Seplat Canvasses Technology Adoption In Nigeria’s Education Sector

Yemisi Izuora

Indigenous energy firm, Seplat Energy Plc, and its partners, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), have awarded certificates to a total of 220 comprising 214 teachers and 6 Chief Inspectors of Education in Edo and Delta States under the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP).

This is the second edition of the progrmme, which is aimed at improving the standard of education in Nigeria especially Seplat Energy’s host states and communities.

Over the years, Seplat Energy had made significant impacts with critical initiatives focused on providing quality education for states of its operations and the country. To consolidate its achievements on Sustainability Development Goal 4 for inclusive and equitable quality education, the Company introduced STEP, a customized training programme for secondary school teachers. STEP is a three-month intensive training programme that equips teachers with tools to teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

The Company introduced the STEAM model of learning to secondary schools in Delta and Edo States in order to promote creative thinking, allow for higher student engagement, and offer a well-rounded education. Where STEAM are equal contributors to the process of learning.

In September 2021, the 220 certificate awardees from Delta and Edo States began their training with an initial five-day residential retreat. After that, they continued training via the E-Learning platform developed for the programme.

To commemorate the certificate presentation ceremony held on March 17, 2022, Seplat Energy hosted The Seplat JV Education Roundtable themed: Harnessing the Role of Technology In Nigeria’s Education Sector.

The STEP Certificate Awards Ceremony took place in Benin City, Edo State, alongside the Seplat Education Roundtable, which had educational experts and professionals in a highly engaging panel session. The keynote speaker for the day was Prof. Fabian Ajogwu SAN, an Independent Non-Executive Director at Seplat Energy.

The Honorable Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, one of the special guest of honour, was ably represented by Mrs. Muna Onuzo-Adetona, a Special Adviser to the minister.

The panelists comprised Mr. Yinka Akibu of the United Nations Development Programme; Mr. Kehinde Osinaike of the Federal Ministry of Education; Hon. Sijuade Idowu Tiamiyu of the State Universal Basic Education Board Lagos State; and Ini Abimbola of the Association of Sustainability Professionals of Nigeria. The session was moderated by Dr. (Hon) Mories Atoki.

Also present were His Excellency, Rt. Hon.Comrade Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor, Edo State; and Dr. Joan Oviawe. Hon. Commissioner for Education, Edo State.

In his address, Prof. Ajogwu said: “Education is a collective responsibility. What Seplat Energy is doing is noble and commendable. It is supported by both Edo and Delta state governments. These states should be model states that should be emulated. Other corporates should also be invited to do the same. Spending on education gives us future returns than subsiding consumption.

“Seplat Energy believes that empowering teachers is the first point to awakening education and education has a cost. What we have done is to take part of that cost. The Govt has a role to play as well as other organisations and stakeholders. We should acknowledge this cost and invest in it” Education has a cost, and Seplat energy has written the cheque”.

According to the Edo State Deputy Governor, “Education via technology will promote children to be global competitors, and this can only happen through adequate knowledge of technology. I congratulate Seplat Energy on this initiative and Edo State will continue to partner with the company on education.”

In her remarks, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, said: “The STEP programme is important because it plays a key role in the socio-economic growth of the country. It supports the attainment of Quality education which is #SGD4. The objective is to take STEAM education to the teachers. We encourage the teachers to transmit their experience with this programme to other colleagues in the sector and the students who are Nigeria’s future.”

“Seplat Energy takes the STEP initiative seriously. This year we have trained over 200 teachers and state CIEs. The programme is designed to ensure monitoring and evaluation of the teachers even after the training and graduation. This ensures sustainability of the programme,” the Seplat Energy Director of External Affairs and Sustainability added.

In her remarks, the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Oviawe said the State is thrilled to partner with Seplat Energy on education, adding that: “We are excited by what Seplat Energy is doing for teachers and thank the company for its CSR impact in the educational sector an other sectors. Edo state is taking the lead in technology intervention in education in Nigeria with initiatives like this and the The EdoBEST programme.”

The objectives of STEP are to: To train secondary school teachers on skills, innovations, and technologies for deploying STEAM to deliver tutelage better to the students; provide and connect teachers to a collection of STEAM resources to enable them to understand, apply and innovate; and provide schools with resources to enable them to provide the right environment for STEAM implementation to enable students engage in the interdisciplinary nature of STEAM.

STEP which is an annual programme, starts with a five-day residential workshop which provided leadership and self-improvement training, training on STEAM modules and its application to teaching. The teachers were also provided with STEAM gadgets and Apps to support their delivery of quality teaching in our host states. Of the teachers empowered, 75% are from public schools while 25% are from private schools.

The Ministry of Education Delta and Edo States and the Ministry of Science and Technology Edo State are both very excited by the programme because of the multiplier effect it will have in secondary education and have indicated their unwavering support for the programme.

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