To compliment students effort in acquiring quality education, former member of the House of Representatives and running mate to Hon. Isa Ashiru of the PDP at 2019 general election in Kaduna State, Hon. Sunday Marshal Katung will award scholarship to students from 10 LGAs and designated institutions of higher learning in the State who qualifies.
In a press statement he issued yesterday, the kindhearted gentleman, said, “We all know that the life-changing significance of education is reflected in the serious attention that countries with foresight pay to it.”
Adding, “This is anchored on the verifiable fact that a country develops only about its achievement in the educational sector. And nothing stresses the importance of education for a developing country like Nigeria like the more than Nigeria’s 10 million out of school children.
“This high number means Nigeria has the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. But more depressing for us is the fact that 69 per cent of the total out of school children in Nigeria is located in the north. Add factors like general insecurity, poverty and school kidnapping in the north and you would agree with me that everything needed to secure and advance the educational growth of the north in general and Kaduna in particular, shouldn’t be toyed with.
“Conscious of this, we have decided to compliment the efforts of people of goodwill that are interested in improving the educational standard of the country by initiating a strategy to help the vulnerable students to pay their school fees. In the first phase of our intervention, we are going to give scholarships to vulnerable students from 10 LGAs comprising of Chikun , Kajuru, Kachia, Zango kataf, Jaba, kauru , Kaura, Jemaa, Sanga and kagarko, studying in Kaduna State University, College of Education Gidan Waya, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic and College of Nursing, Kafanchan. We have created a dedicated website with a portal that eligible students from these institutions would apply through. In the second phase, we hope to look at students studying in other institutions so as to see how we can help them too.
“But the Marshall Katung foundation isn’t restricted to only intervening in the tertiary institutions because we have done intervention on a lot of pupils in some secondary schools. We have also distributed aid to the displaced ones among us while feeding more than 1000 households during the COVID-19 lockdown in particular.
“Why are we preparing to give scholarship to tertiary students now? The general insecurity in Kaduna state has resulted in the temporary closure or relocation of about two tertiary institutions and about 18 boarding secondary schools. This has resulted in some students staying at home – idle. And we know that from the state of idleness comes the possibility of indulging in crimes with its negative implication. That’s why Victor Hugo said whoever opens a school door closes a prison door. And for us, we are not only concerned with opening school opportunities for our students but also giving them hope for the future.
“We also want to call on the Kaduna State Government to reduce the school fees being demanded from students of its educational institutions. This increment is coming amid a global economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was buttressed by the International Monetary Fund which noted that the global economy shrunk by 3.5 per cent in 2020. This represents the deepest global recession since the Second World War. The World Bank also estimates that COVID-19 has pushed an additional 88 to 115 million people into extreme poverty last year. And low-income families are the worst hit. Nigeria isn’t excluded from this.”