A non-governmental organisation, Uzoma Education Foundation, has offered cash awards to 17 tertiary and secondary school students to enable them further their education under its “Excellence in spite of Adversity” scholarship programme.
Presenting the cash awards to the beneficiaries, recently at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and John Anglican Church in Nkwerre LGA of Imo State, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Rueben Uzoma Education Foundation, RUEF, Rev. Bennett Okoro, stated that scheme was instituted in memory of late Sir Reuben Uzoma, first Minister of Education in Eastern Nigeria and Education Secretary for the Anglican Churches 1953 to 1980 in Niger Delta and Owerri Dioceses, respectively.
Rev. Okoro, who is the Archbishop of Orlu Anglican Diocese, said the Foundation would address core objectives, which include promotion of and support of quality education for Nigerian youths irrespective of class, religion and gender.
It will also promote and encourage equal opportunities for indigent deserving students for primary, secondary and tertiary education and awards for deserving educators, teachers and educational institutions in the country.
He hoped that the award initially muted in 2004 would be of use to the beneficiaries in their struggle for academic excellence.
Speaking earlier, daughter of late Uzoma , Dr Ada Okwuosa , former Chairman, ECOWAS Commission pointed out that the beneficiaries were selected on non-denominational and non-partisan basis, with criteria based on sustained brilliant academic performance and good character in the face of domestic and social challenges.
According to him, late Uzoma was the architect of the first blueprint for a free Universal Primary Education, UPE policy in the defunct Eastern Region in line with Western Region defunct Action Group government.
Mrs. Okwuosa, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation said late Uzoma was instrumental in promoting grassroots education and educational awareness in South-eastern Nigeria noting that the biannual programme would be extended to other states of the federation.
Sir Billy Ukwuoma, the Diocesan Education Secretary said that of the 17 beneficiaries 13 are students from various secondary schools while the remaining four are tertiary students drawn various higher institutions in the state.
Among the beneficiaries is; Miss Gift Dickson, SSI student of Okpala Secondary School Okpala, Ngor-Okpala and Jude Chukwuebuka a 2nd year level Computer/Mathematics student of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri who expressed profound gratitude to the organizers of the programme.

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