The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng, has disclosed that, his Ministry has stopped the Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme (MASTESS) because there are no funds to continue it.
Responding to a question asked by the former Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and MP for Hohoe, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo on the statues of implementation of MASTESS on the floor of Parliament Monday, the Sector Minister noted that, in 2015 and 2016, MESTI requested for release of funds for the programme to continue but “unfortunately funds were not released and the programme was truncated”.
Professor Boateng said, “at the time the programme was stopped in 2015, a total of 12, 755 students, had benefited”.
The MASTESS was an incentive programme to provide scholarship and bursaries for needy but brilliant students in Mathematics, Science and Technology related subjects in tertiary and second circle institutions, which was launched on 17th August, 2009.
According to the then Government, “the introduction of MASTESS became necessary following a decline in the interest of students to take up the study of science and mathematics coupled with the poor results students obtained at The West Africa Secondary certificate Examination (WASSCE)”.
The Scheme was to be funded by 2% of funds allocated to GETFund. The allocation to be deposited in a special account called ‘MASTESS” Fund was to be disbursed by The Scholarship secretariat,
It was estimated that The MASTESS programme would benefit 41, 000 brilliant but needy students annually to enable them pursue both secondary and tertiary education.
MASTESS Funds released by GETFund since 2010 to 2014 was GHC 10.5 million.
Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah