By SAM EYOBOKA
WORD of Life Bible Church, Warri in Delta State, recently gave scholarship awards to 40 indigent students to study courses of their choice ranging from mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, medical sciences to economics at different tertiary institutions of higher learning in the country and overseas.
The list included 36 fresh students in 100 level, three in 200 level while the remaining one is a 300 level student. One of the lucky students, Toritse-weju Mene is admitted to read Economics at Memorial University in Canada.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony which took place during the 26th Jubilee Word Festival at the church headquarters in Ajamimogha, Warri, the general overseer, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said the scholarship was a way the church encourages the growth of education in the society, stating “it is better to have many unemployed graduates than to have a society with uneducated people.
“I believe we are coming to a time when graduates will be proud to work in every sector of the society,” the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said, adding that he had a covenant with God to empower as many indigent students in and around Delta State as long as possible.
He therefore enjoined the be-nefitting students to take advantage of the opportunity to study hard and carve a niche for themselves because very soon they would be the persons who would determine the future of this country.
Stressing the need for the Christians to be their brothers’ keepers, Oritsejafor warned that “the underprivileged children you fail to help today may be the ones that would torment your privileged child-ren tomorrow”.
The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who handed the awards to the 40 recepients, congratulated the Word of Life Bible Church on its 26th anniversary. He commended the church for awarding scholarship to 40 indigent students, noting that an educated society is that which can grow positively.
The governor also commend-ed the first family of Word of Life Bible Church, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) Ayo Oritsejafor for their unrelenting desire to always lend a helping hand to the underprivileged in the state and the nation as a whole.
He warned that disciplinary measures would be taken against any primary and post-primary school head or teacher who is found to be charging fees in any form from students, pointing out that a task force has been set up in the state to monitor activities of teachers to ensure that his administration’s free education programme was not sabotaged, stressing that education is free at primary and post-primary levels in the state.
The governor warned that anyone found wanting would be made to face the full weight of the law, adding “we lay a lot of emphasis on education that is why we instituted a free education policy but our efforts are being sabotaged.”
Continuing, Dr. Uduaghan said: “Some teachers and school heads are still collecting fees illegally despite the fact that government pays all fees for students including fees for external examinations. We have a task force that is going round and any teacher or school head caught would be disciplined and if you are not caught, God is watching you and will punish you.”
He admonished the recipients of the scholarship to be good ambassadors of the church by avoiding unholy activities in their respective schools, stating that the students will also benefit from the state government’s bursary programme if they meet the required grade points.
Earlier, Prof. Gabriel Yomere who interviewed the candidates affirmed that their parents cannot sponsor their wards to school.