Beneficiaries of the AKER Energy-GNPC Scholars Program will be increased from 150 to 200 students for the 2019/20 academic year.
The increase is to expand the scope of the scholarship programme to cover more brilliant but needy students in the six coastal districts of the Western Region.
The AKER Energy-GNPC Scholars Program was instituted in 2012 to provide scholarship to students whose attainment of secondary school education had become a challenge due to the inability of their parents or guardians to provide funds.
Since its inception, the Scholars Program has supported close to 700 students in the six coastal districts of the Western Region.
The scholarship programme started with six partner schools but presently has 10 high schools, a nursing and vocational schools, where beneficiaries are placed.
With the introduction of the Free Senior High School programme, the scholarship package has been reviewed to cover school materials including trunks, chopbox and books.
Other elements include counselling and mentoring, career seminars among others.
Beneficiaries of the programme have since been scoring impressive grades in their various examinations.
“For example, in the 2018/19 academic year 2 students had 8As, 32 students had 5As, 45 students had 4As with the remainder 3As, Bs and Cs,” a proud External Relations Manager of Aker Energy Mrs. Bernice Sam said.
At a ceremony to celebrate the class of 2019, Mrs. Sam applauded the beneficiaries for continuously justifying the investment by AKER and GNPC.
“AKER Energy and our license partners see the need for these scholars to transition from secondary to tertiary level. Therefore, we are in the process of developing a tertiary level scholarship programme which we expect to roll out soon.”
For some scholars who have graduated from university, “there is the opportunity to join AKER Energy either as an intern or national service person”.
Corporate Affairs Manager of GNPC Carmen Bruce Annan entreated the beneficiaries not to be complacent but strive for more laurels.
“I’m sure you have heard many times that education is the bedrock of every society and without education as an individual it is very difficult to get far as you can to realize your full potentials. Most importantly without education our national development as a country will be very difficult to attain. So, programs like these are very important. We heard Joseph’s [beneficiary] example that if it had not been for the AKER-GNPC Scholars Program fishing was probable going to be his vocation.”
Deputy Western Region Minister Gifty Eugenia Kusi called on AKER Energy to extend the programme to the tertiary level to “enable Western Region and by extension Ghana to have a core of requisite human resources to take charge of the country’s natural resources”.
Some of the beneficiaries shared testimonies of how timely the programme has been for them and thanked AKER and GNPC for the life changing opportunity.
Selection of scholars for the next academic year is expected to commence as soon as the BECE results are released.
One criterion for selecting a beneficiary is for the person to have schooled and lived in a community in any of the six coastal districts in the Western Region.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana