Lee Ocran is Education Minster
Information reaching Citi News
indicates that 10 Ghanaian students on full government scholarship studying Medicine and other related courses in Venezuela are currently stranded because of the non-payment of their allowances for some 18 months now.
They include Ewoenam Deborah Dekportor (Medicine), Marie Immaculate D. D. Darko (Medicine), Rufai Abdul- Wahab (Medicine), Al-hassan Andani Dasana (Medicine), Prince Atiku (Medicine), Mariama Abdulai (Medicine), Anela Akasi Eduku (Medicine,) Joycelyn Maami Esi Yarkwah (Medicine), Anita Adwoa Davidson (Agric) and Rita Ohemeng (Agric).
They were among the 2010/2017 batch of Ghanaian students who were awarded full scholarships by the Ghana government to study medicine in the Escuela LatinoAmericana de Medicina Dr. Salvador Allende (Latin American School of Medicine).
They told Citi News
that prior to their departure from Ghana, they were made to understand by the scholarship secretariat that each student was entitled to a monthly stipend of between $200 and $250 as monthly allowance and a yearly book allowance of $360 for their seven years stay in Venezuela.
They revealed that on their arrival in Venezuela on May 6th, 2010, their entitlements were channelled through Ghana’s Embassy in Brazil which they received on only three occasions.
“But our subsequent payments amounting to $15,800 have been withheld by Ghana’s Embassy in Brazil with the explanation that it was used to cover transport allowances during the three visits to Venezuela,” they complained.
“This has compounded our suffering because we have exhausted all our monies and are now living on the benevolence of colleagues until such a time our accumulated allowances will come.”
They indicated that all attempts to have Ghana’s consulate in Brazil release their monies have proved futile.
According to the students, “what makes matters worse for us is our difficulty in operating foreign accounts to allow relations in Ghana send us money as the economic rules and regulations in Venezuela bar us from opening foreign accounts.”
They however commended the Venezuelan government which they said had been helpful by giving them some little amount of money for basic necessities like soap, cream and transportation.
The affected students are currently in their third trimester and have indicated that should government fail to come to their aid they will be compelled to abandon the course and return home because the suffering has become unbearable.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana