Two hundred and thirty two students from 10 secondary schools in Benue state have been awarded 4+ scholarships for excelling in different categories. Out of this number, 161 are females, while the remaining 71 are males.
The scholarships were awarded on the four pillars of scholarship, teachers training, girls mentoring, community mobilisation and the plus aspect of sustainability and transition from school to workforce.
The scholarships were awarded by FHI 360 Four Pillars Project in collaboration with General Electric Foundation at a presentation ceremony in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
The students are expected to be forerunners in the eradication of cultism in schools, promotion of academic excellence, eradication of drug abuse as well as teenage pregnancy among other social vices.
Project Coordinator of the organisation, Ogochukwu Iwuora, said, “For the students receiving 4+ scholarship today, you are committed to promotion of academic excellence, eradication of teenage pregnancy, eradication of school cultism, drug abuse and all other social vices”.
She insisted that the project which is in its third year and is a pilot project in some selected schools in the state have built the capacity of some teachers while it has provided support to mentor girls to improve their self-esteem towards educational pursuit.
Iwuora noted that challenges such as high rate of examination malpractices, especially in rural schools, teenage pregnancy and early marriage have hampered the academic standing of the girl-child and also contributed the increase in their drop out from school. Speaking on the occasion, Benue State Commissioner for Education, Elizabeth Ugo, applauded the ingenuity of providing opportunity for girls, orphans and vulnerable children to go to school, noting also that the project is only implemented in two African countries of Kenya and Nigeria.