A total of forty-eight undergraduate students from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Tuesday benefitted from a scholarship scheme instituted by the Peoples’ Republic of China.
The scholarships which had become a yearly gesture by China were handed over to the students by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, at the auditorium of the university in a colourful ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Pingjian said education remained the bedrock of China’s development and he felt that extending a helping hand to indigent students would go a long way to assist them to actualise their dreams.
He said that China budgets 4 percent of its Gross Domestic Product to education and that made the literacy level of that country to reduce from 80 per cent at its formation in 1949 to three per cent currently.
Pingjian said, “Education is the key element in China’s development. In 1949 illiteracy level was 80 percent. Now, it is under 3 percent. This is because we give priority to education. We respect teachers and value education.”
He said the scholarship was part of commemoration of October which is a special month for both China and Nigeria which began their life that month and also the month of the birth of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku.
He described UNIZIK as African champion when it comes to learning of Chinese Language and culture through the Confucius Institute.
In his speech, Ahaneku said the Chinese ambassador awarded the scholarship to demonstrate that money cannot be a barrier to students acquiring education.
He commended the ambassador whom he said is dear not just to Nigeria and Africa but also to UNIZIK.
He recalled that last year, China awarded scholarships to 47 students and this year 48 students are beneficiaries.
Ahaneku noted that the scheme was a reminder of China’s relationship with UNIZK.
He added that the population of Confucius Institute has grown so much that now a lot of students are trying to excel in the study of Chinese language and culture.
Source: IndependentFollow us on social media