The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, operator of the NNPC/Shell/Total, Agip Joint Venture, has pledged sustained annual subvention for the Rivers State University’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) to enable it meet its mandate, and fast-track academic excellence in specific fields to bridge technical manpower gaps in the region.
The company also said that for the centre to run smoothly, a board of trustees made up of distinguished academic team from the Rivers State University and experts from SPDC will work in synergy to give the centre the best it can have.
The SPDC disclosed this while commissioning the Centre of Excellence in Marine and Offshore Engineering, last Thursday, at the Amphitheatre, RSU, Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of SPDC, Mr Osagie Okunbor, stated that the centre would be open to students who meet the minimum entry requirements of a Second-Class Upper Division, with minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.8 in Marine Engineering, adding that the special programme would last for 18-months.
Okunbor, who is also the country chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, further advised RSU management that as partners in the project, the institution should nominate a director, who would coordinate the academic and research programmes at the centre.
He stated that SPDC was exploring a window for collaboration with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in order to encourage the participation of other well-positioned stakeholders to make the CoE a reference point.
Okunbor listed three core business strategies of the company, which emphasise, “Make it safe, make it work, and make it grow” and expressed optimism that the CoE would internalise those values and make them work for the university, while urging the first African Professor of Marine Engineering, Professor Kelvin Datonye Bobmanuel, to ensure that the three business strategies work in the centre.
In his remarks, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, expressed appreciation to SPDC for the kind gesture, and hoped that the facility would help foster collaboration between oil and gas industry and the academia to promote best practices in Marine and Offshore exploration, given the deltaic nature of the state.
Wike hoped that “the centre would help produce a crop of graduates that would specialize in technological innovations, scientific studies and general technical tasks associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and production of vessels, thereby enhancing manpower development in the state.”
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, the governor commended the company for the gesture, and described SPDC as a good corporate citizen, who has done its part, while urging the students to make proper use of the CoE by ensuring that no aspect of the facilities at the centre is misused.
Stories by Susan Serekara-Nwihana
Ikpeazu Charges Stakeholders To Sustain, Improve Gains Made In Education
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has challenged the state’s Ministry of Education to rise to its co-ordinating responsibility that will build stronger synergy amongst major stakeholders in the education sector.
He said the synergy must align with the global vision of producing children capable of being society’s desirable leaders of tomorrow.
Ikpeazu who gave the charge during a meeting with education managers in the state at his Aba Lodge identified capacity building, conducive learning environment and harmony among the education stakeholders as the leading factors toward the vision of bequeathing qualitative education for Abia children by his administration.
He noted that the setting up of the Continuing Education Center for teachers training, renovation of about 700 classroom blocks, the building of four model schools, procurement of smart boxes to enable Abia State Universal Education Board (ASUBEB) startup with the digital teaching platform for Abia children were all aimed at equipping school children for their future endeavours and enable them compete favourably with their peers.
The Governor also disclosed that plans have already been concluded to establish a Garment Factory within the year in addition to Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory which will produce uniforms and shoes for school children
He described them as motivations towards realising and sustaining high public school enrollment which the State’s School Feeding Programme has achieved.
He also reminded the stakeholders of the need to adopt innovations and technological ways of teaching that will expose the children to the current and dynamic learning trends of today’s world, adding that education is a pillar and enabler to any career which his administration recognised and adopted even to the point of formalising artisanal shoemaking.
Contributing, the Deputy Governor, Sir Udo Oko Chukwu expressed appreciation to the Governor for the immense interest he has shown towards improving the education sector which he described as a paradigm shift to the global challenge, and encouraged the education stakeholders to complement these efforts by restructuring the school system of the state.
Anambra Begins Recruitment Of Primary School Teachers
Anambra State Government has commenced recruitment of 500 teachers into primary schools across the state to enhance teaching and learning.
Chairman, State House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Ejike Okechukwu disclosed this at the House of Assembly complex in Awka during an interactive session between the committee and Head Teachers in Aguata Local Government Education Authority.
He explained that the recruitment exercise would fill the gap created by primary school teachers who had retired from active service and improve the standard of primary education in the state.
He assured that all challenges outlined by the Head teachers hindering the progress of primary schools across the state would be tackled to the barest minimum to ensure the upliftment of education standard in the state.
Okechukwu encouraged the teachers to remain dedicated to duty and shun all forms of sharp practices that could portray the state in bad light.
Reacting, Education Secretary, Aguata Local Government Education Authority, Lady Ijeabalum Obi commended government’s performance in education sector.
She explained that the meeting offered the teachers and the committee the opportunity to brainstorm on ways to sustain the state’s legendary performance in education and tackle issues bordering on teachers welfare.
In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Ebere Nwankwo from Eziagulu Primary School, Ekwulobia appreciated the committee for living up to expectations, pledging the teachers’ preparedness to follow the lawmakers’ directives.
Educationist Wants Early Introduction Of Art To Learners
Director of Studies at Pampers Private School and Rainbow College, Dr. Olayinka Oduwole, has said Art should be introduced to children in the early years as it aids physical, cognitive, and behavioral developments.
Oduwole in a statement made available to The Tide, said Art was a creative expression that nurtures the imagination and allows children to externalise their feelings.
To celebrate Children’s Day this year and improve learners artistic skills, he said the learners of Pampers Private Schools and Rainbow College published a joint e-book titled, “A Collection of Stories by Pampers Private School and Rainbow College.”
“Through painting, sculpture, collage, music, dancing, acting, clay, drawing, or any other medium, art is a way for children to work through emotions, make decisions, and express their ideas. It should be introduced to children in the early years to aid physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. When children work together on art projects, they interact and share with their peers. This collaborative work promotes social learning.”
He explained that children who performed arts regularly had been noticed to control their emotions and expressed the same in productive ways.
“Manipulating art materials provides children with a sense of freedom while encouraging focus and concentration, this informs the rationale for the promotion of art education and creativity as the bedrock of Rainbow College curriculum plan and implementation,” he said.
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