As part of efforts to enhance the study of French language at the masters and doctoral level, the Scholarships Secretariat and the French Embassy have teamed up to launch the President’s Special Initiative in Advanced Studies of French in all language tertiary institutions in Ghana.
Launching the initiative on Tuesday at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon, the Registrar of the Scholarships Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang, said the initiative is centered on three measures for learning, communicating and creating in French.
He added that it is also underpinned by President Macron’s revelation of France’s international strategy for the French language and multilingualism.
“This attests to the fact that France is not only committed to supporting education systems in Francophone countries, particularly Africa, but beyond the French speaking world, with the view to ensuring that the language benefits new generations whilst respecting multilingualism,” he said.
Mr. Agyemang added that the initiative falls in line with President Akufo-Addo’s resolve to make sure that the study of French becomes part and parcel of Ghana’s educational curriculum.
“It is very significant to mention the fact that this special project perfectly aligns with the vision and commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to transform the educational system at all levels,” he added.
Mr. Agyeman said the President believes that “bilingualism is inseparable from quality education and also represents an asset for access to employment, especially in multinational companies.”
Sponsorship of students
Mr. Agyemang indicated that the Scholarships Secretariat, in the 2019/2020 academic year alone, gave scholarship awards to 880 students, out of which 601 are undertaking studies in French.
“It is also significant to note that the number of language students has increased with the upload of six new colleges of education to be part of the programme, as a result of their upgrade to tertiary status,” he stated.
Explaining how the initiative will be implemented, the Scholarships Registrar said the secretariat and the French Embassy will publicise the scholarships and indicate the number of qualified Ghanaians who will be given the awards every year, in accordance with the budgetary capacity of both implementing agencies.
He said the selection process will also be administered by a committee, comprising representatives of the French Embassy and the Scholarships Secretariat.
The beneficiaries will be made to sign an agreement.
He said the agreement will, among other things, ask the beneficiaries to maintain good academic standing throughout the duration of the programme in order to continue to receive funding.
“The Embassy of France and the Scholarships Secretariat reserve the right to withdraw funding from a beneficiary found to have defaulted in any of the requirements.
“Also, the Scholarships Secretariat would put in place a strict bonding mechanism where beneficiary students will be bonded to compel them to return home to apply the skills and knowledge acquired for national development,” he said.
Mr. Agyemang admonished potential beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunities and “avail to themselves to be good ambassadors of Ghana in their host country.”
He assured that the Scholarships Secretariat is committed to extending the requisite support to make their studies enjoyable.