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Catholic group offers scholarship

Published by The Nation on Thu, 28 Aug 2014


A GROUP, the Young Christian Workers Movement (YCM) of Nigeria, has offered scholarship to some secondary pupils in Ajegunle-Apapa, Lagos.The highest award winner gets N100,000, while the second and third runners up got N50,000 each. The number of winners has increased to six and September 2 has been fixed for the sixth edition.According to YCM president, Clementina Ego, the initiative is meant to inculcate in the children the spirit of competiveness. It is open to both Christians and Muslims. She said participants must be residents of AjegunleShe said: Interestingly, a Muslim child has won in this project at our centre and other winners had emerged from non-Catholic denomination. The spirit is for people to embrace it as our project and not just a Catholic thing.The movement has both married and singles as members and we put our resources together and all spent by our centre for the past five years had come from our members. We have not received anything from anybody, whether from a corporate body or the church. But we feel we have got to a level where we will need corporate sponsorship for the sixth edition because we plan to increase the number of scholarship and the money to be awarded in the spirit of the next edition.Ego, a former head of the education committee of theYCM, continued: We also plan to make it more embracing by reaching out to more schools because this will increase the competitiveness. This fifth edition was able to increase enrolment from 25 to 48 schools.Sincerely, it has not been easy but, we are glad that it is a project that has come to stay and we are not stopping on anything less than giving our very best to the project and to children of this local government. Initially, when we started, it used to include both junior and senior pupils, but along the line, we observed unseriousness in the senior ones, so we concentrated on Primary Four, Five and Six.The idea, again, is that the money being given might not be too much, but we are confident that the money covers tuition for the winner for three terms in any school in Ajegunle. From our survey, an average tuition for schools in Ajegunle is N15,000 and the prize money for our third position is N50,000, so you see the that prize is able to cover three terms for the third place winner.But with a corporate sponsor, we should be able to increase the number of beneficiaries and possibly the amount, and in that vein, we target to increase winners to 10. Then, we plan to include a Charity Award: this type will automatically go to any participating child that has lost both parents. But in the spirit of the fifth year edition, we planned to include the Charity Award, but incidentally there was none that qualified.The group was founded by the late Catholic Priest, Cardinal Joseph Card Jin in Belgium in 1925.She said: The scholarship arm of St. Mary Catholic started five years ago. Though we started very small, it has grown to an enviable level, as we have used it to impact on the entire community. In terms of both registration and attendance, this fifth edition recorded the highest enrolment for the examination and qualification for the scholarship does not exclude anybody; whether a Catholic or not. It does not matter whether in public schools or private. It is immaterial whether male or female.We have been very careful not to host the examination at a given school to avoid the sentiment of being accused of promoting any particular school, even as several schools, have volunteered their halls.]]>
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