15 Ghanaian students in Ukraine refuse to come home after gov’t bought their tickets – Dep. Foreign Affairs Minister
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, has revealed that 15 Ghanaian students have refused to return to Ghana, although government has provided air tickets for their trip.
Speaking in an interview with Evans Mensah, on Ghana Connect, on Friday, he explained that government is making frantic efforts to ensure the safety and evacuation of all Ghanaian students in Ukraine, following the invasion by Russia.
But according to him, this group of students have turned down the offer, this, causing financial loss on the part of government.
“The latest is that we have another batch of eighteen who’ll be arriving tomorrow on Qatar Airways. The unfortunate thing is a large number of them who were originally scheduled to have travelled this evening and arrived tomorrow have decided that they were not coming. About fifteen of them have decided that they were not taking advantage,” he disclosed.
He also added that, the students communicated their decision to stay on Thursday, March 3, 2021; after government had paid for their tickets.
Explaining the basis of their refusal to return home, Mr. Ampratwum-Sarpong, disclosed that, the students have been given various offers in Hungary for them to continue their education.
He said, there are schools in Hungary, who have expressed their willingness to offer accommodation and tuition to the Ghanaian students, hence their refusal to join the evacuation flight. The Minister added that, the parents of some of these students have approved their wards’ decisions not to return to Ghana.
As a result, he explained that the Ministry cannot compel the students to return home, against their will.
He however stated that, his outfit will ensure that, the said offers from the Hungarian authorities are well formalised to further cement the choice of the students who have decided to stay in Hungary.
Meanwhile, the first batch of Ghanaian nationals evacuated from Ukraine, including students arrived in Accra on March 1, 2022.
These persons were rescued through neighbouring countries by land due to the shutdown of Ukraine’s airspace since the beginning of the unrest in the country.
Government has been undertaking a number of processes in partnership with diplomatic missions, honorary consuls and stakeholders to get all Ghanaian nationals evacuated to safer zones.
A Foreign Ministry representative helping with the evacuation exercise, Dr Albert Kitcher, said many of the students left stranded in Ukraine continue to arrive at the Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland borders.
He said he has so far received 45 of them who successfully crossed the Ukraine border on Monday.
“These are mostly students. For the non-students, I know some who have gone on their own. There are about four or five different steps that you take before you get to the border and then get on the plane. These people are leaving from the city of Kyiv; so, they are in the territory of Ukraine
As they are leaving, the person leading the bus is constantly in touch with me and some of the student leaders, and we’re coordinating as and when they are on the road.
“As they are going, we’re giving information to the Ghana Mission so that when the people arrive, they would be there to receive them,” he said.