By Kingsley Abavo, Benin

 

Winner of the competition, Don Bosco Academy, Ekpoma

Leading indigenous oil and gas exploration and production company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, has splashed the sum of over eleven million naira on winners of the 8th edition of its Western Assets PEARLS Quiz competition for secondary schools, in Delta and Edo States.

The competition was organised in partnership with its JV partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The Quiz competition which began on May 11, 2019 with total of 862 schools participating; Delta State – 523 schools, and Edo State – 339 schools is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative of the company, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, general manager, External Affairs and Communication disclosed.

Four schools participated in the finals; Brano High School, Benin and Don Bosco Academy, Ekpoma represented Edo State, while Deeper Life High School, Opete and Peniel Academy, Agbor represented Delta State.

Don Bosco Academy, Ekpoma scored 74 points to emerge tops of the competition against Peniel Academy, Agbor which scored 54 points to clinch the second prize.

For the third prize, Deeper Life High School competed against Brano High School scoring 69 points and 64 points respectively.

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Runner up, Peniel Academy, Agbor

The top prize winner got the sum of N7m project based cash and N150, 000 scholarship grant to the three winning students; 2nd prize – N3m project based cash and N100, 000 scholarship grant to the three winning students.

While the third prize winner got the sum of N1m project based cash and N75, 000 scholarship grants to the three winning students and Teachers of the schools that qualified for the competition stage are to receive gift items.

SEPLAT since beginning the competition in 2012, has given out four brand new air conditioned school buses, over N30m project based cash; and scholarship grant to 63 students, Nwanchuku disclosed.

 

Fane International High School, Benin performing during the occasion

Using the project based cash prizes; the program has assisted the winning secondary schools to: build a language laboratory, embarked on construction in three schools in the area of roofing a building, decking a block for new class rooms and flooring an entire school premises with interlocking stones to stave off erosion.

Also, upgrade computer laboratories in five different schools, and provided brand new school buses to four schools, she said.

According to Nwanchuku, the program takes a step further in monitoring its past winners with over 20 of them in various universities across the country.

Two have benefited from the undergraduate scholarship scheme, and one has undergone industrial training with SEPLAT.

 

University preparatory secondary school, Benin performing during the occasion

Earlier, Chief Executive Officer of SEPLAT, Austin Avuru in his address delivered by the general manager, Western Assets, SEPLAT, Chima Njoku said that the main objective of the annual competition is to improve the academic standard in both States; Delta and Edo, their host.

“The program also aims to rekindle the spirit of academic excellence and healthy competition in the youths by motivating, encouraging and rewarding the scholarship spirit in their young minds, while also inculcating the benefits of team work.

“It also provides a platform for public and private secondary schools to interact, share ideas, and experiences.”

Expressing gratitude to Edo State Government for hosting this year’s edition, and Delta State for hosting in past years,  Avuru assured that “SEPLAT remains committed to partnering with the two States in continuing to build the confidence and capacities of students to excelling in their examinations.”

Delivering his address through the commissioner for education, Jimoh Ijegbai, Governor Godwin Obaseki commended SEPLAT for the Initiative noting that it was one amongst several in the area of health care, and promotion of exceptional and responsible leaders.

He assured of the State’s cooperation and collaboration in the area where Science and Technology education in secondary schools can be promoted.