Seplat Energy, a leading oil and gas company in Nigeria, on Wednesday trained over 350 teachers from Edo and Delta states respectively under its Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP) to acquire modern learning methods in line with creative thinking for the development of education.

In her opening remarks during the flag off of the 4th edition of STEP empowerment programme in Benin City, Chioma Afe, the Director of External Affairs and Sustainability at Seplat, said the initiative was part of its corporate social responsibility to host communities.

Afe disclosed that the programme which started about four years ago was being executed for teachers from both Edo and Delta states respectively.

“Seplat Energy’s Corporate Social Responsibility is hinged on improving our host communities, looking at the issues and areas where they have challenges.

“So, we looked at the challenges that are economic, social and the ones that will drive the SDG goals.

“We identify five areas of health, education, youth empowerment, access to energy and safe motherhood programme.

“We are improving the education ecosystem with focus on teachers, infrastructure and students. All these are embedded in the STEP Programme for teachers as well as the steam project,” Chioma Afe noted.

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Speaking further, she said every year, about 350 teachers are selected for the empowerment programme through the ministries of education in Edo and Delta.

She added that the initiative was specifically designed to train secondary school teachers in critical thinking by improving their competence to teach students through the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) methodology.

The representative of the managing director, NNPC E&P Limited, Levi Owunari said that the programme was done in partnership with Seplat Energy to roll out the STEP module in operational areas of the host communities.

Owunari noted the initiative was designed to provide and build the capacity of teachers within the NNPCL/Seplat operational communities.

Also speaking, the Delta commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Rose Ezewu, commended the efforts of NEPL/SEPIAT who for several years have upheld Its corporate social responsibility in the education sector in Edo and Delta states.

Ezewu, who represented the commissioner, noted that the teacher empowerment project had contributed immensely in enhancing and sustaining the quality of education in the state.

Ero Ugiagbe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in Edo State who represented the commissioner, Joan Oviawe, also commended Seplat Energy for the empowerment programme.