The IFOMSSA Awards

BACKGROUND
The "Ifedioramma Okafor Memorial Secondary School Academic (IFOMSSA) Awards", is one of the three educational programmes of the OCI Foundation (others include the Cyfed Scholarships and the Cyfed Academic Donations).
It is an annual event designed to grant one-off financial (or equivalent) awards to secondary secondary school students preparing for their school certificate examinations (both junior and senior).

The award for the senior students is called the Senior IFOMSSA Awards, and would cover the fees for eligible students preparing for the  West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or the National Examination Commission (NECO).
The Junior IFOMMSA Awards, on the other hand, would cover the fees for selected students from eligible schools preparing for the Junior School Certificate Examinations (JSCE).
 
The IFOMSSA Awards were established in 2016 (with the first set of awards given in 2017) in memory of the late Mr. Ifedioramma Isaac Okafor (1939 to 2016), who was the father of the OCI Foundation Founder, and was a firm believer that Education holds the key to limitless successes, not just for individuals, but for the society at large.
Below is a video documentary of the program, showing speeches from the 2017 recipients, thier parents, their teaches, and some staff of the OCI Foundation:



The idea behind the IFOMSSA Awards is to encourage the recipients and spur ALL students from the eligible schools towards the attainment of greater academic successes. It is hoped that the recipients and individuals from eligible schools will achieve high academic performances that will, hopefully, confer on them the eligibility to be considered for the Cyfed Scholarships when they get on to undergraduate tertiary programmes.
 
For now, the Senior IFOMSSA Awards is limited to State Government-owned schools in the Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. It is, however, hoped that the eligible schools will be expanded with time. It is also expected that at least ten students from all the ten eligible schools in the Local Government will get the award annually.

THE SELECTION FORMAT
Every year, each of the ten eligible schools nominates three of her best students preparing for the aforestated examinations, and all the nominated students from the ten eligible schools will undergo a one-off exam called the IFOMSSA Challenge.
The examination and selection criteria are based on strict protocols developed between the OCI Foundation Officials a
nd the  Otuocha Zone of the Anambra State Post Primary Schools Service Commission, PPSSC, who are in charge of the educational activities in Anambra East LGA of Nigeria. Only the top ten candidates from the IFOMSSA Challenge gets the award (70% Merit; 30% Catchment for Nsugbe indigenes).

From 2018, the Foundation will ensure that each of the 6 towns recognized under the Anambra East LGA will have a winner in the final list. This might imply that, should the need arise, the best performing students from towns which have no winner represented in the Final 10, will receive the award in addition to the  original 10 mentioned above. Also, a maximum of 2 students from each town can make the merit list, while Nsugbe Town can get a maximum of 3 students in the Final 10 (whether based on merit or on catchment). It should be noted that these numbers recognize the towns of origins of the students, not the schools from which they are registered.
These measures have been put in place to ensure that each town in Anambra East LGA is not left out as the students in the area are lifted and encouraged to attain academic excellence.

The Junior IFOMSSA Award is limited to at least five students, who are indigenes of Nsugbe (the home town of the OCI Foundation Founder) and are enrolled at the Community Secondary School, Nsugbe. The best five students (based on academic performances in their penultimate class) in the eligible class automatically gets the award.

The OCI Foundation aims to continually liaise with the management of the eligible schools, as well as the relevant examination bodies and Education Ministry in the concerned locations to ensure that the IFOMMSA Awards would always meet the stated objectives of the Foundation.

THE 2017 AWARDS
The inaugural awards were disbursed to the winning pupils on Thursday, March the 9th, 2017, at a ceremony held at Aguleri, Nigeria, and attended by all the 15 award recipients, their parents, concerned school principals, zonal and state staff of the PPSSC, as well as the representative of the OCI Foundation (Barr. Steven Ononye, the Foundation's Legal Adviser).
The video of the event, as well as that for the prayers said for the repose of the soul of late Ifedioramma I. okafor during IFOMSSA Challenge (held on January 25th 2017), are both shown below.