Five years after the launch of the Cradle-To-Career scholarship scheme in 2010 for hard-to-reach but brilliant children in remote public primary schools in the Niger Delta states, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), has now increased the number of beneficiaries of the special education development programme in three core pilot states of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, to 360 indigent pupils.
Inducting 60 new beneficiaries into the fully funded secondary school scholarship scheme at Brookstone Secondary School, Rukpokwu, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State, the company said that the pupils, who come from public primary schools in typically hard-to-access Niger Delta communities, have been enrolled into four of the best secondary schools in the country for quality education.
The pupils, who passed required tests to undertake rigorous secondary education at Jephthah Comprehensive College, Brookstone Secondary School, Bloombreed High School, and Archdeacon Brown Education Centre, all in Port Harcourt, were admitted after a painstaking and transparent academic selection process conducted under the strict supervision of the various stakeholders, including the state Ministries of Education.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, Managing Director, SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN), Osagie Okunbor, assured the 60 pupils that the company would fund their educational career up till university level, if they maintained top-of-the-class academic records, adding that this was one of the many pillars upon which Shell’s education support initiatives hinge.
Represented by the General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, the managing director, stressed that, “The C2C approach marks a significant improvement in our portfolio of scholarship schemes,” pointing out that, “It is designed to bridge educational inequalities resulting from geographic and socio-economic differences.”
“SPDC and its joint venture partners are proud of the achievements of the scheme, which is in line with UNESCO’s ‘Education for All’ goal, has received local and international accolades,” he stated.
He added that, “SCiN have a long history of supporting education through scholarships and other initiatives with about 1,080 secondary school and 850 tertiary schlarships annually”, emphasising that, “In 2014 alone, the SPDC joint venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), invested some $14.8 million in scholarships and other education programmes.”
In his remarks on behalf of the Rivers State Government, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Michael West, commended SPDC and its joint venture partners for the life-transforming programme, and charged other private companies to emulate the example.
According to him, “Any organisation that invests in educational development is to be commended. With programmes like this, I believe we can take education to a new height.”
In their goodwill messages, representatives of Bayelsa and Delta State governments, lauded the company for complimenting the efforts of government in promoting quality education and building capacity to bridge the yawning gap in human capital development in the catchment states, and challenged other multinational oil and gas companies to emulate the Shell initiative in improving education in the Niger Delta.
In an interview, a guardian to one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Maureen Benstowe, said: “The C2C scholarship scheme is definitely transforming lives. I have been carrying the burden of educating my ward alone until I heard about this programme. Today, SPDC has lifted my burden and wiped away my tears.”
Another parent, Mrs Anne Ajayi, said: “I’m so grateful to SPDC for this rare opportunity. The expensive school my child is today, I ordinarily would not have been able to afford it. I see my dream and that of my child become reality because of the wisdom of this company.”
A beneficiary, Yamiye Godstime, said, “SPDC has made my dream of becoming an engineer possible, and I hope to graduate and play my role in contributing to the development of my community, the nation and humanity.”
NBTE Tasks Polytechnics On Expired Programmes Accreditation
The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has urged Polytechnics to fast track the process of accreditation for their expired programmes.
The Acting Zonal Director of the NBTE in the North Central Zone, Dr Musa Koko, made the call during a familiarisation visit to the Kogi Polytechnic, Lokoja.
Koko assured polytechnics of the NBTE’s support to ensure quality assurance at all times.
He said that the team was at the institution to strengthen partnership aimed at activating the National Skills Qualifications programmes which will further raise the standard of the Polytechnic and produce more qualified professionals in vocational and technical areas.
He said the NBTE established zonal offices across the country with the aim of enhancing quality service delivery to the closest reach of all stakeholders.
Responding, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, Rector of the Polytechnic, commended the NBTE for decentralising the activities of the Board for enhanced efficiency.
The rector who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Kehinde Lamidi, said the decentralisation was a demonstration of dynamic administrative prowess aimed at enhancing effective service delivery.
Usman said the Polytechnic was committed to quality service delivery to students, adding that the institution would soon be visiting NBTE for the completion of its accreditation processes.
He noted that the State Government under Gov. Yahaya Bello and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) had been playing huge roles in improving infrastructural development and aesthetic touch in the institution.
The Rector promised the Zonal Office of the Polytechnic’s readiness to comply with its directives and solicited it’s to make Technical Education more attractive to students in view of its vintage position in the nation’s development quest.
MBBS Degree: RSU Increases Admission Quota To 100
Sequel to the approval of the award of degree in Medicine and Surgery in the Rivers State University (RSU), hopes have again been rekindled for candidates seeking for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree with the increase of admission quota from 50 to 100.
This followed the approval by the accreditation visit of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria on the institution’s MBBS programme alongside the accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Speaking at a press briefing in PortHarcourt, at the weekend, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Nlerum Okogbule said the increase in the admission quota was feasible due largely to the huge infrastructural facilities and personnel engagement facilitated by the Rivers State Government ably led by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Okogbule described the increase in admission quota as a rare feat for a new medical college and commended the state governor for the gestures in raising the college to its feet.
According to him,16 out of the 23 programmes presented to the NUC for the accreditation exercise in April this year received full accreditation with the remaining seven having interim accreditation status.
“I am happy to inform you that based on the accreditation visit of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria on our programme between 30th and 31st March, 2021, our college of Medical Science has been given approval for the training of medical students for the MBBS Programme”, Okogbule said.
The Vice Chancellor also said “the council also approved the increase of our admission quota from 50 to 100. This is a rare feat for a new medical college and it is in recognition of the enormous infrastructural facilities and personnel engagement done by the Rivers State Government under the able leadership of governor Nyesom Wike”.
Okogbule further revealed that no programme from the University was denied accreditation, adding that it scored 72.7 percent in the exercise.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
Monarch Charges Students On Hard Work
Students of higher institutions in Rivers State have been enjoined to work hard to be good citizens of their communities, state and the nation at large.
They have also been advised to shun all social vices inimical to the norms of the society as leaders of tomorrow.
The Amanyanabo of ancient Ele Kingdom in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, King Felix Tamunoseipiriala Okuru Apina VII gave the advice while addressing executives of Law Students Association of Nigeria, Rivers State University Chapter and Wakirike Students Union (WASU), Kenpoly, Bori in Khana Local Government Area during a courtesy visit to him at his palace to intimate him of their forthcoming end of year activities.
King Tamunoseipiriala who expressed delight with the law students said they should not be misled but focus on their chosen career, stressing that he has love for the Law profession.
He further enjoined them to always be proud of their studies so as to come out in flying colours, assuring that with qualifications, they would surely get employment despite the economic hardship in the country.
He charged them to utilise the God-given opportunities in their lives by making their parents proud for better tomorrow and also stressed the importance of education as the bedrock of any development, assuring them of his assistance to their forthcoming celebrations in their various schools.
The monarch also appealed to parents to strive in training their children and wards to become better citizens and prayed God to guide, protect, and give them wisdom and knowledge to achieve their heart desires.
Earlier, a former lawmaker of Ogu/Bolo Legislative Assembly, Hon Fiberesima Minaseichinbo and an elder in the Kingdom, Ibiye Nemieboka thanked them for their visit to the education-friendly King and philanthropist, and charged them to be good ambassadors of their parents and society by ensuring that they graduate with their mates by being consistent in their studies without allowing the schools to pass through them and wished them God’s protection.
Earlier in her speech, the chairperson of Law Students Association of Nigeria, Rivers State University Chapter, Faith Praise Ogbutara extolled the good works and philanthropic gestures of the King in his Kingdom and Rivers State in general by giving the youths a sense of belonging, adding that he is a King of high esteem that has passion for students.
The President disclosed that they are in the palace to officially invite him to their Cultural Day slated for October 16,2021 as the Royal Father of the day, pointing out that the ceremony was geared towards promoting the cultural heritage of the area.
Also, the President of WASU, Rivpoly Chapter, Comrade Victor Tamunotonye commended the monarch for the prevailing peace and development in the ancient Kingdom since he ascended the throne and prayed God to continue to give him good health, protection and wisdom to pilot the affairs of the Kingdom.
Tamunotonye thanked him for his benevolence to the students and also invited him to grace their forthcoming Students Day slated for September 25, 2021.
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