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SEPLAT Empowers 100 Teachers Across Edo, Delta, Presents Certificates at Education Roundtable

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A leading energy sector player, Seplat Petroleum Development Company has empowered a total of 143 persons comprising 100 teachers and 43 Chief Inspectors of Education from Edo and Delta States under its Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP).
The STEP initiative is an educational programme created by the company and its partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), to improve the country’s standard of education, particularly for host States. It is a 3-month intensive training designed to enhance the capacity of teachers to teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).
The training programme was rounded off with the presentation of certificates at an Education Roundtable organized by the company which held in Benin-City on Friday March 19, 2021. The roundtable with the theme “Provision of Quality Education: National Priority”, had Professor Pat Utomi as Moderator while the keynote speaker was the former Edo State Commissioner of Education, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren.
The panellists comprised the Director, External Affairs and Communications, Seplat, Dr Chioma Nwachuku; Professor of Guidance and Counselling at Ambrose Alli University, Oyaziwo Aluede; Director, Centre for Gender Security Studies and Youth Advancement, University of Abuja, Prof. Ocholi Ekundayo Fehintola; Professor of Educational Management, University of Ibadan, Benedict Oyovwevotu Emunemu and the Principal Managing Partner, Teach Smart Eduservices, Sola Okunkpolor.
Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, represented by Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, Director of External Affairs and Communications, Seplat said: “Over the years, Seplat has invested significantly in various educational Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Number 4, which speaks to education for all.
He further affirmed that “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. Seplat is committed to providing this programme annually because of its relevance and positive multiplier effects on boosting quality education.”
The specially designed programme provided training on teaching applications for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and leadership and self-improvement. The testimonies of recipients of the maiden STEP highlighted the numerous benefits they gained from the programme, including enhancing their creative thinking, allowing for higher student engagement, and offering a well-rounded education.
Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, represented by Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, Director of External Affairs and Communications, Seplat said: “Over the years, Seplat has invested significantly in various educational Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Number 4, which speaks to education for all.
He further affirmed that “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. Seplat is committed to providing this programme annually because of its relevance and positive multiplier effects on boosting quality education.”
Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, in her remarks, said: “Seplat is playing an invaluable role in enhancing the quality of education with the many educational programmes offered through the Company’s CSR initiatives. With the STEP programme, the Company now has a full boutique of programmes impacting the entire education value chain. Seplat educational programmes now cover improving school infrastructure, enhancing students’ academic performance, and building the skills and competencies of teachers, amongst 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 skillsets to enable them to deliver”, she added.
She also cited the high number of out-of-school children in the country, the poor budgetary allocation to education, misplaced priorities leading to value erosion in society as significant setbacks that must be addressed for an improved standard of education while adding that technology advances must be applied appropriately to schooling, as new competencies could become game-changers for the country and the Nigerian people.

Prof. Osarenren, in her keynote address, said what Seplat has done cannot be quantified as it will continue to drive critical thinking and generate problem-solving skills. She, therefore, urged the recipients of the programme to utilize the acquired knowledge to bear positive impacts on their students whilst remaining change agents, mentors and character builders, adding that: “Nobody can make you inferior without your consent.”
Prof. Utomi, while commenting on the state of education in the country, said society must appreciate and show esteem for teachers, adding that the impact teachers make in the lives of students and community remain immeasurable.
According to Utomi, teachers need to continue to exhibit a strong passion for their profession with the undying commitment to sustaining the future generation. Misery amongst the people could only be effectively addressed by quality education.
In the same vein, Prof. Aluede said education is critical to combating poverty, and qualified teachers are the genuine agents needed to actualize this in Nigeria. He, therefore, stressed the need for the right curriculum, the requisite skill sets and effective partnership among stakeholders, as is being exhibited by Seplat.
Also speaking, Prof. Emunemu urged everyone who needed to become a teacher to acquire the minimum qualifications, pointing out that failure to do so would only result in wrong output from the sector.
Sola Okunkpolor, in her submission, advocated for a robust database in the educational sector to allow for good planning, monitoring and decision making. “Continuous data mining process is needed to enable us to know how many children are in school, how many are graduating, how many are progressive, how many are being engaged upon leaving school, and so on,” Okunkpolor added.
The Edo State Governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Edo State, Mrs. Stella-Marris Imasuen with many other government officials, traditional chiefs, community leaders and other stakeholders in attendance.

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