30 Students Get Minister’s Scholarship

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The FCT Minister, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, has awarded scholarship to 30 students of two secondary schools in the territory for their outstanding performance in the Student Advancement for Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition.

He announced the award on Thursday in Abuja at a reception for the students who won the 2009 SAGE World Champions in Brazil.

Mohammed attributed the students’ performance to the commitment of their teachers, stressing that they needed to be encouraged to put in more efforts in their studies.

He also announced the promotion of the six teachers from the two schools to their next grade levels.

Our correspondent reports that the students were drawn from the Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi and Government Secondary School, Jibi.

The minister noted that the competition was designed specifically to encourage business and entrepreneurial skills among secondary school students from around the world.

He said it was gratifying that it was the third consecutive time an FCT school would be winning the global contest, and urged parents to encourage and support their children.

Mohammed said the students’ performance was an indication of what the products of the country’s educational system were capable of achieving in spite of the numerous challenges facing the sector.

He said it was also a testimony of what Nigerian students could achieve if they had access to the facilities and infrastructure their counterparts from more developed countries had.

Mohammed said the students’ victory was a challenge to all stakeholders in the education sector, adding that they should ensure that the sector was upgraded to the best possible level.

He urged them to give priority to issues of infrastructure, facilities, training of teachers and their welfare.

The minister reiterated the administration’s commitment to the development of the education sector.

Alhaji Hussaini Pai, Secretary, FCT Education Secretariat, had earlier said that FCT’s consistency in winning the competition was evidence that the territory was on the right part in the development of education.

He solicited for public-private partnership in the development of education, adding that government alone could not cope with the challenges in the sector.

Our correspondent reports that SAGE was introduced in Nigeria in 2005 and in 2006, FCT took part in the international competition for the first time.

Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi emerged the winners of the competition in 2007, 2008 and 2009, while Government Secondary School, Jibi came second in 2009.

One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, Mr Olawale Adekunle, a student of Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi, attributed their success in the competition to hard work and commitment to their studies.

Our correspondent reports that SAGE is an international network that provides high school students with an opportunity to compete in business and social ventures to improve their communities.

Its mission is to help create the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders “whose innovations and social enterprises address the major unmet needs of the global community’’.