Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, a Mechanical Technology student at Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), was unable to pay his second, third, and final year’s fees. After members of the public responded kindly to his predicament being published, two philanthropists paid his fees.
The first payment of GH₵2,404 was made on September 28, 2022, and the last payment of GH₵2,280 cedis was made on March 9, 2023. Both philanthropists, one a product of the university and one a Ghanaian living in Kenya, have asked to remain anonymous. However, Abdul-Rahman still faces other hurdles, including the acquisition of a laptop that will let him begin and complete his thesis.
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Salam’s struggle to make it in life has been difficult since he lost his father when he was in primary school in the early 1990s. He chose to study auto-mechanics at the Kumasi National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and graduated in 2006.
He had to enroll for the pre-HND mechanical engineering program at Kumasi Technical University because he was not qualified to enter university or any of the tertiary institutions due to a lack of some core subjects. Between 2008 and 2013, the 32-year-old attended Kumasi Technical University and graduated from an HND program.
The only time Salam made a fortune was during his national service. Salam’s inability to find work after completing his national service, as well as the never-ending struggle to support his family, caused him to think ceaselessly.
Salam applied for BSc Mechanical Engineering at AAMUSTED in 2017 and gained admission, but was unable to pay the fees. All efforts and engagement with people to assist with payment yielded no results. He had no choice except to forego the idea of furthering his education.
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The year 2018 came and went, and he was unable to attend university owing to the same financial difficulties. Salam had to try his luck again when 2019 arrived. This time, too, he gained admission, but he had to go from one person to the next to get help. He was determined and hoping that things would be different this time. Lo and behold, a Good Samaritan in the Kumasi suburb of Manhyia, whom Salam declined to name, paid the admission fees and has continued to do so.
During the Institution of Engineers and Technology (IET) Ghana’s inauguration and induction of new engineers at AAMUSTED in Kumasi, Salam approached one of the waitresses to request a plate because he was hungry. Everyone was taken aback. Salam, on the other hand, seemed unfazed and added, “I’d appreciate some food, please.” One of the engineers pleaded with the waitress to serve him food. Salam was served a plate.
Salam did not look to be enjoying his time at university. Salam claimed he often traveled on foot from Tanoso, where the university is located, to Tafo, a distance of about 12.6km. When he has enough money, he walked from Tafo to Sofoline and picked a trotro mini-bus to school.
Engr. Felix Zator Tembile of the Department of Mechanical and Automotive Technology Education said, “Salam’s struggle to make it in life is heartbreaking.” According to him, Salam was unaware of the lecture hall where an examination paper was to be written. “When I urged him to contact his colleagues and find out what was going on, he stated he didn’t have a phone,” said the lecturer.