The government has decided to pay the school fees of about 40 private Ghanaian students studying in Russia.
The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, said the decision to absorb the fees of the students followed a report from the students that their parents and guardians were unable to raise their fees.
Mr Mahama made this known at the 50th dinner/dance of the Soviet Trained Ghanaian Graduates Association (SOTGGA) in Accra Sunday.
Held on the theme: "Education Anywhere is Nation-Building Everywhere", the buffet and dinner was attended by professionals from academia, politics, medicine and engineering who had their education in the former Soviet Union.
The Vice-President, who obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Psychology in Russia from 1986 to 1988, said many private Ghanaian students went to Russia to study but had difficulty in paying their fees.
"We (the government) have identified between 30 and 40 students. We will see how to assist them to finish their courses and come home," he said.
Mr Mahama said it was Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who mooted the idea of sending Ghanaians to the Soviet Union to study.
He said the idea was to produce engineers, doctors, mechanics and other professionals who would support Ghana's development efforts.
He said the products of the Soviet Union education had played their part in contributing to the development of the country, as they were found in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Mr Mahama said sending Ghanaian students to the former Soviet Union dwindled after the overthrow of Dr Nkrumah, but the Provisional National Defence Council/National Democratic Congress (PNDC/NDC) increased the tempo of the scholarship to Russia.
The Vice-President, however, expressed regret that the number of Ghanaians benefiting from Russian scholarship had reduced drastically and gave the assurance that the government would collaborate with the association to get more Russian scholarships for Ghanaian students.
He appealed to Russia-trained graduates to offer suggestions to the government to facilitate the attainment of the better Ghana agenda.
Mr Mahama said Russians were increasingly becoming interested in investing in Ghana and indicated that many Russian companies had expressed interest in investing in Ghana's oil and gas sector.
The President of SOTGGA, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, said the number of scholarships given to Ghanaians had reduced from more than 200 to only 40 this year.
He said the association had engaged the Russian authorities on the issue and the Russian government had agreed to increase the number.
Dr Antwi-Danso expressed worry at the equating of the Russia-acquired Master of Science (MSc) degrees to Master of Arts (MA) by the Public Services Commission and asked that the MSc must be maintained as such.
Source: Daily Graphic
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