- By Esther Akaa
The Kaduna State government has awarded international scholarships to 34 successful applicants comprising of 22 first class degree holders, 6 second class (upper division) degree holders with CGPA of 4.0 above who will proceed in September, 2021 to study abroad.
The state is currently spending N800m on 42 students granted merit-based international scholarships in the September 2020 cycle, covering their tuition fees, upkeep, transportation and accommodation and are studying in the United Kingdom, United States, Hungary and Malaysia.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Executive Secretary of the State Scholarship and Loans Board, Malam Hassan Rilwan revealed that three master’s degree holders who bagged distinction and three others who have merit, will be sponsored for doctorate degrees on foreign scholarship.
The executive secretary further stated that out of the total 265 students that had applied, only 153 applicants passed the Use of English and Plagiarism cut-off mark of 60 and less than 25 respectively.
He said that each of the 153 applicants were 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.
‘’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. Zoom meetings were set up for committee members who needed to interact with some of the applicants,” he said.
The executive secretary therefore, called on students not to give up after failing at first trial but keep trying until they achieve their desires.
He explained that the overall best student applied for the scholarship twice before succeeding, having improved overtime while another who scored 37.78% at first trial, scored 72.22% on the second attempt to clinch the scholarship.
Commenting on the mode of selecting of beneficiaries, he said “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. What will get you scholarship is what you know and not who you know,” he said.