The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) says the three notable government appointees captured as scholarship beneficiaries in a performance audit report from the Auditor-General were not awarded scholarships under the current administration.
The Auditor-General report listed the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku-Prempeh; the Procurement Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo and the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Prince Hamidu Armah as scholarship beneficiaries of the scheme in the past.
But GETFund in a statement said, “the aforementioned persons have not been awarded scholarships by the Fund under the current administration.”
Also in reaction to the report, the GETFund said its mandate was not limited to serving needy but brilliant students, in line with the GETFund Act 2000.
“The fund may, per its mandate, also provide support for other educational activities and programmes to serve strategic national interests.”
Some of the aforementioned officials have also responded to media reports on the matter saying they were beneficiaries before becoming appointees.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh in a statement reminded that he was a beneficiary in 2014.
He participated in a three-week certificate programme at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The minister complained that some reportage on the matter was “calculated to cause embarrassment and public ridicule.”
“I have not received any form of sponsorship for any program or course of study from GETFund of scholarship secretariat since becoming a Minister,” he stressed.
The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment also came out with a statement noting that his studies at the Aberdeen University in Scotland predated his entry into public service “by at least three years.”
He applied for and won the scholarship in 2012 to study for a doctorate in Mathematics Education at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom in 2012.
Focus of GETFund performance audit
The Auditor-General ultimately indicted the GETFund for breaching its mandate and “illegally” funding foreign scholarships.
The performance audit report said the GETFund Secretariat “breached the object of the fund and administered the scholarship themselves.”
The report also said, “GETFund did not establish any systems, policies and procedures to ensure the economic, efficient and effective use of public funds.”
The Auditor-General concluded that the failings of the GETFund led to brilliant but needy students being deprived of scholarship in favour of politicians in some cases.