According to a recent research by Unicef, Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in the world with the figure at around 10.5 million which is very alarming for a country that aims to be at the forefront of economic and technological advancement in the foreseeable future.
It is worthy of note that the major reason why there are a lot of kids, teens and youths that are out of school is because many of them cannot afford tuition, feeding in school and the books required to help them learn. It is not their fault neither is it the fault of their parents that they find themselves in this unfortunate condition.
Seeing the need to assist the Nigerian youth get quality education without having to worry about tuition and other bills that comes with school education, the corporate social investment arm of MTN Nigeria, MTN foundation throughout the month of September 2018, awarded scholarships to more than 400 students worth 200 thousand naira yearly. The scholarship which is splitted into two groups; the first group is for students studying science and technology courses and the second group is for visually impaired students.
Since the turn of the year, a total of 1,164 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students in various educational institutions across the country and over eight thousand scholarships worth more than N1.9 billion have also been awarded to students since the launch of the program in 2011.
During the award ceremonies that held in Abuja, Owerri and Lagos on the 4th,11th and 18th of september 2018 respectively, the foundation arm of the ICT company also inducted previous beneficiaries of the scholarship program into the Alumni association of MTNF scholarships comprising both the sighted and the visually impaired.
Speaking during the event in Lagos, the director MTN Foundation Mr Dennis Okoro said
“ Aiding and improving the lives of the Nigerian youth is something that is deer to us and close to out hearts, that is why MTNF has been awarding scholarships to Nigerian student since 2011. We intend to impact positively on the nation, Our impact goes beyond statistics and figures, it is to shape Nigeria’s future through education; to invest in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders, by providing them with an opportunity to pursue their dreams despite financial limitations”.
A total of 7’500 students applied for the MTN Foundation science and technology scholarship scheme. 1,500 students took the test and 500 students won the scholarship.It is a scholarship won by merit as students maintain their good grades, they continue to receive an annual grant of N200,000. however, the scholarship scheme is designed for students of Science and Technology and for visually impaired students. For the visually impaired, any of them could apply irrespective of their course of study.
MTN Foundation was launched in 2005 with the sole aim of improving quality of life in communities across the country. For more than a decade, it has helped impact lives positively through several social investment programmes in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment.