The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has offered reasons behind its new policy mandating all prospective beneficiaries of its scholarship scheme to first take the examination organised by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
According to the federal government agency, the new policy was designed to eliminate mediocrity in the scheme as the programme continued with its quest to transform ex-agitators into well-educated entrepreneurs and employable citizens capable of contributing meaningfully to the economic prosperity of the Niger Delta region and the nation at large after the completion of their programme.
The interim administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio of PAP in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe explained that the policy was crucial was vital for the personal, intellectual, mental growth and development of the delegates as well as to the development and economic growth of the Niger Delta.
He reiterated that the PAP was focused on ensuring that beneficiaries of PAP scholarship were able to compete for placement in the best universities and primed to be major players in the knowledge-based world.
Dikio who decried the gradual decline of the university system, declared that it was imperative for the programme to be more intentional about the kind of talent it churned out to the society.
The administrator cited the examples of ex-militant leader, High Chief Bibopere Ajube alias Shoot at Sight and a host of others who did not have the so-called vaunted “university education” as leading lights of industry and employers of labour.
Dikio, who urged delegates and all stakeholders to get onboard the train of success appealed for calm from persons opposing the JAMB policy.
The statement read in part: “To this end, the PAP came up with a new policy mandating every prospective scholarship candidate to take the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination as one of the criteria to qualify for PAP scholarship. What is the Amnesty deal? Does it equate mediocrity? Our universities are turning out an army of unskilled unemployable adults into a labour market bursting at the seams.
“Even worse, evidence abounds that 80% of the current recipients of PAP scholarship are not ex-agitators. This is a major anomaly that must be corrected. We have designed our deployment process to ensure that 70% of delegates for scholarship must be ex-agitators whose names are in our database, 20% will be from Niger Delta impacted communities and 10% will be discretionary. Thus, those who cannot go to the university will be given vocational training.”
He also said that the intention of the PAP was to align to best practices for university admission, give scholarships to persons with high potential to graduate, eliminate favouritism and scholarship rackets.
SOURCE: THE SUN