No fewer than 3,992 indigent students from the South-West have benefited from a scholarship scheme of a non-governmental organisation, Scholarship Aids Initiatives.

The NGO gave the scholarship to the students at its 2020 Stakeholders’ Forum and Presentation of Awards, held in Abeokuta.

The African Regional President of the Initiative, Dr. Oluwatosin Adebayo, said 8,034 students applied for the 2020 Scholarship scheme.

He noted that the Initiative was committed to creating opportunities for the less privileged to have access to quality education.

Adebayo said the Initiative would pay 75 per cent of the tuition fees of the beneficiaries while their parents pay the remaining 25 per cent.

He disclosed that the NGO was planning a tuition-free private university to accommodate indigent students with exceptional academic records.

He spoke on the theme of the event, “COVID-19: The Effect on Nigeria Educational System.

“It is unfortunate that the government does not want the youths to be educated, the government is trying to discourage students from going to school, that is why we are having the crisis in the education sector.

“The mission of this organisation as a non-governmental organisation is to make education become easy for the less privileged ones in society.

“Many brilliant and intelligent children are on the street today hawking, some are into some illegal activities due to financial crisis”, Adebayo said.

The National Programme Coordinator of the NGO, Dr. Oluwafunmilola Oluwatosin, said, COVID-19 had adversely affected the educational system all over the world, but the developed countries of the world were able to face the challenge.

She said the outbreak of COVID-19 did not seriously affect the education sector of developed countries because, “they had long before now put in place e-learning which assisted them in coping with the effects of the pandemic.

“But in the case of Nigeria academic learning could not continue due to so many factors that are always referred to as ‘Nigerian factors’ such as poor electricity supply, poor network, inadequate internet facilities, financial problems and even high level of illiteracy”.

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