His Excellency the President of the republic of Ghana, recently underscored the importance of learning French and other foreign languages and further affirmed government’s commitment to the prioritization of French as a subject on the school curriculum.

It’s an open secret that, many Ghanaians shy away from learning foreign languages because of a general misconception that, the study of such languages is difficult and of no benefit to them.

In view of that, the Scholarships Secretariat under the new management has been very concerned about the difficulties students endured during the 2016/2017 academic year and has consequently introduced reforms to improve the management of scholarships.

Speaking at the farewell reception for students under the Government’s scholarships for abroad language proficiency programme at the University of Ghana on Monday, 11th September, 2017, the registrar of Scholarships Secretariat, Mr. Kingsley Agyemang, noted that, this year, government is providing scholarships to 360 students under the Language Proficiency Programme.

Saying, these students are expected to depart from the shores of Ghana, not later than 10th October, 2017. The awardees he said, will be studying in Togo, Benin, Tanzania, Egypt, China, Russia and Cuba.

Mr. Agyemang emphasized that, this is the first time in so many years that, students travelling arrangements have been effected ahead of departure. Adding that, the year abroad programme is a policy by the various institutions as part of their curriculum, for language students and regularized by the Scholarships Secretariat.

He further noted that, the language programme is one of the President’s key policies on education and pledges to institutionalize the study of basic French, while intensifying the patronage of other languages because, to the President, all other languages are equally important for nation building since there are bilateral agreements between Ghana and other nations.

“The prospective year abroad students must understand that, their chosen course of study and career is not only an avenue for personal gains and prestige, but also a call to serve mankind with dignity and selflessness. I believe that, this is a way to align your respective professions to the career you have chosen such as the translators, interpretors, teachers and the likes.”

Mr. Kingsley Agyemang admittedly, stated that, there have been challenges in recent years in the administration of the Year Abroad Programme. However, he assured them that, by the directives of the president, this year’s Year Abroad Programme has been the most organized in its preparation towards their departure and stay in the various host nations.

“Let me take this opportunity to reenforce His Excellency’s promise to restore the medical allowances during his visit to Togo. To this end, the Scholarships Secretariat has engaged key stakeholders to improvise the restoration of the medical allowance and I am glad to inform you that, the medical allowance shall be restored next academic year.

You will agree with me that, one of the key challenges to the Year Abroad Programme was the payment of stipends. The challenge has been surmounted by the introduction of debit cards which will be provided to students before their departure to their countries of study.” He said.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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