Gyang Bere, Jos
In Northern Nigeria, girl child education was seen at first as a taboo due to some cultural beliefs. With the advent of western civilization, those cultural barriers gave way to girl child education in the region, which has received a major boost.
This compelled governments at the federal, state and local council levels at some point to announce free education at the primary and secondary schools. Some politicians anchor their political campaign on free education and some make efforts to implement it while some abandon the vision mid-way.
Poverty, hardship and financial constraints of families have become impediments to both girl and male child education in some parts of the country. Government no longer has interest in free education thereby place the country on the long list of school drop out.
This task was what propelled Dachung Musa Bagos, member representing Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives to award scholarship worth N4.5 million to 598 orphans and indigent students in Jos.
His determination was to equip the new generation with skills and entrepreneurship to fight endemic poverty and social vices that are fast threatening lives in his constituency. The benefitting schools for the 2019/2020 academic year include Government Secondary School Chugwi and Government Secondary School Godong in Jos South and Jos East local government areas.
The schools were selected based on the negative impact of violent attacks orchestrated by killer herdsmen and communal crises that rocked the localities, thereby leaving the people in hardship, pains, agony and poverty.
A 17-year-old SSS Two student of GSS Godong, Ladi Usman Isah, is among the 598 beneficiaries. Since she was born, her life has been in pains. She was born with defects due to prolong labour as a result of not having money to go to hospital.
She was overwhelmed with the scholarship which she described as great intervention that will encourage the less privilege in the society to acquire education. Ladi, whose parents are peasant farmers find it difficult to pay her fee coupled with the current economic hardship in the country that has crippled the financial status of the family.
“This scholarship has take a lot of burden out of my parents who find it difficult to pay my school fees because they don’t have it. Each time I go to school, my heart skips when they mention school fees but I can now concentrate on my studies because the burden has been settled.”
Another 16-year-old SSS Three student of Government Secondary School, Chugwi, Esther Haruna, shed tears of joy when the certificate and the cheque were presented to the school. She couldn’t believe that the scholarship would come to reality when she was contacted in the school as many have come in similar manner pretending to assist the student, which often turned to pains.
She described the scholarship as a lifeline, which will enable her complete her secondary education. She expressed gratitude to God and to the lawmaker for his divine touch on the lives of the privilege students and vowed not to disappoint him and the society.
Bagos said “A cheque of N1.7 million has been presented to 298 students of Government Secondary School Chugwi for scholarship for 2019/2020 academic session.
“Also, a cheque of N1.6 million was presented to 300 Students of Government Secondary School Godong in Jos East Local Government Area for 2019/2020 academic year.
“Among the students are orphans who lost their parents as a result of violent attack in rural communities in Plateau while are indigent students whose parents struggle under pains to pay their school fees.
“This is not the first time we are doing this, we have awarded scholarship to students of GSS Chugwi in Jos South and GSS Godong in Jos East worth more than N3.5 million.
“We will continue to do this yearly to equip the next generation with sound education, good health to enable them become useful to the society.”
Deputy Directors of Areas Educational Directorates of Jos South, Gobgab Rebecca and that of Jos East, Nyam Theophilus Ajang, urged the students to take advantage of the scholarship to read and pass their examinations.