From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Senator representing Bayelsa West, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, has given educational grants to six hundred students from the Senatorial district.
According to him, he decided to give the education support funds to the beneficiaries in pursuit of his passion for educational development in the society.
He said 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.
Diri recalled that as governor for eight years in Bayelsa, he embarked on deliberate steps to turn around the pitiable state of education in the state by declaring emergency in the sector in the state to lay the foundation for bold and deliberate measures in the sector.
According to him, such measures include establishment of Universities, polytechnics, initiation of good policies, the education trust, tertiary education loan board, among others,
Dickson explained that the steps resulted in the changing the story of the state from the least in the education index to 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 loan board that is still continuing, and 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 human beings to realize the God given potential and talent.
“Academics for me is a lifelong passion and it is surely my lifelong commitment not just going to school but skill acquisition, in sports and, in music.”
“Just like what I did for the law students last year, I will be unveiling a scholarship program later this year, which will be merit-based and merit/driven.
“Just as I keep telling everybody, for every form of development – 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 a 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, 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 people and the benefits will come in years to come beyond the tenure of the initiator, and even the parents and relatives may not see the gain today.”