Imagine being too poor to attend your local school, too poor to go to college. Imagine your entire community and many others are in this predicament. Now imagine that you are offered the chance to travel to a new country, study, earn a degree and learn skills that will help you build a career.
Would you take it?
Nigeria failed to complete the global education goals it set for 2015, according to The Guardian. These goals included expanding early childhood education and care, achieving universal primary education and adult literacy.
Corruption and lack of investment have earned Nigeria one of the worst education systems in the world. Over ten million Nigerian children are not receiving a proper education.
The Mike Omotosho Foundation is trying to make a dent in the number of uneducated children by offering 10,000 Nigerian students the opportunity to study abroad. Because so many Nigerians struggle to afford even local education, scholarships are available for each student.
The purpose of the program is “to gain quality education abroad and hopefully bring this knowledge, expertise and quality back to Nigeria.”
To earn a scholarship, students need at least four credits in their O Level Examination, an international exam distributed by the British Council, and an eligibility date no later than June 2016. The process is simple, but competitive enough that students are required to put forth reasonable effort.
The scholarship offers a tuition waiver of up to 50 percent, but those who demonstrate outstanding scholarly abilities may receive a complete waiver from some universities. The nature of the waiver encourages students to put forth their best effort to achieve good grades even before they set foot abroad.
Countries participating in the program are Malaysia, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Russia and India. Nigerian students will have their pick of foreign cultures to learn from.
One benefit of studying abroad is a unique education. Each country offers its own education style. International students have the opportunity to experience more than one learning method, expanding their minds and providing them with a wider range of effective techniques.
Graduate schools look favorably upon former international students because they know these individuals are dedicated to their studies.
Another benefit to studying abroad is that it creates more career opportunities. Students who study abroad gain new perspectives, language skills and confidence, all of which help them stand out to potential employers.
The students who participate in the Mike Omotosho Foundation scholarship program will be better equipped to find work upon their return to Nigeria, keeping them out of poverty. Furthermore, they will bring back new skills and knowledge, which they can use to improve Nigeria’s education system and its overall quality of life.
Perhaps, in time, Nigeria will no longer have 10 million education-less children, but rather millions of youth educated, informed and ready to help their country.
– Sarah Prellwitz