Home EDUCATION SPONSORED – How 10-year-old pupil’s speech led to scholarship at Mind Builders

SPONSORED – How 10-year-old pupil’s speech led to scholarship at Mind Builders

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When she was selected to give the vote of thanks at the handover of a new block of classrooms to Olowo-Ira Primary School, Ikosi-Isheri, Lagos, in March, Blessing Ugbebor did not know it would change her fortunes for good.

It was at that event organised by Mind Builders School, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, to celebrate its 20th anniversary that providence connected Blessing with Mr Gbenga Badejo, who now pays her tuition fees at the Mind Builders High School.

Beyond her impressive speech, Blessing showed she had what it took to get a merit-based scholarship.

Mr Francis Fasuyi, Principal of Mind Builders High School, said the 10-year-old took the school’s entrance examination and qualified to sit for the scholarship test having scored above 75 per cent.

“We always give scholarship to students, who are sound academically.  For 2018/2019 session, we gave scholarship to nine students.

“Mind Builders School renovated Olowo-Ira Primary School.  The day it was to be commissioned, Blessing represented the school to give the vote of thanks and she did it very well that everyone applauded her.  We invited her for our entrance examination. She performed very well – she even qualified for scholarship test.  Any student, who writes our examination and gets up to 75 per cent and is in Primary Six qualifies for our scholarship test.  We invited 10 pupils for the test and the school offered nine of them scholarship.  Blessing was one of the nine,” he said.

While Badejo, who audits the school’s account, settles the tuition fees, Mind Builders bears the rest of the cost of Blessing’s education.  The only role for Blessing’s family is to provide the uniforms she wears to school.

The scholarship is valued at N1 million yearly.  It would cost N6 million for Blessing to complete her secondary education in the school.

For Blessing’s guardians, Mr and Mrs Sunday Obanor, it was an unexpected blessing.  The retirees, who brought the girl from their village in Igbanke, Edo State, could not afford to send her to a private school.  Mr Obanor, a retired driver, said he was happy about the scholarship more so as Blessing was a good girl at home.

“Blessing is nice.  Right from home, the parents told me she is very nice.  When she came to my house, she did house chores without being told. She prepares very early for school and gets back home early,” he said.

Obanor said Blessing’s parents, who are farmers, were ecstatic about the news. “The mother said she would come to Lagos to see the school and thank them.  We sent the bill of the school to them; they were so happy,” he said.

Mrs Obanor said Blessing was enrolled at Olowo-Ira Primary School because the couple’s four children attended same.

She added that her daughter got Blessing a lesson teacher to boost whatever she was taught in school. “Our children did not attend private school; they attended Olowo-Ira Primary School and Ketu – four of them.  We don’t work.  In September I clocked 63; my husband is 66.

“When one of my daughters came, she said she did not like the school though that was the primary school she attended.  So, she employed a lesson teacher for her,” she said.

Badejo said scholarships are needed to help less privileged, but brilliant children access opportunities that can change their lives.

“I was inspired by a brilliant performance by a brilliant student.  She is a brilliant girl and would do well in life if she has support.  Rather than allow her to be wandering in the wilderness it is better to assist her to get to her destination in life.  I saw brilliance and I want that brilliance to be rewarded by assisting her to make a head way.

“There are a lot of brilliant children without people to help them. The government cannot do everything.  If we all help to support others, it would be good for the society,” he said.

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