By Denen Achusah
Of recent, there has been uproar with respect to academic prizes. Many have argued that what is given as prizes for academic excellence is discouraging. I remember my friend, Daniel Uza, appearing as ridiculing what he received as the best graduating student’s prize for a particular academic year, in the Mass Communications Department of the Benue State University (BSU) Makurdi. Others have exhibited prize money from other universities in the country, alluding that same is not encouraging academic excellence.
Notwithstanding my view, one man seems to be truly working for a difference; indirectly providing free education and encouraging scholarship. He is Terkura Asase-Igyo. From Mbangough, Shangev-Ya, in Kwande LGA of Benue State to Adikpo, Gboko and Makurdi, Asase-Igyoh’s schools dot the landscape.
If you attend any of Asase schools’ events, you cannot help but agree with me that it is more of charity. And he is looking at the holistic development of these immature members of the society.
Asase is of the view that children are gifted or talented differently. Some are more talented in cognitive skills while others is psychomotor and yet, others affective. He thinks that parents and or guardians should pay particular attention to these. Above all, the school should help the children to better develop their individual skills.
“Children have talents differently. Whichever talent they have, we have the duty to help them to develop,” Terkura opines.
No wonder, his scholarship, which ranges from three academic sessions to six academic sessions spans the three domains of knowledge. So that in the last graduation and prize giving day at NAA, while Chiahemba made his parents to wear a ‘big head’ with loads of awards, Rita Doosuur Pusa of Rose Asase Academy Gboko made her parents proud with her dance skills that earned her a six year scholarship. Free education at Rose Asase Academy from Basic 7 to Basic 9 and SS1 to SS3.
Barrister S. T. Iorhemba, like many a very important guest was shocked, only last Friday, during the events of the graduation to understand that Nyianshima Asase Academy (NAA), is collecting Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira (N2,550. 00), in school fees. Find out from Benue parents, how much they are paying as maintenance fees per term in public schools and you will appreciate who is actually offering free education.
Now, consider the prize items one graduating learner got for his sterling performance. This guy, Ade Chiahemba, was admitted in the academy in 2014, as a nursery one pupil. Eight years after, he was transiting to Basic 7, with over a dozen firsts, the highest been the overall best learner in his class.
Chiahemba took home standing fan, Knapsack sprayer and plastic chair as star prize. If you work out the cost of these three, not to mention the other items he received for been top in subjects, at the school fees of 2.55k per term, Chiahemba’s school fees for the eight years, cost of uniform and any other cost was written off. Free education at NAA. What is more? He won Terkura Asase’ six year scholarship.
Perhaps, it was in recognition of the avalanche of scholarship by the Kwande born that earned him the name Mr. Scholarship by Terver Adom.
Formal education, according to Prof Terkimbi Vanger, Dean, College of Agronomy, JS Tarka University Makurdi, is the greatest legacy one can bequeath to their offsprings. And Terkura, he says is bridging the gap in access to quality education.
The education, according to Prof Avanger will take the children to the distant parts of the world. It will help them to become useful members of the society.
While encouraging the graduating pupils to be committed to their studies as they progress in their education pursuit, Prof Vanger urged parents not to give up on the education of their children. He was the chairman of the occassion.
But what even makes Terkura happy is the performances of kids. “I wish people attend my graduation ceremonies and see what my children are doing. It is marvelous. I love it. I can’t stop doing this,” he enthused.
From all intent and purposes, the Kwande born is out to ensuring affordable access to education. At Mbangough, facilities for Rose Asase School of Health Technology are at advanced stage. Mbangough, through the instrumentality of Terkura Asase-Igyo is evolving to a community with opportunities for all levels of education.
The gentleman is a wonderful gift. He is encouraging parents to pay the school fees of their children through scholarship and other academic prizes. Above all, he is thankful to God for making all things possible.
I celebrate you, Mr. Scholarship: Terkura Asase-Igyo.