NUGS Pleads For Stranded Scholarship Students Abroad

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), has joined calls for the government to hurriedly honour its obligations to Ghanaian students on scholarship, both home and abroad.

The group at a press conference yesterday Wednesday, May 28, pleaded with the government to act swiftly to hear the cry of their colleagues said to be stranded and unable to afford basic needs, due to delay in payment of their monthly stipends.

Led by their president, Kyeremeh Oppong Daniel, NUGS, said they are worried about the situation and are going to follow through with the concerns of their colleagues scattered around the world, who do not have fund to progress with their studies.

Oppong Kyeremeh, highlighted the difficulties being faced by these students, adding the issues are not peculiar to only students in Morocco, but also in India, United Kingdom (UK), as well as also others relying on the Students Loan Trust Fund.

“We are very perturbed by the current happenings but we are pretty much sure this listening government is going to take a quick step toward solving this particular challenge. Our students are suffering in Morocco, our students are suffering in the UK, our students are suffering in India, and most of the students on the Students Loan Trust Fund are also suffering. We need funds to facilitate education. Free senior high school is churning out a lot of numbers who are in our tertiary institutions.”

The call by NUGS, follows a recent demonstration in front of the premises of Ghana’s Embassy in Morocco, by some affected students, who pleaded with government to pay their over 10-months old stipends.

In a viral video last week, the students in Morocco, said they are unable to cope with the situation any further.

Executives of NUGS addressing the press conference over the situation

According to them, life has become very challenging considering the fact that they have not had their stipends for months, making it very difficult in that country to study.

The students in expressing their frustration amidst tears said, even money to purchase basic items like sanitary pads is hard to come by.

“We are pleading with the government of Ghana to come to our aid. As ladies here in this country we are not even able to buy the basic needs like sanitary pads. The worst of it all is that your parents send you money it gets here is nothing you can’t do……” a female student said while shedding tears.

A male student, also said the cost of rent is so expensive that even areas which are considered unsafe could cost as much as $120 for month.

The student, whose name was not readily available claimed, a number of their colleagues, are living on the streets and are unable to pay their rents, as some have been allegedly evicted from their residence.

“We were sent here by the government on a scholarship brilliant but needy students. The people you see behind me are people from very needy homes and they got government scholarship to come and study.

Now, it has been more 10 months we are going to the 11 months without our stipends. We live in a country where rent is $120 per month that is the cheapest you can get at a place without security. But we have managed to live there because even the stipends we are having is not enough now almost 11 months without the stipends. The question is, how do we survive? Our land lords are chasing us from our apartments, some of us are sleeping with our friends, some of us are sleeping outside”, he also said.

He said, it has been very difficult for the ladies to live without support for over 10 months.

“Imagine sending your daughter to an Islamic country to come and study for 10 months without sending money to pay her rent. How do you want us to survive? There are people having debts and they are chasing them and people are depressed.

The last time we had someone who nearly committed suicide. We are asking you may be you might say that we are making noise, this is not noise, this is not a story we are telling, this is not a narrative, this what we are going through”, he said.

While on their knees, they continued to beg government to do something before the unthinkable happens “Our lives are in danger, we are begging you wherever you are Mr. President, we are begging you. If you don’t come in there will be blood on your hands. We are begging you. If we don’t get paid in less than one week there will be blood on your hands. Wherever you are please fight for us we don’t have families here. You are home at least you have somewhere to sleep if I was home and I was hungry I can go to my father’s house to sleep.

I came here to study but I don’t go to school because there is nothing. We are begging you some people are already chased outside and they sleeping outside and next week we don’t know what will happen to the rest of us who are hosting some of our friends. So please we are begging you Mr President come in for us. If you don’t come in there will be blood on your hands”, he concluded in the 3:19 seconds video.

However, Mr Kyeremeh at the NUGS presser, emphasised the need for adequate funding to support education, particularly with the increasing number of students entering tertiary institutions due to the free senior high school policy.

He urged relevant authorities to ensure prompt action is taken to address the concerns of affected students and prevent further hardship.

“The only way to keep them going, for them to also get knowledge to develop our country is to get them proper funding to keep them going.

“The Students Loan Trust Fund is one key area that should be looked at. We are calling on the government and all agencies to come and rescue students in the country,” he pleads.


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