By Angela James,
As part of its corporate responsibilities, Seplat Energy Plc has trained and empowered 214 teachers in Edo and Delta States.
This came to the fore at the Seplat Education Round Table and STEP Award Ceremony 2022 with the theme: “Harnessing the Role of Technology in Nigeria’s Education Sector,” which was held on Thursday, in Benin City, Edo State.
The event was attended by top government functionaries from both states and key stakeholders in the education sector in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc, Dr. Chioma Nwanchukwu said the aim of the training is to make teachers effective in teaching leveraging on technology.
Dr. Nwanchukwu explained that the Seplat Technology Empowerment Programme, STEP, is an annual programme which began with a four-day workshop where teachers were given laptops and data to access resources that will enable them to deliver effectively in their various schools.
According to her; “We began with a four-day workshop for these teachers and went beyond that to offer them laptops and data so they can have access to resources that would enable them to teach effectively in their various schools.
“This event holds annually and this is the second. Last year we trained a hundred and now we’ve doubled it. Seplat is delighted and knowing that a lot of people want to get into this programme to enable themselves to be effective at their teaching, we doubled the number inspite of resources.
“Education is the bedrock of national development and we are committed to offering facilities, resources and support to achieve quality education.”
Dr. Nwanchukwu expressed hope that other corporate entities join them in this task of national development of the country.
“It is our hope that students who are beneficiaries live up to what we want. For them to be effective at their science subjects and when they go to university in their chosen courses that will enable them to stand out”.
Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu commended Seplat for their initiative at developing teachers leveraging technology.
He added that the world is becoming technologically advanced, noting that the way to compete favourably and be a global player is to be technologically inclined.
He further said that the Edo State government has embraced technology in its education reform agenda with EDOBEST which has become a model for other States.
While calling on Companies to emulate Seplat, Rt Hon. Shaibu noted that Edo will continue to partner with corporate entities like Seplat to improve on what they’ve already done.
The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba while congratulating the STEP beneficiaries having been bequeathed with a solid foundation said the program fulfils the goal of the federal government and the private sector partnership, which is to work together to produce teachers with the requisite knowledge, skills, and desirable attitude.
Hon. Nwajiuba who was represented by Muna Onuzo Adetora noted that the foundation enables the beneficiaries to be emotionally, psychologically, socially and technologically prepared to handle the delicate art of teaching across all levels of education.
On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Hon. Adejoke Adefulire pointed out that the key challenge of Nigeria is the out-of-school children of primary school age further compounded by the global Covid-19 crisis maintaining that the quality of education is also a major factor as it directly impacts on educational outcomes and the ability to compete on the global stage.
Hon. Adefulire said to meet the SDGs Target by the year 2023 amongst areas to be strengthened is increased government funding, adequate remuneration and motivation of teaching staff notably headteachers as well as improved infrastructure.
The keynote speaker, Independent Non-Executive Director, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN harped on the need for teachers to be well trained, paid and motivated to be able to drive transformational education.
Prof. Ajogwu said that there was a gap between well-funded schools and less funded ones maintaining that the technological divide between urban and rural education must be bridged and bring on board uniformity in learning.
While stressing that basic education is the responsibility of the government, Prof. Ajogwu noted that government alone cannot do it as there are deficits from previous governments.
Speaking on behalf of the STEP beneficiaries, Ozegbe Ifeanyi thanked Seplat for the training over the last six months which will she said will enable them to make a positive impact in the classroom.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of certificates to the beneficiaries.