By Deborah Coker
No fewer than 206 teachers from Edo and Delta has commenced the second edition of the NPDC/Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC joint venture teachers empowerment programme, known as STEP.
Dr Chioma Nwachukwu, Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, SEPLAT, in her remarks at the formal inauguration of the programme in Benin, said that the benefitting teachers include 200 teachers and six Chief Inspectors of Education (CIEs).
Represented by Mrs Esther Icha, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Seplat, Nwachukwu disclosed that the process for the selection of the benefiting teachers commenced with an online test.
She explained that 874 teachers registered from all schools across Edo and Delta, adding that at the end of the test, 200 teachers and six CIEs were selected.
She also disclosed that the beneficiaries were drawn from 28 schools each from both states.
She added that the strategy for selection include five teachers each representing every public schools and two from private schools.
She noted that the programme had commenced with a three days workshop in Benin.
She noted that the workshop was designed to empower teachers in a way to enable them get access to the Seplat Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) app.
She further said that the workshop was centred on leadership development training, as well as entrepreneurship.
She noted that education had gone beyond just sitting in the class and given concept.
“They are now going to apply learning and demonstration, and that is why the STEM training is very critical in nation building.
“Teachers will be trained on modern learning techniques, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and the lesson notes,” she said.
Nwachukwu added that the training was expected to end after three months with an award of certificates to successful teachers February 2022.
She further said that Seplat expects teachers who have gone through the training to set up a STEM club in their various schools.
“STEM club will usher in an exhibition where the use of STEM to proffer solution to world problems will be showcased”, she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Stellamaris Imasuen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, in Edo, said that the Seplat mandate was inline with the Edo Government vision for education in the state.
Represented by Mrs Odegua Kushe, Executive Director, Science Vocational and Technical Education, Imasuen commended the company for their commitment, dedication and hard work in the pursuit to provide and sustain quality education and teaching in Edo and Delta.
“Through your STEP initiative you have no doubt deepened and sustained more outstanding standard of quality education in edo.
“The impact of the training, which you started last year, is evident in the increase of students participation in science and technology competitions at both local and international levels”, she said.
Similarly, Mrs Rose Ezewu, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Delta commended the petroleum company for collaborating with government to build capacity of teachers to be equipped with modern techniques for improved classroom experiences.
Ezewu, who was represented by Mrs Ufuoma Oduma, Director of School services, noted that over the years teaching and learning in the country had suffered huge setbacks in the face of modern technology.
“But with intervention from company like Seplat in collaboration with government, a new era of nourishing classroom experiences has been ushered in.
“We appreciate the intervention of your organisation on the STEP programme on STEM”.
In the same vane, Mr Alli Zahra, Managing Director, NPDC, represented by Mr Bassey Bassey, noted that the purpose and impact of teachers in Nation building could not be overemphasised.
Some of the beneficiaries noted that the training would be an opportunity for them to change the narrative in their daily activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 143 teachers comprising of 100 teachers and 43 CIEs had benefited from the first edition which held in 2020. (NAN)