BY Okafor Joseph
Saturday, October 7,2017
Chevron Nigeria Limited and other investors in the Agbami parties have invested over NGN8.4 billion on the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship (AMEPS), and have spent N 2.5billion on education infrastructure support since 2008.
As part of its commitment in improving the standard of STEM education in the country, Agbami parties on behalf of Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (A Chevron Company and Operator of the Agbami field) together with its Co-ventures in the Agbami Field – Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Famfa Oil Limited, Statoil Nigeria Limited, Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Limited are committed to promote excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, teaching and learning in Nigeria.
The Agbami parties have so far awarded scholarships to 16,000 students in medicine and engineering since its inception in 2008.
Speaking at the Agbami, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium 2017 in Lagos Business School, on Thursday, October 5th, Richard Kennedy, Director, Deeper Water Assets and Production Sharing Contracts, Chevron Nigeria/ Mid- Africa Business Unit stated that the Agbami parties believes that the most rewarding investment is the investment in people, because the greatest asset of a nation are its people. The people are the underlying philosophy behind the social investment in thematic development.
We believe in the principle of adding value and enriching lives in any society, we operate he said:
According to the Director, Nigeria Youths need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels far exceeding what was considered acceptable in the past, to succeed in this new information-based and technology- driven global society.
‘’Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are undeniably some of the key subjects to study now because of the need for Nigeria to evolve the science and technological innovations needed to face the challenges of globalization and building an evolving knowledge- based economy.
‘’Most importantly, STEM education is directly linked to global competitiveness and future economic prosperity.
The Agbami parties began investing in education in 2008, and have been playing significant roles in advancing STEM education in Nigeria. We have invested over 8.4billion on the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship,(AMEPS) which targets capacity building for student of medical and engineering courses across the nation and this scheme has recorded an impressive total of 456 first class graduates.
‘’ Since inception, over 16,000 students from all States in Nigeria have benefited from the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship. The Agbami parties have spent N2.5 billion on education infrastructure support since 2008. We have built, furnished and equipped 33 science laboratories and eight hybrid libraries across the country, which in addition to the benefits of students, empowered 38 local community contractors during their construction”he noted
Other speakers at the Event: Esimaje Brikinn the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs,( PGPA) Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) According to him the establishment of the Agbami Scholarship Scheme is to breach the gap in STEM education in the country.
He also said that Chevron, Partners Lagos Business School in strengthening the Engineering, Science, Technology and Mathematics education in organizing scholarship program as a way of solving challenges and promoting STEM education.
He advised corporate organization to get involved by investing in STEM education in other to build future leaders, and further commend the effort of Pan Atlantic University on the just concluded advanced Writing and Reporting Skills (AWARES) for improving the capacity of over 80 media professionals through the AWARES programme.
Mrs. Abolaji Osime the CEO, at Global International College and Secondary school stated that the number of student graduating from Accounting, law, Economics in Nigeria is more than the Jobs currently available in Labor market. She said Nigeria do not need graduate from the Art sectors but rather the science sector.
She urged parent to stop forcing their children to study courses of their will, but allow them to study courses of their choice.
She further advice schools to set up counseling scheme where teaches can counsel parent regarding the important and benefit of STEM education.
Dr Dolapo Ogunbawo, (Founder, the Teaching Network Foundation),
On her part spoke more on equipping the teaching in the country. According to her, the teachers are the gate keepers and watch dogs of our future generation and government should ensure that this teacher is well informed trained and not sidelined.
The CEO of the Teaching Network Foundation, also urged, schools both private and public to treat Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM), as one single element and making it a compulsory subject in every schools.
Baba Ikazoboh, stressed out that the reason why STEM education is not attractive in our schools is due to the following problems:
- Problems of awareness
- Poor teaching habit
- Parental problem
He finally advised government to create platform where the important of STEM education would begin to attract both children and parent.
On his part, Ben Akpan, executive director, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, STAN, said the country should invest in STEM to enable Nigeria move from monopolistic economy to knowledge-based economy that is driving the world.
Delivering a keynote address on “Integrating STEM and 21st Century Skills-Innovative Approaches to STEM Education,” Akpan stressed the need for applying integrated science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and other content as appropriate to answer complex questions, to investigate global issues, and to develop solutions for challenges and real world problems.
“STEM provides us with the opportunity to develop our economy, democracy and even cultural lives. Scientists believed that STEM is the way to go. Its mandate is to ensure that everybody has basic literacy in science and preparing people for future careers in related professions. The educational curriculum in Nigeria doesn’t test our intelligence. Computers are being made in form of human brains. We are getting to a stage where artificial intelligence is beating human imagination.
“The world is moving very fast and the issue of Nigerian educational system has nothing to do with our curriculum. Therefore, we need to review our curriculum and invest in science infrastructure, which is very critical in our society,” he said.
Apart from investment in STEM, Chevron and Agbami parties are committed to developing Nigeria. In the area of health, they have build and equip 25 chest clinics across the country with state-of-art technology. They have tuberculosis awareness programme conducted in six most endemic states of the federation, Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Nassarawa and Oyo states. From 2009, the parties to the Agbami field have consistently scoped the phases of their social investment projects to enhance the development of capacities of Nigerian businesses for positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.