By Deborah Coker
Benin, Nov. 28, 2020
SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc (SEPLAT) on Saturday in Benin inaugurated a science, arts and mathematics programme for teachers to improve the standard of education in the Country, particularly in its host states.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the educational programme tagged SEPLAT Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP) is targeted at Secondary School teachers.
The initiative aims to promote teacher’s creative thinking, allow for higher student engagement as well as offer a well-rounded education for recipients of the programme.
It is another of the leading indigenous energy company’s ways to continue to make notable strides with its drive to improve the standard of education in the Country.
NAN reports that the company’s STEP began with a five-day residential workshop in its introductory phase in Benin, Edo.
It was linked to a six-month programme specially designed for teachers to provide them training on teaching applications for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as well as leadership and self-improvement training.
NAN further reports that the training would continue online over a period of six months with teachers receiving customised training modules on efficient pedagogical methods for STEAM education.
Dr Chioma Nwachuku, General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, SEPLAT, said a total of 100 teachers and 43 Chief Inspectors of Education (CIEs) drawn from Edo and Delta were benefitting from the maiden edition.
“Seplat is delighted with the invaluable role the company is playing with enhancing the quality of education with the many educational programmes offered through the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.”
She noted that with the STEP programme, the company now had a full boutique of programmes to address the entire education value chain.
“Our programmes now cover improving school infrastructure, enhancing academic performance of students and building the skills and competencies of Teachers.’’
“The Company recently concluded another flagship educational programme, Seplat PEARLs Quiz, which had 574 participating schools drawn from Edo and Delta.
“The competition aims to promote and reward academic excellence among Secondary School students.
“It runs for six months with the students and Schools earnestly contesting to win the much-coveted prizes,” she said.
Similarly, Mr Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer, SEPLAT, stated that Seplat had invested significantly in various educational CSR programmes which support Sustainable Development Goals’ Goal 4.
He said this was because of the company’s strong belief that education was the bedrock for national growth.
“Worldwide, having a team of competent teachers is a critical success factor for achieving quality education.
“Our STEP programme, therefore, aims to enhance teachers’ competencies and empower them with the knowledge and skills to deploy STEAM education, among other benefits.
“STEAM education is crucial in creating a strong educational foundation for students pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
“Seplat is committed to providing this programme annually because of its relevance,” he added.
Meanwhile the officials of the Edo Ministry of Education, Edo Ministry of Science and Technology and the Delta Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, respectively, expressed their delight to collaborate with SEPLAT on the initiative.
This, they said, was in view of the multiplier effects it would have on Secondary education.
NAN reports that SEPLAT would be graduating the first set of teachers from the STEP initiative by first quarter of 2021.
No fewer than 389 teachers from Schools in Edo and Delta sat for the qualifying test online in September, where 100 teachers were selected from Secondary Schools evenly across the two states.
Of the 100 teachers being trained, 75 per cent are from public schools while 25 per cent are from private schools.
Mr Marcus Onobun, Speaker, Edo House of Assembly, commended the company and its partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd., for investing in the STEP initiative.
Onobun said that the move would not only impact the 100 teachers and 43 Chief Inspectors of Education, but would go a long way to advance the fortunes of Edo and Delta children.
He said that it would also expose them to contemporary developments and make them globally competitive.