Warri — As part of Chevron's social investment initiative for its host communities, 10 public schools in Delta State have benefited from the Chevron-Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA) Initiative, an interactive learning programme for public primary school pupils in the state.
The schools are Mowoe Primary School, Ojojo Primary School, Cavegina Primary School, Ekpan Primary School, Ogunu Primary School, Agbeje Primary School, Ewein Primary School, Evwereke Primary School, Egharegbem Primary School and Edjeba
Primary School, selected from Warri South, Uvwie, Okpe and Warri South-west Local Government Areas.
Speaking during a ceremonial hand over of the learning centres to the schools, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn said 13,123 pupils and 789 teachers have benefitted from the initiative.
Brikinn, who was represented by the Senior Government Affairs Advisor, Mr. Happy Appai, said the company is committed to the development of education, health and the economy in its areas of operation and beyond.
He said the video in the classroom project is a demonstration of Chevron's commitment to strategic partnership and programmes that improve the socio-economic situation of communities in the areas and countries where they are.
He lauded the support of the state government, through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, its implementation partners, DLA and other stakeholders for making the project, which started five years ago, a reality.
"In keeping with our values, for this programme, Chevron has partnered DLA to enhance the level of education in our schools. Partnership is at the heart of our social investment initiatives. Through our partnership, we leverage on our own and our partners' expertise, skills, technical knowledge and financial resources to add value to the lives of the people in the communities around which we operate."
Brikinn said the goal of the project, which started in Lagos, is to improve educational opportunities for children and communities through school-based learning centres; improve students' learning and motivation; increase teachers' effectiveness; and increase parent/community involvement in schools.
While noting that many community members have benefited indirectly from the initiative, he disclosed that an external evaluator's report has showed significant improvement in state-administered school-leaving exams, effectiveness of teachers in the classroom, student participation and performance in the classroom, rate of student attendance, parental and community participation and involvement in school activities, among others.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chinedu Ebie, commended Chevron for the initiative and appealed to private and cooperate organisations to emulate the company and think of ways to partner the state government under its support-a-school programme and look at areas where they can develop education in the state.
He said the state government believes that training and mentoring programme in the effective use of videos in the classroom and the use of 21st century skills have offered teachers and students in the selected schools greater opportunity, higher proficiency in the teaching/learning process and future career.
"It is important to note that the administration of Ifeanyi Okowa continues to place high premium on education and remains focus in improving the quality of education provided to school age children in Delta State. This project is encapsulated in the SMART agenda of this administration.
Government believes that partnership with private sector has the potential of creating an efficient platform for qualitative basic and secondary education. Such partnership will result in meaningful progress in the role of elevating our quality of education at this crucial time when government alone cannot sustain the developmental expectation in the education sector."
The Project Director, DLA, Mrs Felicia Moh said the initiative which started in 2013, was to improve the quality of education where the parents and communities will be engaged in the learning process of their children.
"This initiative has provided three things for the schools which include programme, training and technology. We provide the schools with TV sets, DVDs, generating sets, educational materials and training. We involve the parents and the communities by asking them to provide security for all the equipment we have provided for the schools. We also tell them if any of the material is destroyed or gets missing, they will be responsible for replacing them. The pupils in all the 10 schools have improved greatly since we introduced this programme."
Also, the Chairman, Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPPSHON), Lady Oghenekevwe Shola-Abigor, who thanked Chevron, the state government and DLA for the initiative, appealed to them to extend it to more schools in the state, as more schools are clamouring for the programme to be brought to their schools.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Alice Nwosibe highlighted some of the benefits of the project to include increase in population in the schools; stimulation of pupils' interest to learn; improved creative and faster learning; fun and effective form of learning, among others.
"Video in the classroom has made teaching less cumbersome. The difference between pupils in the schools using video in the classroom and others is very clear."
She promised that they will not let the project die, as they have been trained to train others to keep the flame aglow.