PRINCE JOHN ADENIYI is the founder and president of Global Scholarship Trust. In this interview, he explained how he was motivated to establish GST and how he has helped many underprivileged Nigerians achieve their dream to acquire good education. The excerpt:
Tell us about yourself
My name is Prince John Adeniyi the founder and President of Global Scholarship Trust, Nigeria.
What motivates you to be a social worker
I would like to say that I was motivated to join the social work profession by my desire to help others, as well as the desire to join people that render selfless service to ensure that the world is safe for everyone.
Tell us about the Global Scholarship Trust
When you begin to Look at the number of underprivileged dropping out of school and those who are not even making an attempt at all just for the common reason of financial constraints, as a human being and someone who has been able to look at life from a different perspective, something will surely push you to help, which is what actually pushes me to see a need for the creation of a platform that will seek to break educational barriers that will pave way for the less privileged to access quality and affordable education, and also initiating more affordable and accessible citadel of learning that will cater for them considering the poverty level in the country.
Global scholarship trust (GST) is a Non-Governmental organisation established since 2010 with the sole aim of diminishing educational barriers for the indigent and meritorious students to access quality and affordable education.
GST works with a range of charities from small projects to large endeavours, with a focus on education; the environment and the welfare of the students.
The trust is framed particularly for the education and empowerment of the underprivileged. And by God’s grace so far we have helped more than 10,000 students across Africa through our various programme.
What are the GST Semitic Areas
There is a plethora of research showing a correlation between educational attainment, skills development and quality of life; it should be a common understanding that education is no longer a privilege, but rather a right and a necessary resource.
So, looking at the number of people who need our help and our determination to serve the purpose of establishing the trust, we decided to design various specified programmes to enable us to cater for all our targeted beneficiaries. We have GST scholarship Exams, GST foreign education funding, GST Miss Global Scholarship Ambassador, Global Scholarship Trust Academy and we also collaborate with other organisation to organise programmes that are similar to what we do in GST.
GST scholarship exams are conducted every year to determine students who merit our scholarship awards, targeting the indigents. And it is divided into two categories; tuition fee scholarship for public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education students – this qualifies indigent students to have access to the tuition fee for a session. The second one helps to pave way qualified our qualified students to be admitted into any of our partner schools, and the qualified students will enjoy a partial 40 t0 50 per cent reduction on tuition fee as a scholarship.
The foreign education funding scheme seeks to give opportunity to young Nigerians whose dream is to study abroad and professionals who wish to upgrade their Earning/Employment potential but can’t afford the wholesome fees (Tuition, Flight Ticket, & Visa) at a time, the scheme will pave way for exposure to a foreign cultural experience.
And the Global scholarship trust Academy is a subsidiary of Global Scholarship Trust, Nigeria, initiated to cater to the children from the less privileged families to access quality and affordable secondary and primary education. This subsidiary also offers educational consultancy services, sports development, women and youth empowerment programmes and Adult education. This is open to the public, as any interested person can visit our website and apply for any of our programmes
How many less privileged are you targeting to reach within the next five years from now?
It has been nine years now since we started and we have been able to reach more than 10, 000 people across Africa and with programmes that we currently have now, we are targeting to reach at least 8, 000 indigents by 2024.
That now brings me to the question that I have been eager to ask. Why do you want to establish a free tuition university in Nigeria?
Adequate affordable higher education is vital. For any society to be assured of its human capital developments, there must be a deliberate effort to create a medium for everyone to be educated. The global scholarship has recognised the critical role of university education in the development of the society and it is trying to seize the opportunity to contribute to the development of the country through education by establishing a free tuition university targeting the underprivileged. I must say, the establishment of a free tuition university is essential considering the poverty level in Nigeria.
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of establishing Global Scholarship Trust is to break the educational barrier and also to positively respond to the Nigerian government policy on education for all. The proposed university is also aimed at contributing to the government efforts focused on poverty eradication, economic growth through human capital development.
Do you think this is achievable?
Yes, it is, and I believe we can do it. Also, it is needful we get all the necessary support from the government to achieve this.
It is clear to see that financial impediments are limiting factors for many potential students. Many potential students have gotten their educational dreams withheld due to financial constraint. We must understand that the ultimate tool to reach an increase in the abundance of educational opportunities begins at lowering cost if not removing entirely the tuition fee and treating it as a common good. Our Free Tuition University is not some mystical fantasy, as it exists in some part of the world. And I believe we can replicate it here in Nigeria.
What about the funding, where would it come from?
Establishing a higher learning institution is not simple, talk more of a free tuition university, we know it is a big project. We hope to fund the project using donations from individuals, community efforts, the government input, local and foreign donors.
Is it going to be open for everyone?
The proposed free tuition university can only accommodate the indigents and meritorious students across the world.
How would you ensure that it is only the underprivileged that will have access to this?
We have an existing mechanism that we use to determine and select those that merit or qualify to benefit from our various scholarship schemes. And again, our relationship with the people at the grass-roots and rural communities makes it easier for us to identify those that merit our scholarship awards.
Do you have a particular location in mind for the university?
Yes, we have a particular location but we are still deliberating on it, and until it’s approved by the board of trustees, then we can make it public.
How would you want the general public to support the project?
Like I said earlier, this project is a big project which will require a collective effort to make it a reality. On that, we need both financial and technical support from the government, individuals, and organisations both local and foreign.