Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation, has given scholarships to 813 beneficiaries comprising 522 pupils and 291 students since the inception of the foundation.
This was disclosed by Founder of the foundation, Mr. Sunday Babalola, explaining that the foundation had in the prevision editions awarded 545 beneficiaries consisting of 194 students from tertiary institutions and 351 pupils in secondary schools.
Babalola who spoke during the fourth edition of the scheme in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government of Kwara State while giving scholarships to 97 students from tertiary institutions and 171 pupils from secondary schools further explained that the foundation spent about N5m directly to the 268 beneficiaries and N500,000 on logistics.
According to him, the nongovernmental organization had spent a total of N19.4m, comprising N17m directly to the beneficiaries and N2.4m on logistics since the scheme took off in Omu-Aran, Ifelodun Local Government of Kwara State adding that the NGO had awarded scholarship to a total of 813 beneficiriaries comprising 522 pupils from secondary schools and 291 students from tertiary institutions and invested a total of N19.4m for the scheme since its inception.
He stated that it was imperative to provide quality, affordable and accessible education.
According to him “only a nation with pool of educated and knowledgeable workforce and enterprising people can develop.”
He added: “investment in education is strategic for national development.
Babalola stressed: “These investment’s are part of our humble contributions to assist in boosting quality of education and making it accessible to indigent students, who otherwise would have found it difficult to continue their studies but may eventually drop out against their wish.
“It is also our humble and noble contribution to the educational development in Kwara State. Our scholarship scheme is also geared towards accelerating human capital development as well as preventing young people who are blessed with incredible energies and potentials from being lured and used as tools for violence, prostitution and other crimes.”
“Educational environment should be conducive enough for teaching and learning. Teachers and other personnel in the education sector of the national value chain should be well motivated through timely training and adequate remuneration to engender impartation of quality information and skills in students and pupils in the state.”
“It is disheartening to hear about the increasing complaints of degrading environment as pupils in Kwara State being said to be studying in dilapidated classrooms which expose then to dangers and make education unattractive.”
“There are also complaints that instructional materials, notebooks and textbooks, registers as well as other requirements and logistics are not provided in our schools. It is also sad that teachers complain of being owed backlogs of salaries.”
Babalola also said it was sad and worrisome that teachers are being owed many months of salary arrears noting that recently, some teachers of primary and secondary schools in the state protested and threatened not to resume academic activities as they claimed that they were being owed salary arrears of many months.
He added: “This is extremely pathetic to say the least. How can we continue like this and expect teachers to be dedicated. How can we continue like thus and expect bright future for our young ones and even safe society for the people?”
” The position of Kwara State in the west African School Certificate and NECO examination in comparison to other States of the federation is not enviable. It is deplorable and disgraceful.”
” The pitiable situation suggests that the state government and the current ruling political leadership in the state are paying lip service to educational growth, the welfare, wellbeing and security of the residents.”
“All stakeholders must rise to the occasion and save our educational system from further deterioration and the workers from their plight, Babalola concluded.
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