Two females candidates clinched the first two positions out of 41 successful students under the Kaduna Merit Based Foreign Scholarship scheme.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Kaduna state scholarship and loans board disclosed that the 41 successful candidates comprise 29 first-class degree holders, six master’s degree holders with distinction, five second class (upper division) degree holders with CGPA of 4.0 and above, and one undergraduate student.
According to the statement signed by Hassan Rilwan, executive secretary of the board, the female candidates, Amina Sani Bello and Halima Alhafiz Aliyu, who came first and second respectively, are part of the 29 first-class degree holders.
Rilwan said out of the 138 who applied for the scholarship, “96 applicants passed the Use of English and Plagiarism cut-off mark of 50 and less than 25 respectively.
“Each of the 96 applicants was officially contacted and requested to upload a personal statement and three minutes video clip,” he said.
He added that as part of the board’s transparency and open governance policy, its management and staff were not part of the final scoring and selection process, after short listing the candidates.
“Consequently, the management set up a team of individuals who have the experience, track record of diligence and objectivity devoid of sentiments to form a Selection Committee” he said.
The executive secretary further said each applicant was scored online by at least three committee members.
Rilwan said Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, had promised that all qualified first-class graduates from the state would be sponsored to the best universities in the world.
He added that that before el-Rufai came to power, scholarship award “was always an under the table discussion preserved for only the privileged.’’
“Most of the 138 students would not have known of the opportunity if not for the transparent disposition of the El-Rufai led administration. The process is open, traceable and cannot be manipulated.”