Calls for Clarity: Scholarships and Poverty Identification Under Scrutiny in Ghana

Dr. Kojo Pumpuni Asante, the Director of Programmes and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has expressed surprise at the assertion made by individuals and institutions claiming an inability to identify individuals living in poverty.

His remarks come in response to comments made by Dr. Kingsley Agyemang, the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, on April 3, advocating for swift legislation to streamline the distribution of scholarships in the country. Dr. Agyemang emphasized the challenges faced by officers in decision-making due to the lack of clear legislation defining the eligibility criteria for scholarship recipients.

Dr. Agyemang’s comments were prompted by a recent investigative report by the Fourth Estate, which highlighted instances of double scholarships and the preferential treatment of politically connected individuals in scholarship allocations. In response, the Registrar argued that there are no existing laws or criteria to determine who qualifies as financially needy for a scholarship.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on April 13, Dr. Pumpuni Asante expressed shock at these assertions, citing the availability of research and data on poverty levels. He emphasized that there are established methods for identifying needy individuals, including social protection programs and categorization by poverty levels.

Dr. Pumpuni Asante emphasized the importance of clarity in determining eligibility criteria for scholarships, stating that it is essential to avoid confusion and ensure transparency in scholarship allocation. He called for a review of existing policies to address any lack of clarity and ensure that support is provided to those who truly need it.

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