Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Marshal Katung Helps Vulnerable Kaduna Students To Pay School Fees

The Marshall Katung Foundation has declared willingness to assist Kaduna students by giving them scholarships to study in Kaduna State higher institutions where tuition fees were hiked recently by the State government.
The Foundation said students from 10 out of the 23 local government areas of the State will benefit from the scholarship in the first phase, while 13 local government areas will follow suit.
Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, the Founder of the scholarship project, Mr Sunday Marshal Katung who is a former member of the House of Representatives and running mate to PDP governorship candidate, Isah Ashiru in the 2019 Kaduna gubernatorial election, said he decided to compliment the efforts of people of goodwill that are interested in improving the educational standard of vulnerable students to pay their school fees.
“I stand before you today with so much happiness to inform you about some of the humble interventions we have done and are planning to do in the educational sector, in response to the difficulties some students of our tertiary institutions are facing in paying their school fees.
“Conscious of this, we have decided to compliment the efforts of people of goodwill that are interested in improving the educational standard of the country by initiating a strategy to help the vulnerable students to pay their school fees.
“In the first phase of our intervention, we are going to give scholarships to vulnerable students from 10 LGAs comprising of Chikun, Kajuru, Kachia, Zango kataf, Jaba, kauru, Kaura, Jemaa, Sanga and kagarko, studying in Kaduna State University, College of Education Gidan Waya, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic and College of Nursing, Kafanchan.”

He said they have created a dedicated website with a portal that eligible students from these institutions would apply through, adding that In the second, phase they would look at students studying in other institutions so as to see how they could help.
“But the Marshall Katung foundation isn’t restricted to only intervening in the tertiary institutions because we have done intervention on a lot of pupils in some secondary schools. We have also distributed aid to the displaced ones among us while feeding more than 1000 households during the COVID-19 lockdown in particular,” he said.
“Why are we preparing to give scholarships to tertiary students now? The general insecurity in Kaduna state has resulted in the temporary closure or relocation of about two tertiary institutions and about 18 boarding secondary schools. This has resulted in some students staying at home – idle. And we know that from the state of idleness comes the possibility of indulging in crimes with its negative implication. That’s why Victor Hugo said whoever opens a school door closes a prison door. And for us, we are not only concerned with opening school opportunities for our students but also giving them hope for the future.”
“We all know that the life-changing significance of education is reflected in the serious attention that countries with foresight pay to it. This is anchored on the verifiable fact that a country develops only about its achievement in the educational sector. And nothing stresses the importance of education for a developing country like Nigeria like the more than Nigeria’s 10 million out of school children, according to the Minister of state for education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba when he spoke in March at the launching of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) in Jigawa state.”
“This high number means Nigeria has the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. But more depressing for us is the fact that 69 per cent of the total out of school children in Nigeria is located in the north. Add factors like general insecurity, poverty and school kidnapping in the north and you would agree with me that everything needed to secure and advance the educational growth of the north in general and Kaduna in particular, shouldn’t be toyed with. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
“We also want to call on the Kaduna State Government to reduce the school fees being demanded from students of its educational institutions. This increment is coming amid a global economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was buttressed by the International Monetary Fund which noted that the global economy shrunk by 3.5 per cent in 2020. This represents the deepest global recession since the Second World War. The World Bank also estimates that COVID-19 has pushed an additional 88 to 115 million people into extreme poverty last year. And low-income families are the worst hit. Nigeria isn’t excluded from this.”
“So this and the pervasive insecurity in our state forms the biggest basis upon which we are appealing to the Kaduna state government to reduce the school fees so the children of the poor can have the opportunity of getting an education. Moreover, access to affordable education should be seen as the welfare responsibility of a state to its citizens and not be turned into a profit-making venture. Leaders who got educated for free in the past have a moral obligation of currently ensuring that school fees stop no one from being educated.”
“Governance to me must aim at producing happiness at the highest level for all. The marshal katung foundation is now inviting potential students to apply through the foundation’s website.
“With the belief that we shall soon get out of these economic and security challenges facing us as a people, I want to thank you very much for listening,” he said.
It could be recalled that the State government had announced an increase in tuition fees of the State-owned tertiary institutions in Kaduna State University, College of Education Gidan Waya, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic and College of Nursing, Kafanchan.

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