Complete Overview About Sadako Ogata Merit cum Means Scholarship

GIIS communications team
May 24, 2021

Every individual is entitled to receive a formal education. However, varying circumstances make it inaccessible to many across the globe. According to UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report, over 250 million people have no access to education. The main reason behind this is poverty, followed by other factors such as war and conflict.


In light of these shocking numbers, several governments and private entities are offering scholarship programs to enable deserving students to get access to institutions within their locations. Among these programs is the Sadako Ogata Merit cum Means Scholarship, which provides financial aid for deserving students in Japan. There are specific requirements that you need to fulfil before availing of this Scholarship. However, you must be aware of how the program came about.

What is the Merit cum Means Scholarship program?

The Merit cum Means Scholarship program that aims to assist students financially to realise their educational goals. The financial assistance offered varies from country to country and caters to students both in public and private schools. The program dates back to 2008 when the Indian government saw it fit to provide access to education for exceptional students from low-income families.

In Japan, the program goes by the name Sadako Ogata Merit cum Means Scholarship (SOMCM). You can avail of this program at any of the Global Indian Education Private Limited’s schools across Japan. Their campuses are located in Nishi Kasai, Higashi Kasai and Seishincho campuses.

Who is Sadako Ogata, and why does the program bear the name?

Sadako Ogata was an academic of Japanese descent who served as the head of UNHCR from 1990 to 2000. During her tenure, she pioneered many initiatives to improve the lives of refugees across different war-torn areas such as Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Her emphasis on human rights and emergency relief saw her hold another position within other UN agencies before she was appointed head of UNHCR. Some of the posts that she had include, chairman of the UNICEF executive board and human rights expert for Burma.


She also served as the chair of the Japan International Cooperation Agency from 2003 till 2012, where she oversaw peace-building projects in Afghanistan and the disbursement of loans to other war-torn areas. It is through these efforts that her legacy is remembered through the establishment of the Sadako Ogata Merit cum Means Scholarship.


What is the eligibility for you to gain financial aid?

The Scholarship is open to students who reside in Japan or a part of the Global Indian International Schools fraternity. The Scholarship covers all the grades and curricula offered at the campuses. It covers the following brackets:

1. Global Montessori Program – Nursery and Kindergarten.

2. International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program – Grade 1 to 5.

3. International Baccalaureate Diploma Program – First and Second year. 

4. International General Certificate of Secondary Education – Grade 11 to 12

5. Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme – Grade 6 to 7

Aside from being a Japanese resident, the other criteria for eligibility are:

1. The student needs to demonstrate above-average performance in their assessment score over two consecutive years.

2. You will need to prove your appointment to a Japan-based company within not less than a year.

3. You also need to show a Menzei Shomei- sho or tax exemption certificate, should one of you not be in active employment.

4. Finally, you are to provide a form declaring your gross family income.

Upon fulfilment of the above criteria, you can then proceed with the application process.

What entails the application process?

All the information required is to be submitted online, including the appointment letter, income declaration and tax exemption certificates. Any discrepancy in the application process will lead to immediate disqualification from the program. Below is how the process goes:

1. Fill out the application form available on the scholarship page of the campus that you want to apply to.

2. You will receive an update on the status of your application within ten working days of a successful application.

3. If your application is successful, the schools’ scholarship board will assess your application to see whether it meets all the requirements as stated in their award policies.

4. In some cases, you may need to attend a one –on –one interview to further state your claim for the financial assistance.

5. If all your affairs are in order, the campus will inform you of the program your child has been selected for, and then the funds are disbursed. Once you receive the notification of your qualification, you need to submit a scholarship deed to confirm your acceptance within seven days of receiving the notice.

6. Awardees of the SOMCM Scholarship need to register for enrolment at the respective GIIS campus within 14 days of receiving the Scholarship and join the school no less than three months from the time of receiving the award.

The application and awarding of the SOMCM are different for students approaching their graduation year. For example, students in grade 9 will only receive assistance for Grade 9 and 10. A new application needs to be submitted for Grade 11 and 12. 

For students in their final years of high school, grade 11 and 12, the applications need to be done three months before the announcement of qualification exams as per the respective education board. Those qualifying for the SOMCM will know of their award within thirty days after their results in the qualification exams have been announced.  

Key features of the Scholarship

● You will only receive financial assistance for two academic years, regardless of the curriculum.

● Despite the Scholarship being available for two years, a review is conducted each academic year to ensure that your child is performing as expected.

● Any instances of misbehaviour or lacklustre academic performance will lead to automatic discontinuation of the aid.

● Recipients of the Scholarship are only to undertake their studies at GIIS schools.

● There is no cash given to the parents or the student. The amount of money disbursed for the Scholarship will go towards payment of tuition fees and other related school payments during the period of study. 

● You cannot make additional scholarship requests once you have already been granted. Subsequent applications are allowed only after your scholarship duration lapses.

The amount of financial aid you receive is dependent on the total gross income of the family. There are seven tiers of eligibility. And, you will need to prove the same by submitting a self-declaration form stating your gross family income, along with your application. Below are the eligible tiers.


Annual Gross family income bracket (YEN)

Value of Scholarship
(Waiver on Tuition fees)


Below 3,000,000




















Obligations of SOMCM recipients

As a recipient of the SOMCM Scholarship, you may take up the role of being the campus’s ambassador. Among your duties will be to provide promotional talks and personal testimonials on the merits of the program.

Other duties may include community engagement programs where you participate in activities that encourage social integration and better quality life for those in your vicinity. Each year, GIIS School runs programs geared towards conservation, charity drives, among other initiatives.

GIIS communications team

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