By Madonna Nwani
The World Free Education Programme International Vocational Centre (IVC), 2020 scholarship examinations results have been released.
Making this public in an exclusive chat with Citizens’ Advocate in Abakaliki, The IVC State Coordinator, Mr. Monday Okoro said only those with adequate documentation will have access to the score cards.
He observed that the move was aimed at checkmating encumbrances associated with the previous outings in the State where candidates mess up the sheets, looking for their results; even when eventually their particulars were found wanting at the end of the day.
Comrade Okoro unveiled that Ebonyi State ran short of filling its quota last year, not because the candidates were not enough but because some failed to follow up the documentation process.
He asserted that the conduct of this year’s examination last week in Abakaliki witnessed a remarkable improvement; even though only about 332 candidates wrote the examinations across board.
According to him, primary School candidates vying for Junior Secondary School scholarship were 53 in number; middle secondary category of JSS 1 & 2 were 80, JSS 3 & SSS 1 were 38. SSS 2 & 3 and other undergraduates vying for University scholarship were162.
He revealed that there may be room for a mop up examination in Abakaliki if reasonable number of candidates registered; otherwise, the final examination for Ebonyi State candidates would take place in Afikpo on the 29th of August, 2020. He charged parents- especially those that missed out on the present exercise to take advantage of the forthcoming one(s) to shore up the chances of their wards.
Comrade Okoro who vowed to leverage on the Abakaliki experience to ensure a better outing in Afikpo come August 29 charged parents to eschew skepticism and embrace the programme for good as its credibility is assured.
He was apparently responding to the skepticism of some parents to the program, for instance, a university Don, Prof Mike Otuma whose children took part in the examinations frowned at the conduct of the previous IVC exams in the State.
He told Citizens’ Advocate that “This time around in Nigeria a lot of scam abounds, people trying to make money at all cost not minding compromising their integrity.”
Prof Otuma lamented his disappointment with previous exercise when people embraced it in their numbers and took the examination in a congested environment which according to him nobody has come out to say he eventually secured the scholarship.
He said they were only giving the programme a second chance because of the credibility of the State Coordinator, Rotarian Monday Okoro and charged them not to demand for any kind of payment until the reality of the exercise manifests.
The State Coordinator Mr. Monday Okoro however allayed such fears when speaking with our correspondent.
Mr. Okoro said, “My only advice to parents is to trust the people they are dealing with. A lot of things had happened with such bodies in the past but IVC is a different body. It is non-governmental.”
“You see, in Nigeria, we like fire brigade approach; come today, tomorrow let me have the benefits. That was why MMM came and took a while lot of their money and went under. IVC in Igbo parlance is o ji nwayo aga a di emeru aru. (Slow and steady) as they move step by step they keep learning and improving as they go. When you follow their steps, you don’t make mistakes.”
“IVC scholarship has six steps, he added. According to him, you first have to take the examinations, if you are successful, then the oral interview after which follows the child’s assessment on his/her health status; they then open bank account for the individual bonafide beneficiary because the scholarship fund will not enter individual parents’ account. It must be in the bonafide child’s account and that is how they will operate the scholarship fund. Again you have to show the health status of your child so that he/she’ll be properly managed because asthmatic patient would not be subjected to the same treatment as other children. After that, the budgeting is the next step.”
“All these things will give IVC the idea of the total sum needed for the year. How is it done? In a Local Government Area for instance, how many primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are there? In each of the schools provisions are made for some students who may likely take part in the examination. So there will be budget for each school. You sum up to know the total amount required to fund the students’ education. The same thing will apply in all other states of the federation. Like you know, IVC is spread across the country.”
“It is when this is done that you now proceed to sign MOU between the students, parents and IVC- showing the responsibility of each one of them.”
“After this step 5, you now go to fund disbursement; the stage we are in now for the previous candidates- issuance of bank ID card that will enable the student- beneficiary go to bank and operate without a hindrance. That is the last stage. Anybody thinking otherwise has not properly understood the operation and what IVC stands for.”
World Free Education Programme is aimed at achieving free Education for all worldwide by 2050 and the Charge Du Affairs of IVC, an arm of the programme, in charge of 7 African countries is a Nigerian, Dr Pedro Ndubuisi Manowa, with headquarters in Enugu.