Scholarships had been approved to cover full school fees for brilliant indigent students of Kaduna State in all tertiary institutions.
The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Mr Rilwan Hassan, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna.
Hassan explained that the measure was to ensure that no student dropped out of school due to the recent increase in school fees in all state-owned tertiary institutions by the state government.
The state government had in April announced an increase in school fees in all its tertiary institutions from about N25,000 to a maximum of N400,000 depending on the course of study.
However, Hassan stated that the scholarships have been designed to cover students from poor and vulnerable households and exceptionally brilliant students under the need-base and merit-based scholarships programme.
According to him, the scholarships have provided for complete school fees for merit students and those from indigent households.
He said that there were currently 27,658 people in the State Social Register of poor and vulnerable households.
Hassan said that the scholarship and loans board was ready to accommodate every indigent and brilliant student that applied and met minimum requirements.
“We had an interactive session with the students and staff of Kaduna State University (KASU) on Thursday to sensitise them on the available government interventions and how to access them to continue with their education.
`We encouraged the students not to be demoralised with the recent hike in school fees as the state government had made adequate scholarship provisions for those from poor homes.
“But students, whose parents can afford to pay the new fees, should not even bother applying for the scholarship, but they can apply for a loan,” he said.
He said that the state scholarship board was, therefore, looking for indigent students who found it difficult to pay the previous fees to access this intervention.
Hassan, however, said that the board would conduct an evaluation to determine and verify those that were actually from poor and vulnerable homes and needed the support to benefit.
He added that the applicants would have to provide the Tax Clearance Certificates of their father and mother, or death certificate for those whose parents have died.
“But for the 27,658 students in the social register already adjudged to be from poor households, they do not need to provide tax certificates. We only need to determine if they are students,” he added.
The executive secretary also explained that for the merit-based, a student must have at least a 4.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average and do not need to provide a parent’s tax certificate.
He added that students studying medicine with a pass grade should apply for merit-based and not need-based.
“The government is here to make sure that no student drops out of school on account of school fees.
“We are already working with the Management of KASU, to delay the closing date of student’s registration until the scholarship processes are concluded.
“We are, therefore, advising students to engage their parents and decide if they want to apply for the scholarship, loan or both, and get the needed tax certificate or death certificate where applicable,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, KASU, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, had during the interactive session reassured the students’ government’s not to allow any one of them to drop out of school.
Tanko explained that the interactive session was organised to sensitise the students on available scholarship opportunities and how to access them to continue with their studies uninterrupted.