MTN Ghana Foundation, through its "Bright Scholarship Programme," has offered 100 brilliant but needy students scholarship to further their education from the 2020/2021 academic year in 21 tertiary institutions across the country.
The scholarship, which was applied for by 1,900 students, saw 184 being selected for an interview, after which 100 were selected.
Among them were pre-first-year and continuing students in the Medical School and other fields who had to toil to make ends meet with varied vocations in order to pay their fees and acquire other necessities.
Mr Samuel Koranteng, the Corporate Services Executive, MTN Ghana, said out of the 100 beneficiaries, 50 were selected from the northern Ghana and 50 from the south.
He said this year's beneficiaries were special as they were the last cohort of the 300 students the MTN decided to support within three years.
The entries commenced from May 1 and ended on May 31, 2020.
He said the programme sought to ease the financial burden on students by catering for the cost of tuition and accommodation and as well providing them with stipends for books.
Mr Koranteng said though corporate institutions, individuals and government were contributing substantially to support brilliant but needy students, he believed more could be done to touch more lives.
Mr Selorm Adadevoh, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, in a speech read on his behalf, said female participation in the application process increased from 18 per cent to 35 per cent.
Moreover, participation of persons with disability also increased and that was something MTN was proud of.
He said the scholarship gave beneficiaries not only funding but peace of mind to study and advised the students to take advantage of the contacts they had acquired by joining the MTN telecom company, saying: "Use the contacts wisely and gain something profitable from it."
Prof. Justice Monvignon from the University of Ghana and a member of the Jury, said this year's programme included students who wanted to or were in tertiary training institutions.
As the Jury interviewed the applicants, he said, they saw the great future they had and the need for more individuals and corporate institutions to help them.
He said there were many students who had to engage in different activities like potting, construction, sale of pastries, scrap dealing and cleaning jobs to pay for their fees and other necessities.
Prof. Monvignon thanked MTN for entrusting them with the confidence to select the right people to benefit from its educational package.
He advised the beneficiaries to work hard in order not to disappoint the orgnisation and those who stood their grounds to select them.
Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, said although the pandemic was a cause of worry, acquiring education was key to fighting it.
He said the current enrolment at tertiary institutions by 17 per cent was low as against the global demand of 50 per cent, hence, the need to take away all barriers such as lack of funding opportunities to achieve the set target.
"Government alone cannot support the educational sector either through tax waiver or funding initiatives and that is why we appreciate every intervention by the private sector," he said.