By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Kaduna State has granted international scholarships to another batch of 34 students who will proceed for postgraduate studies in September 2021, out of 265 merit-based applicants that applied.
The Kaduna State Government is already spending N800m on 42 students granted merit-based international scholarships in the September 2020 cycle, covering their tuition fees, upkeep, transportation and accommodation.
The beneficiaries have since resumed their studies in universities in the United Kingdom, United States, Hungary and Malaysia
A statement issued by Executive Secretary Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Malam Hassan Rilwan on Thursday confirmed the scholarship awards to the latest batch of postgraduate students.
The statement said that the 34 successful applicants comprise ‘’22 first-class degree holders, six-second class (upper division) degree holders with CGPA of 4.0 and above going for masters.’’
According to the statement, three master’s degree holders who bagged a distinction and three others who have merit will be sponsored for doctorate degrees on foreign scholarship.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that out of the total 265 students that had applied, ‘’153 applicants passed the Use of English and Plagiarism cut-off mark of 60 and less than 25 respectively.’’
Hassan said that each of the 153 applicants was officially contacted and requested to upload a personal statement and three minutes video, adding that 79 of them passed the document evaluation afterwards.
‘’As part of the transparency, open governance policy and determination of the State Government to present only its best for Merit-Based Foreign Scholarship, the Management and Staff of the Scholarship and Loans Board having shortlisted the candidates, decided to remove itself from the final scoring and selection process.
‘’ Consequently, the Management set up a team of individuals who have the experience, track record of diligence and objectivity devoid of sentiments to form a Selection Committee,’’ he said.
According to the Executive Secretary, ‘’each applicant was scored online by at least three committee members and their final score averaged.’’
‘’Each committee member scored the personal statements and must submit before they can view the video for scoring and submission,’’ he said, adding that ‘’zoom meetings were set up for committee members who needed to interact with some of the applicants.’’
The Executive Secretary advised students not to give up after failing at first trial, adding that they should ‘’ keep trying until they achieve what they set out to achieve.’’
Hassan pointed out that ‘’the overall best student applied for the scholarship twice before succeeding having improved overtime. Another student who scored 37.78% the first time scored 72.22% on the second attempt to clinch the scholarship.’’
The Executive Secretary recalled before the coming of this administration, scholarship ‘’ was always an under the table discussion preserved for only the privileged. ‘’
‘’Most of the 265 students would not have known of the opportunity if not for the transparent disposition of the El-Rufai led administration. The process is open, traceable and cannot be manipulated,’’ he added.
Hassan reminded that Kaduna state ‘’ is investing over N800 million, covering tuition fees, upkeep, transportation and accommodation on the 42 students who succeeded in the September 2020 cycle and they have since resumed their studies in the United Kingdom, the United States, Hungary and Malaysia.
He vowed that in Kaduna state, ‘’what will get your scholarship is what you know and not who you know,’’ adding that the successful 34 students will proceed to school in September 2021.