The fuss about the 2019 UTME result might have subsided but this is not so for Ekene Franklin Ezeunala, the 15 years old boy who scored the highest (347) in the 2019 UTME. Despite JAMB’s opinion that he might not be able to secure admission into higher institution because of his age (15yrs), many private universities both within and overseas have offered to offer Ekene admission into their institution with free tuition fee. One of which is Gregory University, Uturu in Abia State.
News reaching us reports that ACADEMIC City College, a private university in Accra, Ghana, has offered the chap a scholarship worth $40,000 which is equivalent to 14.4 Million Naira.
The College Senior Admissions Manager (Nigeria), Mrs Ogechi Ekpe, said on the sidelines of a workshop organized by the institution for schools and parents at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, at the weekend that the scholarship would cover tuition and boarding for the duration of his programme at the university.
In her exact words “We have a full scholarship for Ekene. He was supposed to be here today (Friday) but we did not talk about the scholarship today because he was not here. We were to present a scholarship of $40,000 to the boy from year one till he graduates,” she concluded.
When questioned about how Ekene would be informed about the scholarship since he was not at the event, Mrs Ekpe said: “We were hoping he would be here today so our President can give him the award. The school is here now. We have to go there and see if we can either take him to Ghana or get our President to come again and give him the scholarship. The scholarship is for real. It is called the Presidential Scholarship so the school pays everything including the hostel fees.”
Ekene, who turns 15 today (27/05/2019), is below 16, the minimum age benchmark to gain admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG), which is the minimum required age limit as approved by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), also stipulates 16 years as the minimum age for candidates to take the examination during the admission year they apply. However many private varsities in Nigeria accept students who are less than 16.
Mrs. Ekpe said that Academic City College, which offers programmes in Engineering, Business, Communication Arts and Information Technology, accepts students from 15 years of age because it has system in place to monitor them.
She said: “That is why we want him there. Nigerian schools won’t give him admission but we will. We start admitting from 15 which is why we have a very visible Dean of Students’ Affairs. We make sure that they go to class, especially foreign students. You cannot be in the hostel during learning hours. Dean Ruth, that is her name, she normally goes round.
“There are parents that pay for their kids to be off campus but all international students must be on campus because we don’t want them to have immigration issues; we don’t want them to go off track and start doing drugs. We actually insist that in the first year at least they must be on campus.”
The Ghanaian institution has joined the list of institutions to award full scholarship to Ekene, who just completed his West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at Meiran Community Senior High School, Meiran, Lagos state.
Kudos to the young man. Hard-work truly pays.