One hundred and fifty (150) brilliant but needy students from coastal districts of Ghana’s Western Region have been awarded scholarships to pursue secondary education through the Aker Energy-GNPC Scholarship scheme.
This year, the Aker Energy-GNPC scholarship, which was previously known as the Hess-GNPC scholarship, has also instituted a comprehensive follow-up system for each individual student. The scholarship program has been extended following Aker Energy’s acquisition of Hess Ghana in February, 2018.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Takoradi, Wednesday, 5th September, 2018, the Ghana Country Manager of Aker Energy, Mr. Jan Helge Skogan said his company is committed to the development of the scholarship because it connects perfectly with the long term ambition in Ghana as an oil and gas company.
“We in Aker believe that this program with its slogan ties in directly with our long term ambitions in Ghana: ‘Developing Local Talents’. I must say that I am proud to see what has been achieved and how the program has contributed over the past years. I am sure that this year’s 150 – up from 125 last year – Aker Energy-GNPC scholars are blazing the trail that will benefit Ghana in the coming years,” he said.
The General Manager of Sustainability at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. Kwame Baah Nuakoh said he is hopeful that many lives will be transformed through this scholarship scheme, adding that he has risen to where he is now because he had people to give him similar opportunities.
“I know that Aker Energy appreciates the value of education, and shares GNPC’s strong belief in education. GNPC is a strong supporter of education and training programs not only in the Western Region but all over the country. Personally, I am also a strong believer in what gestures and programs like this can do to transform the lives of others. I am also where I am today because someone believed in me,” he said.
Elaborating further in an interview with Skyy News, at the sidelines of the event, Dr. Kwame, Baah Nuakoh explained that the next step of the scholarship scheme is to deepen the career guidance and counselling aspect of the scheme beyond the payment of school fees, adding that the target is to get to the Junior High Schools to help guide the pupils to choose their courses based on their career aspirations
“The career guidance and counselling is the next step. May be we have to take it a bit beyond SHS; to the JHS level or early when they get into school and they have the opportunities to select their courses. You tell them to look at the career aspirations to choose their subjects, instead of waiting for them to finish SHS before telling that if you want to study this course at Legon, you should have done this, or done that. That’s not the way to go, and I think these are things that we need to start looking at, beyond paying their school fees.”
He commended Aker Energy for taking strong interest in the scholarship program.
“Let me commend Aker Energy for not shifting from that space because of the free SHS. There are still some young people who even with the free school fees might still not be able to afford ghe chop box and the uniforms and those things, that would have still kept them at home. . Thankfully, we had this conversation very early when Aker Energy was still musing about the effect of the free SHS on this partnership,” said Dr. Baah Nuakoh.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to Skyy News were full of praises for the Scholarship scheme and its sponsors for helping them to achieve their life-long dreams of pursuing education to the highest level. Sandra Odoom, a final year student of Nsein Senior School revealed that the Aker Energy-GNPC Scholarship has given her the hope that she can truly become the Lawyer she has always dreamt of.
“The scholarship has made an important impact on my life and that of my fellow students. I advise incoming scholars to focus on everything academic, and to take full use of the special mentoring and counselling services that is part of the program, and to fully seize the opportunity,” she said.
Story By: Samuel Kojo Brace/Joseph Bezoro/Skyy News