Don Bosco Science Academy, a private secondary school in Ekpoma, Edo, has won the N10 million star prize of the Seplat JV PEARLS quiz competition.
The school defeated Our Saviour Secondary School, Sapele, Delta, to emerge overall winner of the 12th edition of the Seplat JV PEARLS quiz competition.
The Delta-based secondary school came second, winning a cash prize of N5 million while Holywood International Secondary School, Asaba, also from Delta, came third, to pocket N3 million.
Geeky Nigeria reports that while the champion students each received N100,000 cash prize, students of the second-best school each got N75,000 each. While Divine Providence Educational Centre took the fourth position with each of the representative students getting N10,000.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony on Friday in Asaba, Ms Chioma Afe, Director, of External Affairs/Sustainability, at Seplat Energy, said that the Seplat JV Pearls programme which was initiated in 2012 was a significant step in rewarding academic excellence.
“PEARLs, which stand for promoting exceptional and respectable leaders, is Seplat Energy’s educational Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme, aimed at rewarding academic excellence in both Delta and Edo,” she said.
Afe said that a total of 510 schools sat for the PEARLs quiz qualifying test online in the 2023 edition.
She added that out of the number, about 139 schools qualified from the online process, adding that the competition began in Benin on Oct. 10.
According to Afe, four schools emerged from the knockout stages to participate in the finals.
The director reiterated that Seplat Energy was committed to being a best-practice operator and a responsible and accountable corporate organisation.
“We have built strong relationships with our local stakeholders and created a stable operating environment in our host states by implementing programmes in healthcare, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, and infrastructural development.
“We are mindful of the needs in the country’s education sector, our leadership role amongst our peers, and our commitment to our host communities in Edo and Delta states”, she added.
According to her, this programme has directly impacted the performance of the students, as it encourages them to read their syllabuses intensively and extensively and participate in rigorous debates.
“Moreover, it provides a platform for both public and private secondary schools to interact, share ideas, and experiences throughout the programme.”
She disclosed that the programme had over the years, provided scholarships to 99 students and implemented projects in 33 schools.
“We’ve given out four brand new 16-seater high school buses to the winning schools, 40 laptops, 952 Android tablets, and consolation prizes to 231 schools.
“This programme offers far more than just winning; it helps students gain substantial experience, build confidence, and encourages them to adopt innovative techniques and develop their ideas and skills.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director of Seplat West, Mr Ayodele Olatunde, said “‘we’re even more proud because this initiative directly addresses SDG Goal 4, which focuses on providing quality education.
“It’s crucial to note that education is at the core of SDGs 1, 2, and 8, which pertain to the eradication of poverty, good health and well-being, and decent work and economic growth.”
Olatunde disclosed that the in last 11 years, the programme had directly impacted 57,575 students in both states. Olatunde commended Delta and Edo governments and regulatory bodies for their support.
He. However, assured that Seplat and its partners would continue to partner with them to provide the platform for secondary school students to grow in confidence and excel in their examinations.
In his remarks, Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, while commending Seplat Energy for its unwavering commitment towards the initiative, urged other corporate organisations to take inspiration from Seplat Energy.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Kingsley Emu said, “I also call upon all oil companies operating in Delta to take inspiration from Seplat’s contributions and work diligently to make our state an even better place for our youth”.
On his part, Mr Oluwaseyi Orimoloye, NEPL CCD Dept. (JV Partner), NNPC, commended Seplat Energy for the initiative.
According to him, the competition is not just a simple contest; it is a crucial part of our educational journey.
“I’d also like to urge parents and guardians to support and guide these young talents.
“As together, we can produce Okonjo Iwealas’ in our societies, and another global winner for the World Mathematics Competition, and more productive leaders in our midst”, he said