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MTN Ghana funds tertiary education of 300 needy Ghanaian students

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Some beneficiaries of the Bright Scholarship scheme during their graduation

MTN Ghana has spent a total of GH¢3 million on 300 brilliant needy Ghanaian students in the past three years under its ‘Bright Scholarship’ scheme to enable them to acquire tertiary education.

The beneficiaries, spread throughout the country, pursued programmes in technology, engineering, science, agricultural technology and mathematics, among others.

So far, 199 students out of the 300 have graduated from their various programmes.

Over the years, lots of brilliant students have struggled to finance their tertiary education, with most of them having to drop out because of economic hardship and the inability of parents and guardians to raise enough resources to fund their education.

It was for such reasons that the MTN Foundation, in 2016 during the 20th anniversary of MTN Ghana, introduced the Bright Scholarship to support needy students in the country.

Criteria for selection

Beneficiaries were required to have gained admission into the university, be Ghanaian citizens and be engaged in a social responsibility or communal activity.

Giving back to society

In an interview on November 29, 2021, the Education Portfolio Advisor in charge of Scholarships at the MTN Foundation, Mr George Kyei Frimpong, explained that the amount covered tuition, accommodation and stipend for each of the beneficiaries throughout their three years of study.

“Back in the day, we gave each beneficiary GH¢500. This academic year it was increased to GH¢1,000,” he said.

He explained that although the scholarship ended this year because it was a three-year intervention, it would still run for students who were still in school and had not finished their studies.

“Such students will continue to benefit until completion of their programmes. We are not going to withdraw our support in any way. We will take good care of the students,” he said.

Impact

According to Mr Frimpong, MTN was changing the lives of people who otherwise could not take care of their fees and so could not pursue their dreams.

“We are bettering the lives of people and putting smiles on the faces of deprived people in our communities. The results have been great. Most of our students are first-class students. We recorded three students who were adjudged overall best students in their school,” he said.

Beneficiaries

In an interview, a beneficiary, Mr Elvis Turkson, who completed his tertiary education at the University of Ghana, Legon, said the Bright Scholarship made it possible for him to be who he was.

“I never thought I could complete university because my mum is a widow and had no clear-cut plans as to whether I would go to school or not. So I was trying to raise money myself to go continue school when I heard of the scholarship and applied. It has really helped me,” he said.

He was full of gratitude for MTN Foundation.

“I am most grateful to MTN for the benefit of a scholarship. I am really grateful for an opportunity to study without thinking about anything. I pray they launch another one so people will enjoy too,” he said.

Way forward

For MTN Foundation, the plan is to keep the scholarship programme going.

“We are looking forward to implementing a new scholarship scheme as the continuation of Bright Scholarship. We still want to invest in the lives of the less-deprived people in the community,” Mr Frimpong added.

Keynote

-The Bright scholarship was created in 2016 when MTN Ghana celebrated its 20th anniversary.

-Since the inception of the MTN Ghana Foundation in 2007, over 1,300 scholarships have been awarded to students from basic school to the tertiary level through different scholarship programmes.