The Kaduna state government has awarded scholarships to a total of 41 students, including 29 first class graduates to undergo further studies abroad as part of its Merit Based Foreign Scholarship scheme.
According to the list of the beneficiaries, obtained by DAILY FOCUS, two female students Amina Sani Bello and Halima Alhafiz Aliyu, emerged as the best among the first class graduates who passed the scholarship tests.
The state’s scholarship board says it conducted an aptitude exam to the 138 applicants that applied for the scheme, out of which the 41 candidates emerged successful.
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Mallam Hassan Rilwanu, said the 41 applicants comprises 29 first class degree holders, six Masters degree holders with distinction, five second class upper division degree holders and one undergraduate student made the list of the Merit Based Foreign Scholarship.
The statement added that “out of 138 that applied for the scholarship, 96 applicants passed the Use of English and Plagiarism cut-off mark of 50 and less than 25 respectively. Each of the 96 applicants was contacted and requested to upload personal statement and three minute video clip”.
Mr Rilwanu said management and staff of the board were not part of the final scoring and selection process, after short listing the candidates, as part of the board transparency and open government policy.
“Consequently , the management set up a team of individuals who have the experience, track record of diligence and objectivity devoid of sentiments to form a Selection Committee”, he said.
He recalled that governor Nasir El Rufa’I has promised to sponsor all qualified first class graduates of the state to the best universities in the world, adding that before the coming of their administration, “scholarship was always an under the table discussion preserved for only the privileged”.
“Most of the 138 students would not have known of the opportunity if not for the transparent disposition of the El-Rufai led administration. The process is open, traceable and cannot be manipulated.
“What will get you scholarship and bursary is not who you know but what you know,” the executive secretary said.