575 Students Get Babalola Foundation Scholarship

Some of the beneficiaries of Babalola Foundations

No fewer than 575 pupils from secondary schools and students in tertiary institutions have benefited from scholarships of Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation.

The Founder of the foundation, Mr. Sunday Adebayo Babalola also said the scholarship was for indigent and deserving students in Irepodun Local Government of Kwara State.

Founder, Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation, Pastor Sunday Adebayo Babalola and his wife, Bunmi during the third edition of the award of scholarships to pupils and students from Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State

He stated this during the third edition of the scholarship award in Omu-Aran, Kwara State on Thursday.
He said the foundation since its inception till the third edition had provided scholarships to no fewer than 575 pupils and students. He stated that the beneficiaries include  103 pupils and students comprising 32 (tertiary); 81, (WASCE); 35, JSS 2 and 56 SSS 2 who received the scholarship in 2015.

According to him, in 2016, there were 219 beneficiaries while in 2017, there are 253    consisting of 111 (JS2 – SS2); 36 (SS3), and 106 (tertiary).
He called on other philanthropists, donor agencies, corporate organizations and groups to provide more scholarships to indigent and deserving pupils and students for societal well-being.
Babalola stated it is sad that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu recently said that 11.5 million school-age children in the country are not attending school.

Some of the beneficiaries of scholarship awards

He added that it is also mind-boggling that a country with an estimated population of about 180 million people has only 63 million literate population, according to official estimates.

He also said it is worrisome the minister’s revelation that a large chunk of children who are in school are not attaining the learning outcomes benchmarks.

The philanthropist said he shared the opinion of the minister that the security, stability and prosperity of Nigeria depend, to a large extent, on her ability to provide functional education to all citizens.

He also expressed agreement with the minister that to address this challenge, strong measures are required to revitalize the formal and non-formal educational sectors.
Babalola said, “In that wise, I call on non-governmental organisations, donor agencies, corporate organisations, groups, foundations and associations as well as philanthropists to assist the government in the urgent need to upgrade educational standards in Kwara State and Nigeria in general. The society, in general, will be better for it.

“The incessant strikes in the health and education sectors are not helpful to educational growth and societal well-being. We have witnessed many strikes by the Academic Staff of Unions of Universities and non-academic staff in universities and even some unions in other tertiary institutions.  The doctors and other medical staff had also had their strikes. All these are negatively affecting the health and wellbeing of pupils and students as well as their parents and
guardians.

“The government should be alive to its responsibilities and provide necessary funds and mechanisms to ensure that the sectors are functional. Also, the academic and non-academic staff should be more committed to educational and national growth. Those in the health
the sector should also take their duties with utmost responsibility.”

The philanthropist who expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for sparing his life and others that attended the ceremony said it was a great delight and honour to have the guests and the beneficiaries at this occasion.

He stated that he felt very humbled and privileged for God to be using the foundation to contribute its quota towards alleviating the plight of his people, especially, the vulnerable and innocent pupils and students.

He said, “We recognize the fact that our efforts do not answer all the questions that are sufficient to help indigent pupils and students, who otherwise, would not have been able to attend school because of fees, which, considering the resources of this nation, is just a
token.

“There is no doubt that many parents are hard-working and enterprising but when the environment is not enabled for profitable ventures and preoccupations, it appears that some parents or guardians are not living up to their responsibilities. But we know, parents and
guardians love their children/wards and would do their best for their happiness, growth, advancement of their future and wellbeing.

“The inability of some parents and guardians, who even work very hard to fully cater for the needs of their family members is an indication of government’s failure in Kwara State to provide enabling the environment for productive and profitable ventures for the residents.”

He added, “It is stating the obvious that the Kwara State government has not shown sufficient commitment and seriousness with education advancement, just like they have failed in other sectors. The failure in the education sector is unforgivable because it is the source of
building future leaders who will take over from us.

“Secondly, we should also realize that these children really need help and we consider every child our child. The fact that every child is our child is the reason we are making this effort.
“We hereby call on both the federal and state government to take education seriously and put in more funding. He who kills education actually annihilates the future. It is not surprising that the Kwara State Government beyond verbal promises, but in practical terms, is not giving education the attention it deserves.

“The enslavement of the people is more of the concern to them than actually ensuring that people are highly educated because education will deliver them from every yoke of oppression.
“It is sad that regardless of empty propaganda of the state government that it is providing free education, parents still pay some forms of levies in public schools in Kwara State. Many of the schools in the state are a shadow of themselves as they lack good classrooms, offices
and furniture such as desk and seats as well as books, writing and official materials.
“Some of the schools, especially in rural areas lack teachers. Even the employed few teachers are poorly remunerated and their salaries are not even paid on time, if at all. Many of them are owed several months of salaries and yet are expected to care for our pupils and students. How can they give their best with empty stomach even with the current inflation and high cost of living? How will they provide for the needs of their families? If somebody is not remunerated, he
will start looking for another source of remuneration, so commitment to work is no longer there like when we were younger.

“The pupils/students are worst hit as they are provided with half-baked education, leaving them to wallow in great ignorance and so they find it difficult to compete favourable with their contemporaries and mates from many other educational institutions where standards and
the welfare of the teachers and pupils are of utmost priority.

“Left with insufficient education, which could be more dangerous, many of them have no skill, and cannot pass the external examination with flying colours; while those who may not have the ability to advance their education cannot be employed or even start a trade as they lack
the necessary intellectual foundation. To make matters worse, the disgruntled ones among them take to crime, such as armed robbery, thuggery, drug, prostitution and other vices, thereby threatening lives and peace in the society. Nobody is spared from their frustration and the attendant onslaught.”

He said he would not relent in giving available resources, in his efforts to put smiles on the faces of our people. He added that another of his foundation, Bayo and Bunmi Babalola
Foundation had also provided borehole to Christian College, Omu-Aran in Irepodun Local Government, Kwara State.

He stated that with the grace of God and more financial enablement, they shall continue in their humanitarian ventures. He expressed gratitude to the committee and other people involved in
the organization of the event. The beneficiaries and their parents/guardians expressed gratitude to the foundation for the scholarships. They also appealed to other philanthropists, groups and organization as well as donor agencies to assist indigent pupils and students as well as invest more for educational advancement.
The Chairman, Coordinating Committee of the foundation, Pastor Dele Ajiboye said Babalola has a strong passion to positively affect people’s lives. He said that Babalola undaunted by his partisan politics experience had continued to full his dream and aspiration of
helping people.

He said, “Babalola saw education as a tool of building a vibrant society, of making people to become enlightened so that they will know their rights and fight for them – a means of emancipating people.

“This conviction has driven him into contributing to infrastructural development in some secondary schools, through the Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation, which has positively affected lives of many not only in Omu-Aran but all over Irepodun LGA.”

 

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