Many students from the first batch of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy, who obtained excellent grades in the 2020 WASSCE are to benefit from a government scholarship to enable them pursue tertiary education.
The scholarship scheme will specifically target the brilliant students from deprived homes.
The Registrar of Scholarships at the Scholarship Secretariat in the Office of the President, Mr Kingsley Agyemang who disclosed this in a radio interview Wednesday morning [November 25, 2020] said his outfit would be making a major announcement at a press conference on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
He said the Secretariat was therefore seizing the opportunity to inform the 2020 WASSCE graduates to prepare themselves for a big announcement from the Secretariat on Tuesday.
He said the retooled Ghana Scholarships Secretariat is now strategically positioned to effectively deliver on its mandate of awarding scholarships to Ghanaians for tertiary education.
Mr Agyemang's revelation in a radio interview on Accra based Oman FM, monitored by Graphic Online followed a social media appeal for assistance for a student from the Adeiso Senior High School in the Eastern Region, who obtained grade A1 in all eight subjects in the 2020 WASSCE but comes from a deprived home.
Thomas Amoani lives in Asuaba near Adeiso and studied General Arts at the SHS level.
He obtained Excellent grades of A1 in Social Studies, English Language, Mathematics (Core), Integrated Science, Economics, Geography, Government and Mathematics (Elective).
His dream is to study Economics at the University of Ghana.
A video interview [attached below] of how he was able to go to senior high school because of the free SHS educational policy has been shared on social media.
Amoani in the interview narrated how he walked from Asuaba to Adeiso, a distance of about 6-kilometres on a daily basis to attend school.
He was a day student.
He said he was motivated to persevere because of his poor background.
His mother also narrated how Thomas, who is her second born would not have been able to go to SHS but for the free SHS policy and assistance from his teachers in Asuaba.
Following that, the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat in the Office of the President in a press statement issued Tuesday, November 24, 2020 by the Registrar, Kingsley Agyemang said, "H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has taken notice of a social media video reporting of the excellent results of Thomas Amoani who lives in Asuaba near Adeiso and attended Adeiso SHS."
It said as a normal practice and taking into consideration the socio-geographical background of the student, President Akufo-Addo has expressly directed the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat to grant a full scholarship award to the student for his tertiary studies.
It added that the Scholarship Secretariat has already established contact with the student and parent and will on Friday, November 27, 2020 pay a visit to the family to discuss their needs in detail.
After that, the Education Committee of the Scholarship Secretariat headed by Professor S.Y. Mensah will do a need based assessment to determine the way forward for Thomas Amoaning.
In the radio interview with Oman FM monitored by Graphic Online on Wednesday morning, Mr Agyemang said the scholarship secretariat has decentralized to the district level and would have captured Master Thomas Amoani even without the social media appeal.
He said since the decentralization of the secretariat at the district level and also making the application available online, the number of applications have increased.
Since the portal was opened on March 31, 2020 and closed on June 15, 2020, a total of 278,350 applications were received, he said.
After going through the process including interviews at the district level, a total of about 45,000 would be getting the scholarship this year, Mr Agyemang added.
He said the number is expected to go up after the December 1 announcement to enable majority of the students from the first batch of the free SHS to get the opportunity for further studies.
He said already, one Abednego Sackey who obtained good grades at the SHS level and was from a deprived background is currently pursuing studies in medicine in Cuba on government scholarship.
Charlotte is also currently at Robert Gordon in Scotland on government scholarship.
Similarly, the child of a teacher who was gruesomely murdered in the Eastern Region has also been offered scholarship to pursue further studies, Mr Agyemang said.
Watch the video interview of Thomas Amoani and mother below