From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives and member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has bankrolled the West African Examination Council (WAEC) registration fee for all public and two missionary schools in her constituency for this year’s WAEC examination.
A total of 800 students comprising 17 public and two missionary schools benefited from the intervention.
Handing over cheques to the benefitting schools at her Ngodo Isuochi country home, the lawmaker said the gesture was intended to curb the rate of school drop out and decline in education due to economic hardship.
Onyejeocha said she was pained when her attention was drawn to the sad development that some students in the constituency were dropping out of school following the inability of their parents to register them for WAEC examination.
She said she was therefore moved to end the ugly trend and save the future of youths in her constituency considering the pivotal role of education in the development of any society.
Onyejeocha further said she was encouraged by the academic performance of the beneficiaries of the first edition of the intervention last year, and promised to sustain the gesture as long as God provides her with the means.
The lawmaker said the gesture had nothing to do with politics but purely a divine mandate to affect lives, saying that beneficiaries cut across political, religious and ethnic divides.
According to a source in the school system, it costs N18,950 to register a student for the WAEC exam in Abia, adding that the cost comprises basic WAEC fee of N13,950 and other changes by the Ministry of Education.
It was the second edition of a special intervention by Onyejeocha who also has other scholarship programmes.
Some of the benefitting schools include: Lokpanta Secondary School, N418,500;
Isuikwuato High School, N976,500;
Acha Secondary School, N362,700; and Eluama Secondary School, N753,300.
Others are: Ahaba Imenyi Secondary School, N418,500; Nneato Secondary School, N976,500; Comprehensive Secondary School Umuchieze, N348,750; and her alma maters – Ovim Girls Model Secondary School, N823,050; as well as Wesley Model Secondary School, Nkwoagu, N767,250.
Responding on behalf of the benefitting schools, the Principal, Nneato Secondary School, Mr. John Ihionu, thanked Onyejeocha for the gesture and prayed God to bless her.
He described the lawmaker as God-sent to the constituency considering her numerous people-centred projects.
The principal said the first edition of the gesture last year had motivated students in junior classes “who now pray fervently to still have Onyejeocha in power when it’s their turn so as to partake in free WAEC registration”.