8 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, yesterday said the upgrade and construction of the the Yenagoa Model School at Okaka-Epie, Bayelsa State gulped over N142million.
The company said it had also awarded over 300 secondary schools students scholarship in the state to study science courses in different discipline as well as awarding scholarship to over 20 brilliant pupils selected from community primary schools to boost science related courses.
Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and the Managing Director SPDC, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu stated this in Yenagoa during the 2011 NNPC/Shell Science Quiz competition for secondary schools.
Sunmonu said the science quiz competition is aimed at ensuring that children in Bayelsa State develop a keen interest in the sciences and also encourage them to pursue these subjects at higher education.
Represented by Manager, Community Relation Affairs, Mr. Evans Krukrubo said the gesture demonstrates the company resolve to support and develop science education in Bayelsa State.
He said the dividend of the collaborative effort in the last two years has improved the performance of schools in West African Examination Council, WAEC, NECO and JAMB tremendously.
His words, “Education is one of our focus areas in social performance delivery strategy and we have invested a lot in this respect over the last few years”.
According to him, “96 schools in Bayelsa state took part in the competition and the subjects covered are English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural sciences”.
He disclosed that the SPDC JV with INITEL Corporation and the Education Trust Fund ETF has set up a web-based science and mathematics learning programme called skoool.ng, noting that the programme has taken off in Nembe National Grammar School in Bayelsa.
The managing director further said, “SPDC Teachers Development Programme TDP is aimed at complementing our existing efforts in developing education in the state through the training of teachers on effective teaching methodologies in science subjects”.
According to him, “many clusters have used their share of GMoU funds to build schools, upgrade facilities, awards local and foreign scholarships and engage youth corp. members to improve teaching”.
Speaking at the occasion, Deputy Governor, Werinipre Seibarugu commended SPDC for building classroom blocks, Laboratories and the distribution of textbooks and Laboratory equipments to public schools in its operational areas.
Represented by commissioner for Education, Prof Tuemi Asuka said the company was the first to institute a comprehensive capacity building initiative comprising of teachers in a re-invigorating development programme and students in brain duel science exhibition and competitions.
Seibarugu charged other oil companies to emulate the giant strides of SPDC in educational development of future Nigerians in the state.
He noted that Shell is partnering with the state government to set up an ICT library in the state to aide learning and urged oil companies to assist in the war against HIV/Aids and sensitize youths on the danger of the deadly scourge.
Earlier, Master Jonah Eteli Daniel of Divine Comprehensive secondary school, the winner of in the 2011 science quiz competition described their emergency as miracle.
Daniel who described the SPDC quiz competition for schools as ways of fulfilling the company corporate social responsibility to host communities, particularly students from the areas.
According to him, the corporate social responsibility of SPDC is helping the Nigerian Child to study science related course to develop the society.
The 15 year old student said he was motivated to science because his father Dr. Wilcox Jonah Eteli studied Physics and Mathematics.
Our correspondent report that prizes ranging from computers, Science text books, encyclopedia, plagues and certificates were issued to the competing schools in the finale.
Bellary group of schools emerged second place position, while New Total Child Academy won the third.
Science exhibitions were on display to mark the end of the 2011 science quiz competitions for schools in Bayelsa state.