Dickson Lifts 600 Undergraduates With Grants
Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Seriake Dickson has given educational grants to 600 undergraduate students from the senatorial district, saying the gesture is in pursuit of his passion for educational development in the society.
He said in a statement issued on Tuesday that he had always listed education as a priority sector because of his awareness of the inseparable link between education and development in the society.
Dickson recalled that as Bayelsa State governor for eight years, he embarked on deliberate steps to turn around the pitiable state of education in the state by declaring an emergency in the sector to lay the foundation for bold measures in the sector.
According to him, such measures include the establishment of universities, and polytechnics, initiation of good policies, the education trust funds, and tertiary education loan board, among others.
The senator explained that the steps resulted in the changing of the story of the state from the least in the education index to among the top three in the country.
He said, “All of you know what I did in education; I initiated a lot of educational policies, the Education Trust Fund, the education loans board that is still continuing, uncountable scholarships even in the recession. I did that because I understand the importance of education and the direct link of investment in education to the development of any nation, its security and stability and indeed the future.
“I did all of that and I am going to support human capacity development, to invest in the human being to realize the God-given potential and talent. Academics for me is a life-long passion and it is surely my life-long commitment, not just going to school but skill acquisition, in sports and, in music.”
Dickson, who had earlier in 2022 given grants to students of the Nigerian Law School from the senatorial district, promised to unveil a scholarship programme in 2023, which according to him would be merit-driven. He stressed that developmental efforts in infrastructure and other critical areas would not endure without first developing the human mind through education.
Dickson further said, “Just like what I did for the law students last year, I will be unveiling a scholarship programme later this year, that will be merit-based and merit-driven.
“Just as I keep telling everybody, for every form of development – the building of roads, bridges and houses however beautiful, however expensive they are, they will deteriorate if we do not first build the human mind. The only investment that has trans-generational impact, where you invest in one person and the impact will be counting on generations (that goes to the future) is education.
“That is why I keep investing in education because it does not require repair and renovation and I keep identifying it, in my own modest way up till now and that is what I did as a governor. People don’t know what I went through, I built schools and provided schooling materials, and computers for students and fed them.
"That is only done by a leader who is futuristic and visionary, and who desires to see a better tomorrow for his, and the benefits will come in years to come beyond the tenure of the initiator, and even the parents and relations may not see the gain today,” the lawmaker added.