Over 50 pupils have benefited from the Grace High School, Gbagada, Lagos, indigent students’ scholarship introduced 10 years after the school was established.
Its Executive Director, Mrs. Iyiola Edun, said the scholarship, which covers senior secondary and university education of the beneficiaries, had accrued to over N100 million invested by the school to provide access to quality education for brilliant children of indigent backgrounds who had their junior secondary education in public schools.
In an interview, Mrs. Edun said the scholarship, initiated in honour of her late mother and founder of Grace Children’s School, Deaconess Grace Busola Osinowo, was worth over N1 million per session.
“This is one area that the school becomes socially responsible by helping the less privileged in the society.
“The scholarship is worth over N1million per session. It covers tuition, books, uniforms, boarding fees and pocket money and even extends to their university education afterwards. Let me say over 50 students have benefited from the awards since its inception in 2004,while over N100 million has been invested in the scheme by the school,” she said.
Mrs. Edun said yearly, three pupils from public secondary schools that emerge overall best in the school’s scholarship examination get the scholarship, while other top performers are rewarded with N50,000.
She called for support to expand the initiative to more pupils.
“My passion really is to support as many children as possible but the funds are not there and that is why I believe corporate organisations can do better in this regard.
The interesting thing is that some of these students actually graduated with first class which means they can excel if given the opportunity like others. We are open for sponsorship in order to alleviate the sufferings of parents in educating their children,” she said.
Mrs Edun said the beneficiaries are from very poor homes.
She said: “These people are poor in every sense of it and you need to visit where some of them stay.
‘’I have been involved in visiting the homes of the beneficiaries of the scholarship. I had in some cases shed tears looking at the inhabitable condition the families live.
There was one that we went to verify their home around Ebute Metta.We had to trek on planks to get to their home. I couldn’t hold it! I burst into tears with what I saw that day.”
Apart from the scholarship, Edun said Grace Schools (comprising Grace Children’s School founded in 1968, and Grace High School) also support public schools in its environs with facilities and donations.
“Ajidagan Primary School, Grace Schools next neighbour has also been a major beneficiary of the Corporate Social Initiatives. The school, which collapsed last year, was reconstructed by our school.
“We also donated the play equipment to Ajidagan Primary School. We have also sponsored the sporting events of several schools in Gbagada,” she said.