laptop and other learning materials to begin his studies.
Speaking to The Anchor after the gesture, Koomson, an obviously elated young man, expressed gratitude to God and the GNPC for the honor done him, but wished that other benevolent organizations or individuals would assist him to make his joy complete.
“As I speak, I do not want to go back to illegal mining and other menial jobs again so wish that I can get someone to buy laptop and assist me with some finance to buy books to start learning so that when I begin studies, it be easier,” he said.
He will be enrolling into the University of Ghana Law School by the next academic year. He will be pursuing his dream course, law, at Ghana’s premier University, Legon.
At a brief meeting with the young man and his uncle on Thursday June 15, 2023, the Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation, Dr. Dominic Eduah, decried Stephen’s situation as an unfortunate one which deserves immediate attention.
“We are enrolling him on the GNPC scholarship immediately to put his dreams of becoming a lawyer back on track and we are just as excited to offer him an opportunity to facilitate this in consonance with the tenets of the Education and Training mandate,“ he said.
Dr Eduah assured that the Foundation together with with relevant stakeholders have kicked started the process for Stephen to start school in the next academic year.
This is coming after the story of Stephen hit the internet and also this paper gave it the needed attention last week. In an interview with him, Stephen said he completed senior high school in 2021 but due to financial difficulties, he could not further his education as envisaged.
He had tried some menial jobs like palm-wine tapping and farming at Adom Dominase with his uncle, who assisted him in his secondary education, but both could not fetch him the needed money to return to the classroom.
This, he told The Anchor, forced him to join his mother at Tarkwa, a mining town in the Western Region. Stephen said he was introduced into mining by his friend, Kojo, a venture which fetched him GHc50 a day.
He had wanted to continue with the illegal mining business until he was brought to Accra after he informed a brother of his to make his situation public so the public can come to his aid.
Luckily for him, days after his story went viral and The Anchor intensified the campaign to get him back to school by giving it prominence on its frontpage last week, many including a deputy minister of education, John Ntim Fordjour, and Citi FM, pledged to fund his education. But first to come on board has been the GNPC.