Seplat Energy Plc, a leading indigenous energy company and its partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), have intensified efforts towards improving the standard of education in Nigeria, especially in its host states and communities by training, empowering, and awarding certificates to a total of 220 individuals, comprising 214 teachers and six chief inspectors of education in Edo and Delta States under the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP).
To consolidate its achievements on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4), which encompasses equitable and inclusive quality education, Seplat Energy introduced STEP, a customised training programme for secondary school teachers, aimed at promoting creative thinking, boosting higher student engagement, and offering a well-rounded education.
The 220 certificate awardees from Delta and Edo States commenced the annual three-month intensive training programme with a five-day residential workshop in September 2021, followed by a continuous training via the E-learning platform developed for the programme which provided leadership and self-improvement training, training on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) modules and its application to teaching.
The beneficiaries, of which 75 percent are from public schools while 25 percent are from private schools, were also provided with STEAM gadgets and Apps to support their delivery of quality teaching in the host states.
Speaking at the Seplat certificate awards ceremony held in Benin City, Edo State, Philip Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo State, said education via technology will promote children to be global competitors, and this can only happen through adequate knowledge of technology.
“I congratulate Seplat Energy on this initiative and Edo State will continue to partner with the company on education,” Shuaibu added.
Joan Oviawe, Edo State commissioner for education, commended Seplat Energy for its corporate social responsibility impact in the educational sector, adding that the state is thrilled to partner with the company on education.
Commenting on the programme, Fabian Ajogwu, an independent non-executive director at Seplat Energy, described education as a collective responsibility.
“What Seplat Energy is doing is noble and commendable. It is supported by both Edo and Delta state governments. These states should be model states that should be emulated,” he added.
Ajogwu suggested that other corporations should also be invited by the states to make similar contributions to the education sector, noting that spending on education gives more future returns than subsidising consumption.
Ajogwu further noted that Seplat Energy believes that empowering teachers is the first point to awakening education and education has a cost.
“What we have done is to take part of that cost. The government has a role to play as well as other organisations and stakeholders. We should acknowledge this cost and invest in it. Education has a cost, and Seplat Energy has written the cheque,” he stated.
In her remarks, Chioma Nwachuku, Seplat’s director of external affairs and sustainability, said the STEP programme is important as it plays a key role in the socio-economic growth of the country and supports the attainment of quality education.
She added that the objective of the programme is to take STEAM education to the teachers, encourage the teachers to transmit their experience to other colleagues in the sector and the students who she described as Nigeria’s future.
“Seplat Energy takes the STEP initiative seriously. This year we have trained over 200 teachers and state CIEs. The programme is designed to ensure monitoring and evaluation of the teachers even after the training and graduation. This ensures sustainability of the programme,” Nwachukwu added.