Nigerian scholars, under the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) has departed to the Russian Federation and the Democratic Republic of Algeria Wednesday, after the briefing/ orientation ceremony for 2018/2019 beneficiaries held at the auditorium of the Federal Ministry Education, in the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
The minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in his speech during the ceremony, said that the scholarship that had been awarded to those young Nigerians were a reward for academic excellence, and an incentive to brilliant but indigent students whose parents could not afford to sponsor their education abroad. The minister said the scholarship award was in line with the sustainable development goals aimed at making quality education accessible to all Nigerians, irrespective of parental and religious backgrounds.
He stressed that federal government, in 1999, had revitalised the scholarship scheme by increased investment on national and international programmes in order to strengthen BEA with her development partners toward developing her manpower needs. He noted that despite the global economic crunch, Russia, Algeria, Turkey, Hungary, south Korea, Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Ukraine, Serbia, Mexico, Cuba, Tunisia, Macedonia and Romania are still offering scholarships to Nigerians. To return this goodwill, he said, Nigeria had offered scholarships to China, Romania and Sierra Leone.
The minister revealed that in the 2018/2019 BEA scholarship, China offered 10 places; Russia 94; Egypt 10; Algeria 21; Morocco 54; Hungary 41; while still awaiting offers from Serbia.
“The scholars for Hungary have departed and today we are gathered to prepare for the departure of 94 scholars to Russia and 21 scholars to Algeria while offers from other countries are being awaited.
“Please note that to be eligible for this award, a candidate must have obtained distinctions in five subjects, including English and Mathematics at one sitting in WAEC examinations not older than two years.” The minister said.
He said to qualify, the scholars had completed forms on the Federal Scholarship Board webpage through the Federal Ministry of Education website, (after a nationwide adverts on national dailies) after which aptitude tests were conducted in the six geo-political zones.
“I wish to advise beneficiaries before me today that you are expected to be good ambassadors of this great country academically, morally and socially. Your predecessors have excelled in their academics and you are expected to do even better. Remember the virtues which your families and Nigeria deposited in you and uphold them always. The countries you are going have laws and customs and you are expected to respect them always. Your studies are the reason you are travelling so you are expected to take them seriously and maintain the grades that will keep you within the grade requirements…”