The Lagos State Ministry of Education put smiles on the faces of 60 blind students and 366 others with the disbursement of special local scholarships worth N23,480,000.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh presented the recipients with their cheques in his office with support from Mrs Omautan Jegede, the Director, Lagos State Scholarship Board (LSSB).
While the blind students from the School of the Blind, Oshodi, got N3,000,000; 34 sportsmen who have won for Lagos in sporting events, got N6, 880,000, after providing evidence of admission into tertiary institutions; and 332 students of the Lagos State College of Health Technology, Yaba, were given N13,600,000.
One of the blind students, simple called Kolapo, expressed her gratitude to the government in an emotion-laden voice.
“We students are very grateful for this. When this (blindness) happened to me, I thought it was the end. But you have put a smile on our faces,” she said.
Thanking the government, Principal of the school, Mr Shola Ogunsiji, said the scholarship would go a long way to help the school educate and rehabilitate the students, some of whom became blind as a result of accidents or illnesses.
Bank-Olemoh said the government is still giving scholarships despite the harsh economy because it prioritises education. He said the three categories of recipients that got the scholarship were proof that the government cares for all students.
“We have demonstrated as a state that we are true trustees of the society. You don’t have to know anybody to access our scholarship scheme. You have never heard that Lagos State scholars have not being paid. Lagos has students on foreign scholarship and it has not happened that they were not paid,” he said.
Bank-Olemoh also spoke of government’s plans to improve public library as well as provide an e-knowledge bank accessible to various categories of learners.
“We are going to open a knowledge bank and it is going to be digital, so any Lagosian or Nigerian will go there and access knowledge. Imagine you are primary two pupil and you are doing your home work and you are having problem with your fractions you go that website click on fractions and you can see a video and learn,” he said.
Bank-Olemoh said the government is partnering with some private sector organisations to rehabilitate libraries.