Two hundred teachers and six Chief Inspectors of Education (CIE) in Edo and Delta states are undergoing comprehensive training to overhaul their pedagogical skills
The training, which began with a three-day workshop penultimate week in Benin City, will last three months and be followed by the establishment of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) clubs in the schools of the teachers.
An initiative of SEPLAT Energy Plc, an indigenous energy company, in collaboration with Joint Venture partner, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the Seplat JV Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP) was developed to address gaps that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has identified in public and private school teachers teaching at the basic education level.
Speaking of the programme in Benin, the Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, SEPLAT, Dr Chioma Nwachukwu, said the teachers would learn how to apply 21st century skills, lesson notes preparations, entrepreneurship, leadership development, and how to use the Seplat STEM App.
Nwachukwu, who was represented by Seplat’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Mrs. Esther Icha, said the training was robust because education had gone beyond the teacher giving all the concept in class.
She said: “They are now going to apply learning and demonstration, and that is why the STEM training is very critical in nation building.
“Teachers will be trained on modern learning techniques, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and the lesson notes,” she said.
Nwachukwu added that the training was expected to end after three months with an award of certificates to successful teachers next February.
She said Seplat expects teachers who have gone through the training to set up a STEM club in their various schools – with the hope of inspiring puils to come up with innovative solutions to contemporary problems.
“The STEM clubs will usher in an exhibition where the use of STEM to proffer solution to world problems will be showcased”, she said.
Officials of the Edo State Ministry of Education, Edo State Ministry of Science and Technology and Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education present at the training said they were happy to collaborate with SEPLAT on the project.
Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Education, Stellamaris Imasuen, said the initiative aligned with the Edo government’s vision for education.
Imasuen, who was represented by the Executive Director, Science Vocational and Technical Education, Odegua Kushe, said the state was already seeing the impact of the training on the first batch of teachers trained last year under the project.
“The impact of the training, which Seplat started last year, is evident in the increase in the number of students participating in science and technology competitions at both local and international levels,” she said.
On her part, the Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Rose Ezewu, praised the company for partnering with government to equip teachers with modern techniques for improved teaching and learning.
Ezewu, represented by the Director of School Services, Ufuoma Oduma, said the training had addressed a gap created by non-adaptation of modern technology in the teaching process.
Also speaking, Managing Director, NPDC, Alli Zahra, represented by Bassey Etim Bassey, said the training was necessary because of the critical role that teachers play in nation-building.
Some of the participants said the training would give opportunity to change how they teach.
EJoma Emiliana, a CIE from Oshimili South LGA, Delta State said the programme had enhanced her knowledge as a supervisor.
“This programme has increased and enhanced my knowledge. Thanks to Seplat for coming to better my ideas in different ways,” she said.
Another participant, Godfrey Edobholo, a teacher from the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Uromi, Edo State, said he appreciated the empowerment programme which he described as awesome.
He said: “We have seen how our minds have been refined because a mind refined is a life transformed. We have seen how important it is because as a teacher, you are a leader.
“We have seen the bridge and the link between a teacher and a leader because leadership itself is programming to securing the present which is the now and also capturing the future. So generally, the Seplat empowerment programme is for us to secure the future of our children which is our students and also capture the future because if you trained a child, you have educated a nation.”
The Tide learnt that selection of teachers for this year’s training was stiff – with 874 teachers in Edo and Delta states taking an online test from which the 206 participants were selected. The beneficiaries were drawn from 28 schools each from both states – with a ratio of five teachers for each public school, and two from each private school.
Recall that for the maiden edition of the STEP initiative STEP initiative last year, 389 teachers from Edo and Delta states took the online qualification test on September 16, 2020.
On November 23, 2020, 143 participants comprising 100 secondary school teachers and 43 CIEs began with an initial five-day physical training, followed by a virtual training using an online platform designed specifically for the programme.
Edo Immortalises Uwaifo
Edo State government, last Friday, immortalised the late Sir Victor Uwaifo by naming the Edo Creative Hub after the late music maestro.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who announced the gesture while paying his tribute at the lying-in-state for late Uwaifo, held in Benin City, described the passing of the music legend as the end of an era.
Obaseki said the government and the people of Edo mourn the death of Uwaifo, whom he further described as a living legend.
He added: “For us, the passing of Sir Victor Uwaifo marks the end of an era that produced some of the prolific artistes from Edo.
“It was a generation with creative minds, such as the late Erhabor Emopkai, Dr. Victor Eghareva and Sir Victor Uwaifo. Uwaifo’s passing marks the end of that era.
“As a mark of honour to the late Guitar Boy, the Edo State government has decided that our newly built Creative Hub will be named after Uwaifo. This Creative Hub, which is going to be commissioned by the second week of November 2021, has a multi-million-dollar studio to support artistes.”
Obaseki stated that the hub would promote creativity in Edo.
“It has editing suites. It will incubate state-based groups and artistes. It will be used for live shows. It has studios for Nollywood to rent for its productions.
“There will be spaces for artistes in the performing arts. That is the least we can do for a man who changed the face of music in Nigeria; that is the least we can do for the man who composed the song, Joromi. That was the first song from Africa and Nigeria to win a golden disc as at the time it did.
“We will always remember Sir Victor Uwaifo for what he meant and what he represented. He represented Edo values, which include hard work, creativity and innovation. It is going to be very difficult for us to imagine our entertainment scene and music space without Sir Victor Uwaifo. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” the governor said.
RSG Warns Against Exposing Water To Sunlight
The Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development says washing of hands contributes to 40 percent of protecting one against disease.
The Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja made this known while commemorating the 2021 Global Handwashing Day and launching of campaign against exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight in Port Harcourt.
He noted that hand washing contributed positively during pandemic and enjoined everyone to inculcate the habit of hand washing.
The commissioner further said the state government was committed to enlightening the people of Rivers State on the danger associated with exposing bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information represented by a director in the ministry, Celestine Ogolo, said the ministry would continue to use its platform to enlighten Rivers people on the importance of hand washing and exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
On his part, the National president and Rivers State chairman of Water Producers Association of Nigeria, Egberi Oderi said with the support of the state government on the enlightenment drive on the dangers associated with the exposure of water to sunlight would go a long way to curb the practice.
The Tide reports that the theme for this year’s Global Handwashing Day is: Our Future At Hand: Let’s Move Forward Together.
Police Parade Blind Woman With Human Skull In A’ Ibom
Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Saturday, paraded a blind aged woman arrested by its operatives for allegedly possessing a fresh human skull.
The suspect was paraded alongside 138 others who were arrested across the state for various offences including murder, militancy, abduction, cultism, armed robbery, stealing, unlawful possession of firearms and vandalism, among others.
A breakdown of the number showed that 11 suspects were arrested for alleged murder, 47 for armed robbery and stealing, 10 for defilement and rape, 21 for alleged cultism, 16 for vandalism, seven for kidnapping and abduction, three for militancy and 24 for others crimes including child stealing.
The Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the State Police Command, SP Odiko Macdon, who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, said they were arrested in the third quarter of the year.
The aged blind woman, Mrs. Eseme James, was paraded with the human skull reportedly seen in her house at Nnung Oku Ibiet village in Oruk Anam local council of the state.
According to him, the woman was arrested with the aid of her daughter on October 12, 2021, about 6:45 p.m by soldiers of the ‘Exercise Still Water’ and handed over to the police for discreet and diligent investigation and prosecution.
He said the police was suspecting that the woman must have been involved in ritual activities even though she has told the police that her deceased husband was a native doctor and that her son took over the trade.
“The worry of the police is: What is she doing with a fresh human skull? It means murder has been committed somewhere recently,” Macdon said.
In an interview with journalists, the woman denied knowledge of the human skull allegedly found in her residence, saying she only heard from her daughter that the skull was exhumed by the police at the boundary of a disputed piece of land near her house.
“I don’t know anything about this skull. When they came to the house, I asked this girl what was going on since I cannot see. She told me that police exhumed a human skull from the boundary of that disputed land. They gave it to me to bring to the police station; that is why I’m here.
“When they came to the house, I was the only person they saw and they said, ‘take let’s go.’
“My husband was a native doctor; I have never seen him do anything with human parts. I don’t know who buried that skull there. The land has been in dispute even before he died,” the accused said in his native language.
Macdon, who stood in for the State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, also disclosed that two suspected foreign militants and a Nigerian were arrested on September 13, 2021, with explosives.
According to him, men of AIG Border Patrol Monitoring Unit arrested the militants, two Cameroonians and a Cross Riverian, while on stop and search operation along Okobo-Oron highway in the state.
He gave their names as Adede De Black, Fombutu Tita, both males from the Republic of Cameroon and Bernard Mfam, a man from Ikom Local Council of Cross River State, adding that they had been charged to court.
“The suspected militants were arrested with two bags of dynamites, containers of incense powder, a bag containing items suspected to be talismans, some bottles of concoction, packets of incense oil, a piece of love soap, a bag of ground herbs and five new sets of walkie talkies,” he added.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Command in crime prevention to its gallant officers and men, effective collaboration with sister security agencies, support from the state government and cooperation from members of the public who always volunteer information.
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