Adibe Emenyonu writes on the scholarship awards to two brilliant pupils from poor backgrounds by the Edo State Deputy Speaker, Hon. Elizabeth Ativie
For Ebiuwa Asemota, a pupil of Uwa Primary School, Ikhueniro in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of Edo State, the future would have been bleak after completing her primary education.
Hailing from a poor background she never thought of advancing to secondary education. What preoccupied the parents, was to go and enroll her as an apprentice in one of the fashion shop owners within their locality.
Aiyevbosa Aibuedefe, had the ambition to learn motor repairs after completing his primary education last July because his parents could not afford to send him to further his education. They are rural farmers who toil to provide food for the children than giving them secondary education.
These two brilliant children were pupils of the same school, an agrarian community noted for the cultivation of cash crops like orange, pineapple, mango etc, as well as food crops.
However, both had their fortunes changed when the Deputy Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Elizabeth Ativie, came to the rescue in her ‘Talent Hunt Scholarship Scheme’, a scheme she set up for children of the less-privileged who are brilliant, but have no means to achieve their goals through formal education.
For the duo, October 4, 2016 will remain one of their happiest day when they were sent forth to Federal Unity College by the Deputy Speaker.
The two emerged winners in the election processes conducted for about 60 pupils from the area; and had passed the National Common Entrance Examination.
While Aiyevbosa gained admission into Federal Government College, Ibillo, Edo State, Ebiuwa was posted to Federal Government Girls’ College, Omu Aran, Kwara State from junior secondary school to senior secondary school levels.
Speaking at the formal sent forth for the young lads, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie tasked teachers across the state to continue to ensure quality teaching to pupils particularly those in rural areas.
She said the beneficiaries were products of the Elizabeth Ativie Talent Hunt Scholarship Scheme.
Not only that, she also urged all stakeholders to play positive roles in order to ensure that education standards are restored to complement the efforts of the state government to revamp the education sector and make it vibrant.
Her words: “All stakeholders should play their roles in ensuring that our educational standards bounce back to complement the great effort of the present administration in ravamping our educational system.”
Ativie who added that the scheme is to avail indigent pupils from her constituency the opportunity to have quality education and equal opportunities with children in the urban areas, said the driving force behind her passion for the scholarship scheme, which started six months ago with the selection examinations is to ensure that children in the rural areas, particularly, her constituency, have a good academic foundation to be able to compete globally.
She noted that 450 pupils from 90 primary schools participated in the qualifying test while two pupils in the Elizabeth Ativie Talent Hunt Scholarship Scheme emerged successful and were offered admission into the federal government colleges in Edo and Kwara states.
The former Speaker and now deputy Speaker, commended the successful pupils in the federal government colleges examination for doing their best to secure spaces in the scholarship programme.
She however expressed sadness that out of 60 pupils that sat for the examination, only two passed, a development she noted was not good enough; it gave rise to her call for the encouragement of teachers in the rural areas so that they can impact quality education to pupils especially those in rural communities.
“I am saddened by the fact that out of the 60 pupils that enrolled for the examination, only two scaled through. This is an attestation that a lot needs to be done in our education system in the rural areas.”
Nonetheless, she encouraged the successful students to put their best to justify the huge investment in them, adding that, her desire is to continue the scholarship scheme as long as God gives her the strength, the resources and the people of Uhunmwonde are happy and continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
In her remark, wife of the Edo State governor-elect, Betsy Obaseki lauded the initiative of the lawmaker and called for its sustenance saying the sponsor has genuinely showed sincerity of purpose in her commitment to improving the lives of indigent pupils in her constituency through provision of standard and quality education for all.
And to the proud parents of the pupils, their joy knew no bounds as they were full of praises for Hon. Ativie and asked God to continue to bless her and her family.
One of the parents puts it this way: “I don’t know how to express my joy today seeing my son advancing to a federal government college. May God continue to bless the donor and her family for doing me and my family proud.”