Gafoor Foundation awards bursaries to two GTI students

(From left to right) Assistant Chief Education Officer (Technical), Patrick Chinedu Onwugmia; Gafoor Foundation Board members Major-General (rtd), Norman McLean and Sylvia Conway, recipients of the award Emani Charles and Joshua Bharat, Ameena Gafoor and acting GTI Principal, Renita Crandon Duncan.

Two students of the Government Technical Institute (GTI) were on Wednesday presented with bursary awards from the Gafoor Foundation, to assist with school-related expenses.

In 2016, GTI and the Gafoor Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding that gave students from the school a chance to benefit from an annual bursary award of $200,000 to help with school expenses.

Benefitting from the award this year are Joshua Bharat and Emani Charles, both of whom are pursuing studies in the field of building and civil engineering.

Bharat, a first year student of the institute explained that he comes from a financially challenged background and that he had wanted to commence the course since 2012 but could not because he didn’t have the Math and English qualifications to do so. However, he was able to obtain the requisite grades after re-sitting the exams. According to the young man, the bursary will go a long way in helping alleviate the financial burden his family faces in allowing him to pursue tertiary education at GTI.

“I am very grateful and thankful for the assistance…,” he said.

Charles, who is currently in his second year at the institute also expressed thanks on behalf of himself and parents for the bursary noting that it will help him throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Ameena Gafoor of the Gafoor Foundation noted that award was developed to help students stay in school and qualify themselves; she also noted that GTI was singled out because of the subjects that are offered in the vocational trade field.

“My husband and I are of the firm belief that the vocational subjects are equally important as the academic subjects because a country cannot be driven without an industrial base,” she said, before adding that the students from the institute are also offered periods of internship with their company to have hands-on experience.

Also present at the presentation of bursaries was GTI Principal, Renita Crandon Duncan who noted that while they are somewhat disappointed that more students did not qualify for the award, she is confident that more will be done to have students meet the criteria in the future.

Nevertheless, Gafoor noted that plans are underway to have the award extended to the outlying vocation institutes, adding, that she hopes to see more female students qualifying for the award.

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