Ugo Aliogo and Kehinde Lawal
In a bid to support indigent students, Rotary Club District 9110, Nigeria, through its District Educational and Welfare Endowment Fund (DEWEF), has awarded scholarship of N100,000 each to 25 indigent undergraduates from Lagos and Ogun States. The scholarship will run throughout their undergraduate programme.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Lagos recently, the Chairman of the Endowment Fund, Mr. Adeniji Raji said the number of annual scholarships has increased from four in 2009 to 18 in 2017, adding that investment in people’s lives yields the greatest interest.
He said the scholarship is meant for brilliant but indigent students, undergoing undergraduate programmes within Lagos and Ogun States, adding that only those in 200 and 300 levels in any of the federal and state universities are eligible.
“Students in colleges of education and polytechnics are qualified to apply for sponsorship which would cover their courses of study, ranging from three to five years.”
He said in 2018, the number of scholarship recipients has reached 25, adding that in subsequent years, the club is planning to extend its focus to post-secondary school vocational trainees in collaboration with the states ministries of education.
Raji said it has continued to sustain the scholarship since the first set was awarded in 2009, adding that 10 students that benefitted from the scholarship have graduated, with some of them finishing in first class and 13 existing students that won the award in past years had their offer renewed.
He noted that the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the association would soon increase the slot above the current one annually, while calling for more support.
He blamed the inability of the government to provide quality education at all levels as one of the reasons for the country’s underdevelopment.
“We believe there is a great need to supplement skills and knowledge. Unemployment is on the increase every year. We must provide vocational skills training, internship opportunities, mentorship and access to latest equipment, knowledge, and provision of start-up capital for our youths. We therefore believe that vocational education is the bedrock of industrial development.”
The District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110, Mr. Adewale Ogunbanjo said the club has remained the only organisation that awards the greatest number of scholarship in different categories in the world.
He said community empowerment development of the youths in the country needs full attention, adding that the club has been at the forefront of this effort.
“The youths are our future; by financing their education through scholarship, we are helping them not to drop out of school, indulge in crime and lose their core values in life which will be a loss to the country. At the moment we are empowering them and by so doing, we are empowering our economy and the future.”