Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative, otherwise known as Lincare Project, last week brought smiles to students and parents as it gave cash prizes to exceptional pupils in Abuja.
The financial reward was from a quiz contested by primary school pupils. It was the First Lincare Quiz Competition. The competition was put together specifically to identify exceptional children in public primary schools within the rural settlements and reward them with scholarships of N100,000. Four winners emerged from the competition.
The scholarship, which covers the junior secondary school education, includes school fees, textbooks, uniforms, exercise books, et cetera.
The event which took place at the Orji Uzor Kalu House, Mabushi, Abuja, saw 20 primary six pupils drawn from four schools namely: Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Kado-Kuchi; LEA Primary School, Karimu Tsoho; LEA Primary School, Kuchigoro and LEA Primary School, Jikoko, Mpape, competing in the final examination supervised by officials of the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Abuja.
Master Joshua Simon of LEA Primary School, Jikoko, Mpape, emerged the overall best winner with a cash price of N100,000 to aide him in his quest for further education.
Other pupils who emerged victorious also returned home with the cash price of N100,000. They were: Eze Mary Jane of LEA Primary School, Kuchigoro; Obinna Ojukwu of LEA Primary School, Karimu Tsoho and Mary Kassim of LEA Primary School, Kado-Kuchi.
One of the promoters of the project, Miss Olivia Kalu, said the students were special students, hence, the need to aid them in their education in collaboration with her sister, Nicole Kalu.
She said: “They are special students as we can see. It is good to recognise all of them and the hard work that they have done.”
Kalu also disclosed that the idea to assist the students was borne out of the desire to help the pupils in the course of their junior secondary school education, even as she said the gesture will be carried out annually.
She urged the winners to continue to work hard, while also admonishing those who participated, but did not clinch the prizes to work harder, strive and try again.
Head, Cultural and Creative Arts Unit, UBEB, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Lady Irene Isioma Okafor, who represented the Director of Education, UBEB, FCT, Dr Noma Adamu Jato, appreciated the Lincare Project for the gesture. Like Oliver Twist, she pleaded with Lincare to do more by making the scholarship award an annual event:
“Please, I am begging. I know it is your project, but I don’t want the project to die. If we can make it a yearly event, it will be good. It is not only them; we work with the six area councils. We can say five schools from each area council will go on preliminary, select them and finally participate in the final exams. But I am begging.”
For the Assistant Head Mistress, Academics, LEA Primary School, Jikoko, Mpape, Mrs Ekenga Faith, whose student, Master Joshua Simon, emerged the overall best winner, her joy knew no bound:
“Honestly, I was so excited and happy because the Lord has not failed us. He has proved Himself faithful upon our school for giving this boy this opportunity to excel and to come first among his mates. I am very, very excited and happy.”
She told Daily Sun that the scholarship award was the best honour during her tenure, saying that she gave God the glory to have had the opportunity of a pupil from the school emerging the overall best in the examination.
Simon said emerging the overall best student was ecstatic, expressing gratitude to Lincare Project for the scholarship award: “It was very joyful. Thank you for the award that you gave to me. I was very happy when I heard it. It was a shock, but I thank God.
I didn’t believe I was going to emerge the overall winner. I encourage those who participated, but were not opportune to clinch the prizes to try the next time.”