–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Albert OGRAKA:
St. Michael College Benin, Edo State, has grabbed the grand prize of N7 million at the just concluded 9th edition of the NPDC/Seplat Preparing Exceptional and Responsible Leaders (PEARLs) quiz competition.
The annual PEARLs quiz competition which held at Imagboro College in Benin City, Edo State on Thursday, November 19, 2020 was attended by dignitaries from both Edo and Delta State.
They include the Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Enobun; Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor; Secretary to Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodio Ogie; Permanent Secretary of Edo State Ministry of Education, Mrs Stella Maris Imasuen and representatives from the traditional institution among other stakeholders.
At the well attended event, Mc Neil Academy Secondary School, Sapele, Delta State came second with a cash prize of N3m, while Gloryland Secondary School, Igarra, Edo State clinched the third position and got N1m cash prize.
St. John’s Academy, Oleh, Delta State, the 3rd runners up also got N1m as cash prize, while three representatives from the four schools also got N100,000.00, N75,000 and N50,000 each respectively.
The various schools in attendance were however awarded trophies and educational materials. The teachers got laptops.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, Mr. Roger Brown who was represented by the General Manager, External Affairs and Communication, Dr Chioma Uwanchukwu said the competition holds annually to improve the educational standards of students as well as instilling good moral values on on them to help them contribute favourably to the society.
Brown disclosed that since the competition started in 2012, 45,140 students have so far been impacted while the WAEC results of schools have improved as a result of the programme.
According to the CEO, “This competition started in 2012 to improve the educational standard of Edo and Delta states who are co-partners in this course. Seplat is aware of the key role education plays in the economic growth of nations.
“The competition started with 574 schools; today four schools have emerged for the grand finale. At the end, we do projects to improve the school’s infrastructure.
“The questions are formulated in conjunction with the teachers using their syllabus. We have impacted 45,140 students since 2012. This program has also improved the WAEC results of schools”.
Meanwhile, at a media parley, the General Manager, External Affairs and Communication, Dr Chioma Uwanchukwu, revealed that SEPLAT was a leading indigenous Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company with a strategic focus on Nigeria.
She added that the company is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
mentioned that the 10th Edition of the PEARLs quiz competition may hold in Delta State.
While insisting that the quiz had helped Delta and Edo to maintain very high pass rates in external examinations such as the West African School Certificate Examination, she promised that the 10th Edition of the PEARLs quiz competition would be held in Delta State.
Earlier in her speech, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Mrs Stella Maris Imasuen who represented the Secretary to Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodio Ogie commended Seplat for their robust corporate social responsibility to its host communities and coming up with the competition aimed at rewarding academic excellence.
The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Enobun in a brief speech also commended Seplat for the laudable initiative of positively building the capacity of students, to make them become responsible youths and future leaders in the society.
The Speaker charged other companies operating in the states to take their corporate social responsibilities seriously by giving back to their host communities and states, adding that Seplat has already shown the way.
Also, Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor; lauded Seplat on the task of sustaining the programme.
He praised the students intelligence and encouraged them to always be at their best, just as the government is not relenting in providing basic school needs.