From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Since 1997, 850 indigenes of Ekiti State have benefitted from the Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme. Among these are 222 secondary school students, 553 undergraduates, 64 Law School students and 11 “special awardee students.”
The programme kicked off with only students in secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. They were all indigenes of the town. In 2004, the programme was extended to undergraduate students from 200 Level, also from Ikere-Ekiti. From 2011, it started to incorporate other students in the state as beneficiaries.
Applications are done between July and August every year. At the secondary school level, applications are restricted to Ikere indigenes and secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti from JSS2. All the 11 public schools in Ikere-Ekiti would nominate two applicants each, and tests conducted in Mathematics and English.
Those in the undergraduate category apply to the Board of Trustees. For Law School students, a letter of admission and First Degree result are prerequisites. Chairman of the board, Mr Stephen Sunday Omoyeni, told Daily Sun:
“Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) started awarding scholarships in 1997 and I have been the chairman since then. We started with awarding scholarships to students in secondary schools from Ikere-Ekiti. In 2004, it was extended to undergraduate students from 200 Level also from Ikere-Ekiti, and in 2011, it was extended to students from other local governments.
“From 1997 to 2010 only six public secondary schools were enjoying it. In 2011, it was extended to all the 11 public secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti.
“Initially, we were given N15, 000 per session to each undergraduate student from 200 level in 2004. When it was increased to N25, 000, we started awarding to undergraduate students from other local government.
“When we started with undergraduate students from 300 level in 2012, the money was increased to N40,000 per beneficiary. We started with the Law School students also in 2011 and each of the beneficiary was given N150,000.
“By 2015, we increased that of the undergraduates to N50,000 per session and those in Law School were receiving N200,000 and from 2018, Law School was increased to N250,000 and undergraduate students was increased to N100,000 per beneficiary.”
Omoyeni explained that students from other states regarded as “Special Awardees” would approach Olanipekun, to benefit from the scheme. Their names would be sent to the board as beneficiaries.
The “Special Awardees” comprises undergraduates, PhD students and Law School students from other states, these students are specially sent by Olanipekun, who would tell the board the amount to give to those in each of these categories.
The 2020 and the 24th edition of the scheme came up recently and it was divided into three categories: Secondary school, university and Law School.
Recipients under the secondary school category would enjoy the scholarship for five years, starting from Junior Secondary 2 to SS 3. Brilliant students among them would enjoy it to university level.
For the second category, university undergraduates from all the 16 local government areas in the state will enjoy the scholarship from 300 Level till they finish their courses, usually for two to four years depending on the course.
Each beneficiary is given N100,000 per session. Students in the Law School category are mainly Ikere-Ekiti indigenes. About five awardees receive the award per session, each received N250,000 per year.
The 24th edition featured Ikere students in secondary schools who benefitted to include 11 SS3 students, 11 SS2 students, 11 SS1 students, 11 JSS3 students and 11 JSS 2 students. Others were 48 undergraduate students of Ikere origin, 15 students from 15 other local governments and three Law school students from Ikere-Ekiti.
Olanipekun also approved the purchase of five JAMB forms per school for 10 public secondary schools and five private schools all in Ikere-Ekiti to be enjoyed by 75 candidates.