At least 70 needy students have been awarded with a scholarship packages to enable them further their tertiary education by the office of Member of Parliament (MP) for Zabzugu Constituency in the Northern Region, Hon Alhassan Umar.
The Scholarship set up by the MP through his shares of the Members of Parliament Common Fund, incorporated in the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) is to complement parents efforts at providing quality education for the deprived, marginalised students in the constituency.
Hundreds of needy students applied for the MP scholarship, but the office was able to approved 70 students drawn from various tertiary schools across the constituency.
Hon Umar told THE REPUBLIC, the objective of setting up the scholarship was to first identify the most marginalised to ensure they get the best from education
He said, education and health remained priority to him as representative of the people of Zabzugu in parliament and that it serve as first hand social intervention to the needy but brilliants students.
“As long as I remain an MP, it will be my hallmark to make sure that my people get the best in education and health. It has always been my pleasure to serve the people since I know that it is not going into the toilet. The only way to build bridges to the future is to educate. When it comes to education and health, we don’t have to play with it. These are the most social interventions that we must support.”
The MP said those students who had gone through their secondary education and had gained admission to tertiary institutions but without financial support would be major beneficiaries.
However, students at the tertiary level who are on government pay roll or have had some private enterprise sources of income are not eligible under the scholarship, unless the circumstance is beyond control.
This, the MP said would bring down the numbers of school drop-outs in the Zabzugu communities, adding that, the award of scholarship was also to enable the constituents to acquire secular education better.
Hon Umar who is passionate about the educational needs of the constituent further noted that, students who applied but could not receive disbursement would be prioritised in subsequent batch of scholarship .
While assuring the constituent of his resolve to improve standard of education in the Zabzugu constituency, the outspoken lawmaker also entreat parents and guardians to take interest in their children education, for education remained the backbone of development.
He however advised the beneficiaries to take their studies seriously because they have been selected among the many applicants, saying “this shows you are blessed, so work hard and you would achieve your aim.”
“I want to urge the youth not to be drug addicts; you know it is common these days that the youth are involved in all manner of drugs. I want to encourage them to take their education very seriously.”
He further entreated the beneficiaries to make good use of the money they had received to sustain the foundation.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the MP. They prayed for God’s guidance and protection for him and also assured him that the monies would be put to the purpose it is intended for.
“I am very glad that the MP has given me this assistance. All I want to say is that may the Almighty Allah continue to bless and guide him in all his endeavours. Hon Umar is a good man, and I want to assure him that we would use the money for the purpose. We applied to pay our school fees, and we will surely do that,” one beneficiary assured.
“This assistance from the MP has come at the right time, though it is not up to my fees, it will do something for me. This is the first time I am seeing this, MPs have come, but I haven’t seen this. We are only praying for good health and long life for Mr Umar” another added.
Some parents who also received the money for their wards in school also shared their joy to Citi News.
“I am so happy that the MP is assisting us to pay our children’s schools. Yesterday when I saw a call from my son who is in the university, I was scared because there is no nothing at the moment and for this school children when you see their calls its just “send the money, send the money” but he rather told me to come here that the MP is giving them some money. It’s true because I have received it and so I am going to send it to him right away. As for the MP, it’s only God that would reward him for us,” a parent said.