The Kaduna State government on Friday said scholarships had been approved to cover full school fees for brilliant indigent students of the state in all tertiary institutions.
Mr Rilwan Hassan, the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) 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.
According to him, the scholarships have been designed to cover students from poor and vulnerable households and exceptionally brilliant students under the need-based and merit-based scholarships programme.
He said 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.
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 vice chancellor, the Kaduna State University, Professor Muhammad Tanko, had during the interactive session reassured the students that government would not to allow any one of them to drop out of school.
He 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.