The Aker-GNPC scholarship programme on Friday presented scholarship packages to 200 senior high school students from coastal communities of the Western Region.
A package comprised a metal trunk for each of the beneficiaries, wooden box, a pillow, two bed sheets and a blanket, one bucket, student mattress, an insecticide treated mosquito bed net, stationery and pocket money every semester.
This would be in addition to career guidance and leadership seminars organised for final year students.
The Aker-GNPC scholarship programme had been instituted to assist academically high performing but needy students whose parents or families are unable to provide the required materials for their wards while in school.
It also covers students in basic, vocational, technical and nursing school students.
The intake represents a 38 per cent increase over the 2018 figure of 150. So far, 794 scholars have benefitted from the programme that recorded 40 students scoring five ‘A’s out of eight subjects in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
From the early beneficiaries of 71, the package covers students from Shama, Sekondi-Takoradi, Effia Kwesimintsim, Ahanta West, Nzema East, Ellembelle and Jomoro.
It began in 2012, after a need assessment was carried out in the coastal districts of the Western Region to determine the most pressing needs of the communities, notably on education and health.
Speaking at the inauguration of the eight groups of beneficiaries, the General Manager of Aker Energy, Jan Helge Skogen, renewed the company’s commitment to ensure the sustainability of the Aker-GNPC scholarship programmme.
He said, Aker was poised to tap to the fullest, the huge oil and gas potentials in the Deep Tano Cape Three Points oil block offshore Ghana, for the benefit of the economy, and particularly, support the education sector for growth and development of the beneficiary communities.
Sharing his childhood experience, Skogen told the students about his peasant parenthood, but, added that, he never allowed the situation to stop him from attaining higher heights in life, because he was inspired and determined to reach to the top of his career.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Carmen Bruce Annan, encouraged the beneficiaries to use their opportunities wisely and work harder to justify the scholarships, adding “You are the most treasures from whom much is expected.”
She said: “You need to visualise your world and keep your eyes the ball. Know the dynamics in the changing world and focus in the areas of your study. This programme is for a long term development. Parents too, also need to support and create a good and conducive learning environments for their children.”
In her keynote address, the Director for Secondary Education, Dr Angela Tena Mensah, lauded the Aker –GNPC scholarship awards, which had seen a significant increase of the beneficiaries, and noted that the programme was in line with the Ministry of Education’s vision to expand and improve access and quality education in Ghana.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI