A source at the Ghana Embassy in Italy, pleading anonymity, told Adom News the Embassy cannot help Ghanaian students recently denied of their scholarships because the scholarships are sponsored by the Italian and not by Ghana government.
Almost 200 Ghanaian students on three-year scholarships in Italian universities lost their scholarships and were kicked out of dormitories after the Italian Embassy in Ghana discovered that the documents they submitted for their visas and scholarships were fake.
The main faked documents were Tax Clearance Certificates from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which the students have to submit every year to the Italian Embassy in Ghana for validation so they could continue enjoying scholarships.
But the Italian Embassy said it discovered massive fraud in that document as a network outside of the Embassy took thousands of euros from students and faked the tax clearance certificates for them, stating faked amounts that could qualify them for scholarships.
President of the Ghanaian Students Association in Siena, Italy, Cornelius Fredua Agyeman told Adom News that every year, students had to travel to Ghana, get the necessary documents, translate them and submit to the Italian Embassy for validation, which is too expensive.
He said they, therefore, appealed to the Italian Scholarship Board to allow the Ghana Embassy in Italy to do the validation to cut cost and the Scholarship Board agreed, but till date, the Ghana Embassy has not even validated one document for anyone and has also not told them why.
But according to the Ghana Embassy source, in the past, they made the effort to intervene by writing to the Italian government for clearance to perform that function, but to no avail.
“We met a roadblock because the scholarships are being paid for by the Italian government and not by the Ghana government so they told us they cannot allow us to validate the documents.
“These are diplomatic issues and it goes beyond an agreement between the Italian Scholarship Board and the students,” it said.
The source said this information has been communicated to the students on several occasions but they still main the notion that the Ghana Embassy can help but are refusing to.
Meanwhile, according to the source, they have seen some of the documents students submit for validation and they can confirm that some of them are indeed fake as the Italian Embassy in Ghana said.
Adom News gathered that the stranded students and their leadership in Italy are preparing to make a representation to the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ghana for diplomatic intervention.
In the meantime, some of the students are said to be wallowing on street corners in Italy with no accommodation, food or money, while others are perching with colleagues on various campuses.