Eight Schools from Nigeria, Others for Sahara STEAMers Programme
By Dipo Olowookere
It has been revealed that eight schools from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania will feature in the 2023 edition of the Sahara STEAMers programme.
The first edition of the initiative of Sahara Group Foundation, the corporate sustainability vehicle of the Sahara Group, saw Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, emerge as the overall regional champions, while St Peter’s Naalya Secondary School in Uganda, and Olympic High School in Nairobi, Kenya emerged as the first and second runners-up, respectively.
The Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) educational initiative is designed to inspire, equip and empower young African students with the practical knowledge, skills and innovative mindset required to proffer sustainable solutions to the communal and societal problems affecting Africa.
It was created by Sahara Group Foundation in partnership with STEMCafe, a non-linear learning centre, to create an opportunity for young people to have access to world-class maker labs, participate in a deep-dive learning experience and get immersed in a practical classroom that would inspire them to tackle prevalent challenges within their communities.
Participants of the programme will engage in a series of practical workshops, vision boarding exercises and mentoring sessions involving STEMCafe trainers and Sahara Foundation staff volunteers.
“The Sahara STEAMers programme aligns with the Sahara Group’s commitment to promoting sustainable development in Africa by helping to raise a new generation of social innovators capable of accelerating Africa’s development,” the Director of Sustainability and Governance at Sahara Group, Ms Ejiro Gray, said at the unveiling of the second edition recently.
“At Sahara Foundation, we believe in the potential that Africa’s young generation has in shaping the continent’s development. And through STEAMers, we can help them tap into that potential because they possess the ideas, creativity and great energy to generate widespread positive social change in Africa,” Ms Gray added.
Also speaking, the founder of STEMCafe, Mr Bosun Tijani, said, “This partnership has given us the opportunity to expose more young secondary school students across the continent to STEAM education and its application towards solving real-life problems. Thus, helping us to raise a new generation of changemakers across Africa.”
Mr Tijani challenged the students to take advantage of this opportunity, as it has the capacity to set them on an inspiring and ambitious pathway.
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OOU Introduces Work-Study Programme to Reduce Attrition
By Adedapo Adesanya
To boost employment numbers and reduce the alarming attrition of students, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, has announced the commencement of a work-study programme for skilled students to earn while still attending classes.
The university said in a statement issued by its Registrar, Mr Femi Ogunwomoju, that the initiative would help ease the financial burden on parents and guardians and reduce the rate at which students drop out of school due to financial constraints.
Mr Ogunwomoju said the programme, through the directorate of entrepreneurship studies, “will enable students with demonstrable and proven vocational skills to work in the university and earn some stipends and still attend classes.”
Nigeria has the second highest number of unemployed youths in the world, with 53 per cent of the youth population without jobs. This country is second to only South Africa, which has 61 per cent youth unemployment.
OOU said it launched the work-study programme during its 40th anniversary in February to checkmate the increasing rate of dropouts in the institution.
“When we noticed the rate at which students were dropping out, we did the SWOT analysis of what happened to them,” said the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Mr Ayodeji Agboola, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“We came to realise that the major problem there is funding. So, we instituted immediate funding, but of course, it cannot take care of all of them,” the professor said.
He said the university, therefore, resolved to cater for 500 students under the work-study programme.
“With work studies, we are sure that the majority of them will be accommodated, and that will also solve the problem,” he said.
Students of the university who are interested and qualified to be part of the programme are requested to fill out a form.
The university management, therefore, urged interested qualified students should register through the Directorate of Entrepreneurship Studies within two weeks beginning from May 25.
200 Undergraduates to Enjoy Stanbic IBTC N80m University Scholarship Scheme
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
No fewer than 200 undergraduates who performed well in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will enjoy N80 million worth of educational support from Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.
The funds would be disbursed to the beneficiaries under the Stanbic IBTC 2023 University Scholarship Award Scheme.
The selection process for the scholarships was rigorous and fair, with beneficiaries chosen from each of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The candidates were carefully evaluated based on merit, taking into account their exceptional academic performance, the organisation said.
The 200 scholarship recipients will be able to pursue their dreams with financial confidence, knowing that Stanbic IBTC will stand firmly by their side.
The company disclosed that the money would be given to the students in annual instalments over the course of four academic years. It would provide recipients with the essential financial assistance required to meet their educational expenses.
Subsequent disbursements will be contingent upon the beneficiaries fulfilling certain criteria. These criteria include maintaining their enrolment in the universities and degree programs to which they were admitted, as well as adhering to the academic and administrative policies set forth by their respective institutions, the firm stated.
By ensuring compliance with these requirements, the recipients can continue to receive the scholarship throughout their academic journey, facilitating their uninterrupted pursuit of higher education, it added.
“At Stanbic IBTC, we recognize the importance of education and its role in shaping the future of our great nation, Nigeria.
“Our principal objective for this scholarship is to provide unlimited opportunities for bright, young Nigerians who have demonstrated academic merit,” the chief executive of Stanbic IBTC, Mr Demola Sogunle, said.
He noted that the number of annual scholarship recipients was increased from 100 to 200, as education should not be a luxury reserved for a select few but accessible to all.
By investing in the academic journeys of these exceptional students, the leading end-to-end financial institution will not only make a difference in their lives but also contribute to the development and prosperity of the nation as a whole.
Wema Bank Employees Donate Items to Isale Eko Grammar School
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
It was an exciting moment for students of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School, Lagos and a fulfilling time for employees of Wema Bank Plc when they delivered some tables and chairs to the institution last Friday.
The items were donated to the school as part of the financial institution’s corporate social investment (CSI) initiative aimed to contribute to the development of education in the country, especially in its host communities.
It was gathered that Wema Bank employees purchased the items for the school by contributing the salaries under the Salary for Love campaign of the lender.
The bank expressed optimism that the items would undoubtedly transform the learning environment, creating a haven of comfort and inspiration for the students as they embark on their academic journeys.
Apart from the furniture donation, Wema Bank extended its support even further by bestowing scholarships upon two students of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School.
These scholarships, provides invaluable financial assistance and will serve as stepping stones for these exceptional students as they unlock their full potential and courageously chase their dreams.
At the presentation of the items to the school, the Head of Credit Risk Management at Wema Bank, Mr Uchenna Obazeh, emphasized the bank’s firm belief in the transformative power of education.
He commended the unwavering dedication of Wema Bank’s staff members and their resolute commitment to supporting education within the community.
“Through the ‘Salary for Love’ initiative, our employees have showcased their exceptional devotion to shaping a brighter future through education. We are humbled to contribute to the growth and development of Isale Eko Grammar School, as we remain steadfast in our mission of corporate citizenship,” he said.
In his remarks, the Principal of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School, Mr Mukaila Olatoye, expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the institution, recognizing the profound influence this generous donation will have on the students’ educational pursuits.
Also, the students thanked Wema Bank for the donation.
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