A total of 20 brilliant but indigent students from various universities across the country have been awarded scholarship worth N100,000 each by the Gani Fawehinmi Foundation to enable them complete their programmes in their respective institutions.
Speaking at this year’s annual scholarship awards of the foundation in Lagos last week, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Dipo Fashina said during his life time, Gani Fawehinmi was concerned about brilliant students, whose parents could not afford their fees, adding that there is disparity in the distribution of education in the country. “The ideal is about spreading the importance of education, its selling and he said we must continue with the scholarship all over the country.”
He recalled the challenges the board encountered during the interview and selection process in various states, while acknowledging the efforts and contributions of the Fawehinmi family and staff of the Nigerian Law Publication House, Lagos.
“This year, we requested for 20 students and we got it. We ensured that all beneficiaries of the scholarship are indigent and this has increased our enthusiasm to do more.”
A lecturer at the Department of English Language, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Lai Olurode, who described the late Gani Fawehinmi as a good man, said the scheme is now in its 39th year and enjoined the beneficiaries over the years, to also contribute to the development of humanity.
“There is need for beneficiaries to also do good and reciprocate the gesture to the society.
The scholarship scheme started since 1973, but out of the 800 beneficiaries so far, how many have looked back to say this is what they have done for the society?”
In his lecture, ‘After Education, What Next?’ a professor in the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Festus Iyayi, enjoined intellectuals in the country to take on the task of rescuing education and ultimately the Nigeria society from the chaos and shackles in which members of the ruling elites had plunged the country.
“Our intellectuals and patriotic forces cannot adopt the attitude of indifference or claim that their hands are clean or that they have no hand in bringing the current state of chaos and disgrace on our country. It means that there is a wisdom in their acting to rescue education and Nigeria society, even when those who are disgracing the country do not believe that she is worth saving or do not see the larger consequence of their shamelessness for our psyche and standing as Nigerians, as Africans and as citizens of the world.”
He said the social and material conditions of the education sector have steadily deteriorated, adding,“the ruling elites in the country only succeeds in reproducing themselves by entrenching a culture of anti-intellectualism, treachery, superstitions, inferiority complex , among others”
Some of the beneficiaries expressed delight about the award, saying that it would spur them to also give back to the society. A 300 level student of the Department of Education, Guidance and Counselling, UNILAG, Miss Morufat Abdulgafar, said, “I am fortunate to be among the beneficiaries of the scholarship. My dream is to be able to help the less privilege in life and put smiles on the faces of people.”
Abdulgafar, who is visually impaired, said she was awarded scholarship in her 100 level. She said she would use the money to buy a laptop and a gadget to aid her academics.