On March 18, 2023, the University of Gondar held an induction ceremony for the new scholars admitted to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Meet-and-greets, keynote addresses from UoG higher officials, motivational presentations, learning about the scholarship package, and many more activities were organized.
The University of Gondar has been actively serving its community and nation for the past six, almost seven, years by providing services to those who are marginalized not only in Gondar but also in the surrounding area and country. One method UoG has done is by identifying the needs of its citizens and meeting those needs with services that are essentially unrivaled in the educational sector. With this in mind, the University of Gondar applied for and was awarded a grant in 2016 that would permanently alter inclusive education in the nation.
Mr. Lijalem Gashaw, the Administrative Vice President of the University of Gondar and the President’s delegate, spoke extensively in his introductory remarks about the collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation and the steps UoG is taking to become more inclusive.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is one of our outstanding programs,” shared Lijalem. “And we are pleased to welcome our newest group of Scholars for the 2023 academic year.”
The President’s representative also mentioned a number of steps the University is taking to better serve its recently admitted Scholars. Regarding accessibility, one of the biggest obstacles for people with disabilities, the University of Gondar has undergone significant change. For improved access and mobility for students with disabilities, dorms, entrances, classrooms, restrooms, and numerous other facilities have all undergone reconstruction.
The University of Gondar’s Scholars Program is on track to provide 450 gifted young people with impairments and disadvantages with ample educational opportunities. These people will eventually develop into transformative leaders who will give back to their communities through a variety of volunteer projects and plans that will enable them to have a significant influence in some of today’s underserved areas.
Talks on the principles and pertinent elements of the program, the roles of the University units in the program, annual reports from the previous year, motivational speeches by current scholars, community service, and campus life at UoG were some of the topics that were covered for the Scholars during the induction ceremony.
Year after year this groundbreaking and barrier-shifting program is continuing to change the lives of so many marginalized groups. And coming closer to its final years of recruitment, this year, the Scholars Program accepted 53 undergraduate Scholars. The recruitment process for the newly accepted Scholars was rigorous. To keep the integrity of the program to the highest standards the selection process took months. Great strides and priority were taken to actually figure out the most vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of the application pool. Recruiters were known to visit door-to-door and house-by-house to examine and observe those who were not only people with disabilities but furthermore those who were financially disadvantaged.
Moving forward, the program will, in the following year, admit its last cohort of 13 Scholars which will fulfill the quota originally proposed in its overall target.