Since 2004, the Kohima Educational Trust through its affiliate the Kohima Educational Society, formed by leading Nagas in 2007, has financed many projects to aid education in Nagaland such as a children’s hostel, a basketball pitch, a reference library, medical training, a Master’s Degree for a Naga teacher, a bibliography of Naga literature and a glossary of sixteen Nagaland languages.
Outstanding among these projects has been the provision of scholarships for 14 to 18 year-old Naga children, which has appealed to hundreds of British donors, led by veterans and their families, who have been moved by the Kohima Educational Trust and this exemplification of gratitude.
Our flagship scholarship programme supports young Nagas through their secondary education in Kohima and the surrounding area. Scholarships provide support towards school fees, books, travel and uniforms. For many of our scholars, some of whom are orphans or have only one parent, your support means they can stay in school for longer, thereby improving their life chances.
We were delighted that our annual awards ceremony took place, after a gap of two years, in person on 25th March 2022 in Kohima.
We were able to award 73 new scholarships. The presentation ceremony in Kohima was attended by KET trustee Bob Cook. In addition, Bob was joined by three of our supporters who have been touring the area of Kohima and Imphal, and who were able to award their scholarships in person. We are most grateful to them for doing so. Other guests who had travelled from the UK included those who are descendants of veteran of the battle.
The programme started with a prayer by Dr. Kuokehebi Gwirie, advisory council member of Kohima Educational Society, followed by a welcome speech from Pheluopfhelie Kesiezie, a former chairman of KES. He explained how the scholarship award programme was started by Gordon Graham (Founder of Kohima Educational Trust) who visited Kohima and encouraged the scholars to work hard in their studies to achieve their goals.
One of the KET Scholarship recipients M.Ethungbeni Ngullie who was studying in class 11 at Modern College and who is sponsored by Maj. Paul Burton in the name of Arthur Eagle gave a wonderful acknowledgement speech on behalf of all the KET Scholarship recipients. This is what he said:
"Respected Chairman, Esteemed Guests, Host and everyone present here this morning. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that I am standing in front of you all. My name is M. Ethungbeni Ngullie and I am one of the recipients of this scholarship in which Maj (Retd) Paul Burton in name of Arthur Eagle has been supporting me since 2018. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honour and I deeply appreciate your support.
"I am standing here in appreciation of all of your generous contribution to us students whom you have supported us dearly. All of your contribution is allowing us to make our dreams and goals to become a reality. We are all very privileged and humbled to receive this scholarship and even though we have nothing to give in return, you are all in our prayers and hope that these good deeds continue to move forward as a blessing for the deserving students in the future. Thank you Sponsors for your continued support, wishing you great success in life and Kudos! to all of the fellow recipients who are here on this auspicious day to receive a scholarship."
We are delighted to share some video footage of the ceremony and of the students, as above. We look forward to sharing photos and letters from students with our donors as soon as possible.
Update: October 2021
Once again, Covid-19 restrictions affected our plans to hold the annual Scholarship ceremony this year in Kohima. The event is an annual highlight bringing together students, parents and teachers and marks the occasion when KET Scholarships are awarded. It is normally such a joyous occasion and pictures from previous years can be found here.
The restrictions meant that our hard working manager in Kohima, Mhasisalie Solo, rather than bringing all the children together, reached out to all the students individually and ensured the money for this year’s studies was safely received. This has taken several months but the task is complete.
This year we were able, with thanks to the generosity of our supporters, to award 425 students with their annual scholarship. We were able to award 93 new scholarships this year to children entering year 8. The other 332 scholarships were given to the children in years 9 through to 12. While we ask our donors to commit for a three year scholarship, the money is given to the child and their family on an annual basis.
We are in the process of writing to all the donors with news of their scholar but as yet, we are still to receive letters and photos from the students themselves. Our normal practice is to forward letters from the students to their sponsor but the pandemic has made this very difficult. We hope to be in a position to resume this practice very soon and hope very much that next year we can return to holding the event and meeting all the children in person.
If you have any questions about the scholarships or wish to donate one yourself, please contact me, Sylvia May on firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, a huge thank you to all who have donated and we hope to be in touch again very soon.
Update: October 2020
Our scholarship award ceremony sadly had to be cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 crisis. As our supporters know, the ceremony is an important and moving highlight of the year for KET/KES and the multitudes of scholars and their families.
The Scholarships are usually awarded annually every March in Kohima. The scholars are selected by the Kohima Educational Society in conference with schools and churches, on the grounds of ability and need. Some of the scholars have just one living parent. Some are orphans.
Instead, this year, our general manager in Kohima, Mhasisalie Solo, spent the months of the rainy season reaching all 435 students to ensure that they had safely received their money. We thank him for this tremendous achievement.
We would very much like to be able to sustain the level of scholarships we award each year but to do so we are reliant on the generosity of our supporters - for which we are enormously grateful. The money you donate will allow the student to attend a privately funded Higher Secondary School by covering many of the fixed costs. There are just over 400 recognised and permitted private higher secondary schools in Nagaland, many funded by churches.
Every donor receives, in normal times, a letter and photograph from the student(s) sponsored and many donors have taken great pleasure in forming a pen-pal style relationship with the students.
After fourteen years, we have had to increase the amount we ask for each scholarship from £100 per annum to £125. We ask that that the initial scholarship is a minimum of three years so that the child is guaranteed at least three years of support, from year 8 through to the end of year 10. After that time, should you so wish to continue sponsoring the same student, there is an opportunity to donate a further two- year scholarship to take the student through to the end of year 12. Of course, should you choose an initial five-year scholarship that would be ideal as we are then able to commit to those students through to year 12.
Each student is given the money one year at a time and it is allocated to cover the costs of admission fees, books and monthly school fees. Each school’s costs vary but a typical example of how this is broken down is £75.00 per annum for school fees and £70.00 per annum for the General Admission fee and books: total £145.00 per annum for each student.
Note: At the time of writing, there is only a partial re-opening of schools and then only for classes 9 to 12. This is subject to the parents giving their consent in writing, allowing their child to attend school to meet one to one with their teachers. Online classes and exams and tests are going on in every school for all classes . Students are getting their assignments and homework via WhatsApp through their parents' smart phones wherever possible. Alternatively, there are also classes conducted via radio and local television networks.
Update: July 2020
We were delighted to receive this letter from one of our scholars, Chubasenla Walling. Chubasenla is from Fernwood School in Kohima. She came 8th (total score of 95%) out of 22,393 students in the High School Leaving Certificate Exam!
Congratulations and very well done to Chubasenla - we are very proud of you!