By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA- TWENTY–EIGHT indigent students in Anambra State, including four in tertiary institutions have been given a lifeline to continue with their studies, thanks to a non-governmental organisation, the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediorah Foundation, which has offered them scholarship.
The award for secondary school was for both Senior Secondary School, SSS-3, students preparing for the Senior School Certificate Examinations, which covers the registration fees of the winners for both the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSE and the National Examination Council, NECO Examination and the junior award for those in Junior Secondary School, JSS-3, which covers their registration fees for the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination, JSSCE.
At the award presentation at Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area, the promoter of the Foundation, Chief Onyebuchi Ifediorah said the winners were selected on merit through competitive annual processes.
According to him, the senior award winners were the best performing students among a group of 35 drawn from 10 eligible schools in the area, adding that they all had to undergo a one-off examination, called the IFOMSSA challenge, which is usually held in January of every year and organised by the Otuocha Zone of the Post-Primary Schools Service Commission, PPSSC.
The junior award, he explained, is an exclusive preserve of indigenes of Nsugbe, the home town of the Foundation’s president.
Those for the tertiary institutions were also selected through a competitive screening.
Speaking during the award ceremony at Aguleri, the Foundation’s president said: “Presently, privately-owned secondary schools in the local government are excluded. This is because we believe that those who can afford the fees for private schools do not really need our scholarships. Ours is a scheme targeted at the financially less privileged.
“In the coming years, we intend to widen the scope of our scholarship schemes to benefit the three local governments in the Otuocha Educational Zone namely, Anambra East, Anambra West, and Ayamelum and, hopefully, the rest of Anambra State.
“We at the OCI Foundation believe in the powers of an educated and a motivated mind. As my late father, Pa lfedioramma would always say, with the stroke of a pen, an educated individual can unlock the door to riches.”
He further explained that OCI Foundation offers an undergraduate scholarship called the Cyfed Scholarships in which the winners receive annual financial awards that would be available to them throughout the approved duration of their chosen courses in any tertiary institution of their choice in Nigeria.
Executive chairman of the Anambra State PPSSC, Lady Joy Ulasi commended the president of the Foundation for not limiting the scholarship scheme only to students from Anambra State.
She urged the beneficiaries to work hard to sustain the award, adding that they had no reason to disappoint their parents who had been saved the burden of paying school fees.