Priority must be given to scholarships to make student loans work – Don

In order to ensure the success of its student loan programme, the Federal Government has been encouraged to give priority to student scholarships.

At the 10-day 113th Islamic Vacation Course (IVC), which was sponsored by the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, the Deputy Rector of Academics at Yaba College of Technology, YABATECH, Dr. Ismail Badmus, made this request during the Formal Closing Ceremony.

On Sunday, Badmus gave a talk at the Human Capacity Development Centre, Noforija, Epe, Lagos, on the theme of the 113th IVC: “The Benchmark.”

While student loans may not be financially feasible for students, the Deputy Rector acknowledged that student scholarships are commendable.

He said, “When you give somebody a loan, you want him to pay back, and some students, guardians or parents are still facing the challenge of poverty, getting them to pay back the loan may be difficult. It’s unfortunate because my generation grew up with subsidized education.

“Those who excel were on scholarship. The average students had their education subsidized. I don’t think getting students to pay back loan is sustainable for the Nigerian education system.

“There’s still the challenge poverty and hunger in the land. It’s like we are cutting off some people if we don’t subsidized education I went to public primary and secondary school.

“I couldn’t send my children to public primary and secondary school because of the falling standard of education and we want to raise the bar again. Scholarship and bursary is are very okay but loan… I don’t think it’s the best way to go,” he said.

Meanwhile, Badmus also urged the Federal Government to stick to the United Nations standard on the percentage budgetary allocation to education.

He said, “The government must not be shying away from this. Those who excel and those we see as our mentors are strictly following this,” he added.

According to Badmus, there’s no shortcut to getting educated and the government should fund education. He said, “It is freely funded elsewhere and we are running to them. At least let the government get close to that benchmark of the UN budgetary allocation to education.

“That’s the best way to go. You cannot have peace when your neighbours are not at peace. When your neighbours are hungry, you cannot sleep well,” he added.

In his address, The Amir (President), MSSN Lagos, Kamoldeen Abiona, noted that during the past 10 days, members of the organisation have engaged in various activities aimed at spiritual growth, personal development, and community service.

According to him, the camping program has provided them with an opportunity to strengthen their faith, build meaningful relationships, and develop valuable skills that will serve them in their academic, personal, and professional lives.

Meanwhile, Abiona has urged the delegates, officials and Muslims remember their responsibilities towards the struggle for the freedom of Palestine, as they assimilate the lessons learned from this year’s IVC.

Abiona noted that the situation in Palestine remains an ache in our hearts, “and we renew our commitment to their cause.”

The MSSN Lagos Amir added that the land of Palestine is entrenched in Islamic history and the hearts of the Ummah.

He said, “Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has taught us, “The believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.

“Hence, I urge you all to remember them in your prayers, increase awareness, and advocate for their rights as guided by our faith. Let us also consider the impact of our consumption choices and seek ways to support their cause by boycotting the products of the Israelis and their allies.”