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Members of Parliament (MPs) have stressed the need for government to come up with a legal regime to regulate the operations of the scholarship secretariat to ensure transparency and accountability.
The legislators where contributing to a statement by the Member of Parliament for Nsawam Adoagyiri, Frank Annor Dompreh, on the need to make the secretariat more effective.
Mr Dompreh in his statement observed that preliminary checks and investigations conducted into the operations of the scholarship secretariat revealed that apart from bursaries that are given to senior high schools, all other application and operations are centralized at the national capital and is not regulated by any statute.
According to him, there is no clearly laid down laws governing the operations of such an important agency of the state, adding that this does not engender transparency and accountability.
He said there was the need to decentralize the operations of the secretariat, noting that a decentralized system would allow for speedy processing of the forms.
“Government should take steps to open regional secretariats in all the ten regions of the country in a bid to bring the scholarship secretariat to the doorstep of the ordinary Ghanaians as well as extend the services to the districts, “he said.
He said there was the need for a law to be passed to effectively regulate the operations of the secretariat to inject more transparency in the administration of its services.
“This point is critical as we seek to consolidate our democratic credentials as a country by ensuring neutrality of such an important agency,” he added.
He was hopeful that the matter would elicit positive contributions which would lead to the restructuring of the secretariat to the benefit of all deserving Ghanaians irrespective of their ethnic, regional and political background.
Contributing to the statement, the MP for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, seconded the idea of decentralizing the scheme. He said locating the centre in Accra was a shot in the foot.
The MP for Offinso South, Ben Abdallah Banda, on his part said it was high time a law binds the work of the secretariat.
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, based on the submissions made, directed that a copy of the statement and the subsequent contributions be sent to the scholarships secretariat.
The Scholarships Secretariat was established in January, 1960 as an extra-ministerial body under the Office of the President.
Its main object is to administer and exercise central control over scholarship awards, for manpower development so as to ensure effective manpower support for the various national development programmes.
It also utilizes Government funds, GETFund and Donor support, for the provision of scholarship to brilliant but needy students. “
Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)