A new batch of 60 pupils from the Niger Delta has been awarded the special secondary school scholarship of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s Cradle to Career, covering tuition and other bills for six years in four of the topmost private secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
Brookstone Secondary School, Jephthah Comprehensive College, Archdeacon Brown Educational Centre (ABEC) and Bloombreed High School in Port Harcourt will receive 60 beneficiaries yearly from difficult terrains of the Niger Delta on scholarship for their secondary education, after a two-week orientation with introductory courses in academics, character and psychology.
The pupils are the seventh set of beneficiaries, bringing the number of beneficiaries since inception of the Cradle to Career programme to 410.
SPDC Managing Director and Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, represented by the General Manager External Relations, IgoWeli said: “This year, the first set of beneficiaries completed their secondary education and the report we have is that about all of them recorded excellent performance in the school certificate and unified tertiary matriculation examinations. It means the aims of the programme are being achieved.”
Speaking at the ceremony in Port Harcourt, the SPDC chief said Shell and its joint venture partners had sustained the scholarship initiative despite the economic challenges because they see education as a right for every child and not a privilege.
Dr Patricia Ogbonnaya, Mrs Elizabeth Alagoa and Dr Moses Onoriode Bragiwa, representatives of the Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states Commissioners for Education, extolled the scholarship scheme for complementing their governments’investments in education. They praised the transparent selection and the human capital development benefits of the programme to the region.
“SPDC has a passion for investing in people and we are happy to report that students in the programme have over the years been on the top of their classes in their respective schools. We thank Shell and their joint venture partners for helping to ameliorate the problems of the Niger Delta,” said Dame Christie Toby, the proprietress of one of the implementing schools.
The SPDC JV launched the Cradle to Career initiative in 2010 to provide for bright indigent students and improve on the positive results of its other portfolio of scholarship schemes for local and international undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
Shell companies in Nigeria support education through scholarships and other initiatives. In 2015, SPDC Joint Venture and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo.) invested $10.1 million in scholarships.
Grants were awarded to 930 secondary school pupils and 638 university undergraduates last year, with a total of 10,401 (secondary) and 3,532 (university) grants given over the last five years.
Source : ThenationonlineThenationonline