By Martha Agas
Jos – The Rochas Foundation has extended scholarship to 899 indigent students in Plateau as fulfillment of the foundation’s vision to make education accessible to every African child regardless of tribe and religion.
Mr Ifeoluwa Ayodele, Principal of Rochas Foundation College in Jos, disclosed this in an event to mark the birthday of the founder of the foundation, Chief Rochas Okorocha on Friday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation which operates free education, maintains 12 secondary schools in the six-geopolitical zones of the country.
Ayodele said the beneficiaries who constituted the current population of the college were mostly orphans and children from poor backgrounds.
He said the birthday celebration was to appreciate Okorocha who had so far extended free education to 12 of his colleges in the six geopolitical zones.
He noted that the former governor of Imo State had equally impacted the lives of more than 21,000 children in his display of rare benevolence.
“Rochas has been able to carve a niche in Nigeria by sponsoring 3,000 graduates and undergraduates from different universities across the world.
“The foundation pays for the senior school certificate examinations (SSCE), for the students and also the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME),’’ he said.
Ayodele also said the school excelled in the last SSCE where the head girl broke the record of result by obtaining 6As, 2B2s and one B3, in the external examination.
He noted that the head girl of the school also secured 291 in her UTME result.
In a related development, some students of the school recounted how the foundation restored their hope after they were displaced by the deaths of their parents and guardians.
A cross section of them in separate interviews with NAN said Okorocha was being used by God to restore their lost hope.
John Thaddeus, a Jss 3 Student, said he was left to experience hardship without access to education before the foundation came to the rescue.
“I never met my father. I stayed with my maternal grandparents with one being physically challenged and the other visually impaired when we heard about the Rochas foundation which brought me succour.
“ I now have quality education more than those who are even privileged to have their parents alive,” he said.
Kangyang Rosemary, an SS 2 Student, said she had stayed out of school for a year due to paucity of funds.
“I took advantage of the foundation and wrote their examination to secure entrance into the school. I thought my life had come to an end. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity,’’ she said.
Mrs Mary Martins, the Area Director of Jos South Education Inspectorate, urged the students not to be distracted by external forces and temptations, adding that, many children sought for this privilege.
Mrs Patricia Gyang , a mother of one of the students, said Rochas foundation and college was God sent, adding that she was physically incapacitated and could not have provided their son with education.
Gyang who spoke through her son, Joshua, prayed God to bless and protect Okorocha as he continued to be charitable to people with poor backgrounds.
“The foundation is assisting many orphans, widows and indigent children with its good gestures,” she said. (NAN)