Sylvia Ulan Andrew, the 17year old Plateau girl who made A1 in all West African Examination Council (WAEC) subjects last year might not be enrolling for further studies soon.
Ulan’s father, Andrew Longchi died months before her birth in 2003. Her mother, Martha, who has remained single ever since, solely raised and sponsored her through school.
In an interview, Martha said she sew clothes every night to pay her fees at certain times. At some point, she attempted hiring a private teacher for her daughter but could not afford the fee, she said.
She however encouraged her daughter to be resolute in her pursuit of set goals, knowing where she was coming from.
Ulan, a hard-working child picked the challenge and studied at random, without waiting for tests or exams.
Her motivation was that whatever she studied might someday be of help to her. After emerging best candidate in her common entrance examinations and eventually gaining scholarship to one of Nigeria’s most expensive secondary schools in Abuja, Ulan was despised by her mates who thought she did not belong to their ranks.
She however remained focused till she became everyone’s favorite. Though one of few females in the science department, Ulan kept an excellent performance throughout highschool, emerging the nation’s best graduating student.
The Governor of Plateau State and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Simon Lalong, delighted with her records, offered her State and Regional scholarship in any foreign University of her choice.
The pledge was however verbal, but the Governor is ready to fulfill it. However, Ulan has to apply and submit the offer of admission to access it, it was gathered.
Attempting the application process, Ulan found that most countries have closed 2020/2021 admissions for foreign students, it was learnt. Thus, the brilliant student will have to wait for 2022 to secure a chance.
Her highschool sponsors, Shell Petroleum Corporations had offered to renew her scholarship, but not in a foreign or private University. Ulan desires to accept Shell’s offer in appreciation for its previous sponsorship.
However, Nigerian Universities have been on strike for nine months now, and might resume anytime after calling it off. This implies spending half of each academic year at home due to strikes, prolonging her stay in school.
Worried by these predicaments, Ulan’s father’s relations met in Jos to find solutions. The family – the Gai Daress clan of Butura land in Plateau’s Bokkos Local Government area resolved to network with relevant agencies and stakeholders to prevent the aspiring Petrochemical Engineer from missing University this year.
Ulan had applied for admission in University of Nigeria, a federal university located in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. Admission has however yet to be released likely due to the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
She might enrol on the Shell Petroleum scholarship application is successful, pending the discovery of an alternative.
The family prayed and rejoiced with her over her highschool records, promising to stand with her through her future aspirations.