Sunday, 17 September 2017

Anambra monarch offers scholarship to pupils, students

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

About fifty students and pupils cut across public secondary and primary schools in Ihiala community, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State have been offered scholarship to proceed to the next level of their academic pursuit through the Scholarship Scheme for Underprivileged Children of Ihiala town established by the Traditional Ruler of the community, Dr Richardson Okechukwu (Oluoha XV1).  

The beneficiaries, learnt included recently graduated Nursery three pupils entering Primary one class, Primary Six pupils’ crossing over to class one of Junior Secondary School (JSS 1), JSS2 resuming JSS3, JSS3 going to class one of Senior Secondary School (SS1) and SS2 entering SS3 class in the just started 2017/2018 academic session.    

Speaking at the occasion held at Ibah Oluoha Okohia in Ihiala, the sponsor, Regent Dr Richardson Okechukwu promised to keep providing for the beneficiaries academic needs such as session tuition fees, levies for common entrance examination, JSCE, SSCE, JAMB, Post-UTME, and others as long as they sustain or outperform their current academic status.

The Regent also promised to be visiting them in person or through representatives as a way of encouraging the pupils and students, adding that he would work out modalities to refurbish public schools in the community that were in bad shape or lack adequate facilities for effective teaching and learning.

On how the pupils and students were chosen, an external assessor from Ibadan, Folakemi Alade, explained that her team visited all the public primary and secondary schools in Ihiala community during which they interviewed the best performing pupils and students without disclosing their intention in order to ascertain their myriads of challenges.

“We tried our best to accommodate only the indigenous pupils and students of Ihiala town but at the end two people from other communities and states but reside and school in the community were equally selected. The beneficiaries are from educationally disadvantaged families and about dropping out of school due to lack of parents, sick parents, lack of resources and sponsors to further their studies after graduating from their current classes. These people have excellent academic results despite their various challenges. We also discovered that some school buildings need renovation or expansion and other facilities,” Alade emphasised.

In their separate contributions, Chief Aloy Egwuatu, the Anambra State former Commissioner of Science and Technology, and Ogbuehi Dan Ilione, while commending the Oluoha for introducing the scholarship which was first of its kind in Ihiala, stressed the needs for future traditional ruler of the community to sustain the policy for creation of employment and massive development.

Speaking also, a scholar and indigene of the community, Ichie Dr Emma Okechukwu (Ichie Ezedinobi of Ihiala), described the kind gesture as best akulueuno (home coming), and urged parents to avoid endangering the lives of their children through street hawking and other means of child abuse.

“We urge the teachers, examiners and parents to properly document the academic achievements of these young ones under the scholarship scheme for proper evaluation. The cabinet will not fail to remove those that may fail to maintain their current academic status or outperform that in future. We shall also bring in more outstanding students and pupils to enjoy the scholarship as well” Okechukwu submitted.

Sir Emeka Okolie, who spoke for the teachers and parents, noted that the scholarship would go a long way in eradicating illiteracy and poverty, curtailing crimes, and to entrench peace and progress in Ihiala.

The Parish Priest, Immaculate Heart Church, Okoha Ihiala, Rev. Fr. Francis Oralu, while commending the regent for the initiative, called on other wealthy indigenes of the community to invest on people’s life through other useful ventures.

While praying for long life and prosperity for the monarch, some of the beneficiaries, Miss Patience Egbunife of Abot Girls Secondary School, Ihiala and Mr Moses Obodoeze of Umunnamehi Community Primary School, vowed to compliment the effort through studiousness and living a worthy life.

Earlier, the Transition Committee Chairman, Ihiala Local Government Area, Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Odemegwu, who described the sponsor as “a young dynamic, intelligent and well placed man,” assured that his administration would continue to support him to move Ihiala to greater height.

High point of the occasion was presentation of school bags, books and stipends to the pupils and students for them to use for purchasing school uniforms and others, as well as book presentations to public schools.



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