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The Scholarship Secretariat has averted a planned strike action by the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) to protest delays in the payment of bursary and thesis grants.
The action was averted following negotiations that culminated in an agreement reached with the association on the modalities for the payment of the grant.
After a crunch meeting between executives of the association and the Scholarship Secretariat on Thursday, GRASAG officially called off its intended protest.
The agreement from the three-hour meeting required that the arrears would begin to be paid this week depending on available data of applicants to be presented by the association.
The amount in arrears is about GH¢600million, payable in varying amounts to about 2,500 graduate students from all public universities across the country to support their studies.
GRASAG’s demand for the arrears intensified two weeks ago when it gave the government and the Scholarship Secretariat up to last Monday, to effect payment else it would stage a demonstration.
The threat followed the Secretariat’s decision to introduce a new payment model where the grants would be sent directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries, which the association said it had no prior knowledge.
Additionally, the Association said the change would further delay the processing of the payment.
However, Kwame Bonah Osafo-Ampomah, National President of GRASAG, in an interview after Thursday’s meeting, said they had now agreed to the payment model and would submit applicants’ data for the arrears to be paid.
For his part, Kingsley Agyemang, Registrar of the Secretariat indicated that his outfit decided to change the mode of payment from manual to an electric payment platform since the former was fraught with challenges such as fraud.
He said the executives were taken through the new model at the meeting and expressed the secretariat’s commitment to ensure that its mandate was executed diligently.
Source: Nii Adotey