The management of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has trained 143 teachers from Edo and Delta States as part of efforts to improve the quality of education in the country.
The recipients were trained for three months under the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP), an initiative created by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and its partners, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
Speaking on Monday during the maiden certificate presentation ceremony and Seplat education roundtable in Benin City, Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, said the teachers were equipped with tools to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Brown, represented by Chioma Nwachuku, director of external affairs and communications, Seplat, said the initiative, which is part of its educational Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, is aimed at supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Number 4, that embraces education for all.
The CEO, while reaffirming the firm’s commitment to providing STEP annually due to its relevance and positive multiplier effects on boosting quality education, said of the 143 beneficiaries, 100 were secondary teachers while 43 were Chief Inspectors of Education (CIE) from its host states.
“Seplat is playing an invaluable role in enhancing the quality of education with the many educational programmes offered through the Company’s CSR initiatives. At Seplat, we strongly believe that education is the bedrock for national development and our STEP deployment aims to enhance teachers’ competencies and empower them with the knowledge and skills to implement STEAM education, amongst other benefits,” Brown said.
He noted that Seplat educational programmes involve improving school infrastructure, enhancing students’ academic performance, and building the skills and competencies of teachers, among others.
“Teachers are the critical success factor for the implementation of STEAM model; thus Seplat has embarked on empowering teachers with the STEAM knowledge and skill sets to enable them to deliver”, he added.
Earlier, Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor, expressed gratitude to the organisers for investing in the training and retraining of teachers, urging other organisations to take a cue in improving educational standards in the state.
The governor, who was represented by Stella-Maris Imasuen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Edo State, said, “We are confident that the training you have received over the past few months has adequately equipped you to better impart our children in the knowledge of STEAM”.
During the roundtable session moderated by Pat Utomi, with the theme “Provision of Quality Education: A National Priority”, the educational experts and professionals called for educational advancement.
Utomi, a professor of entrepreneurship, commended the oil company for the empowerment programme, asserting that education still remains the key to solving challenges confronting the country.
Other panellists include Chioma Nwachuku; Oyaziwo Aluede, professor of guidance and counseling at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Ocholi Fehintola, director, Centre for Gender Security Studies and Youth Advancement, University of Abuja; Benedict Emunemu, professor of educational management, University of Ibadan, and Sola Okunkpolor, principal managing partner, Teach Smart Eduservices.