The College of Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has lauded investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by Tullow Ghana.
Speaking at an engagement with beneficiaries of Tullow’s immense support, the college Provost in a speech read for him by Prof. George Yaw Obeng, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science said the College of Engineering, KNUST received $352,000 scholarship package from Tullow Ghana to support brilliant but needy students under the STEM programme.
The package, he said initially covered 25 undergraduate and six-postgraduate students to complete their programmes between the periods of 2018/2019 to 2023/2024.
However, at present, the provost said there are 56 undergraduates and 20 postgraduates that have benefitted.
Prof. Obeng noted that the educational support programme known as the Tullow Tertiary STEM Scholarship Scheme (TTSS) has since inception, become a key component of the investment strategy with the aim of building capacity through education and skills development.
The engagement, he said also added speed-mentoring sessions, which enables a team from Tullow Ghana to understand what the mentees are looking for to help them shape their goals and also provide feedback and suggestions for progress.
The sessions according to him, are handled by engineers from various operations and human resource department of Tullow Ghana, which afforded the students the opportunity to ask questions and presentations by the Social Performance team.
Through the STEM, Prof. Obeng said, field ready graduates are produced and prepared for the job market thereby enhancing the human resource of the country for growth.
He said the management of the college is committed to ensuring that beneficiaries make the most of the opportunities before them, saying, “I urge you to consider yourselves fortunate for being selected among many applications received for the limited scholarship slots.”
“Remember you are among the chosen few and that your award has raised high hope in your family, your community and the society at large,” he admonished.
He commended Tullow and urged them to endeavour to provide internships slots to support beneficiaries to help them gain access to on-the-job training – and also help review and provide advice on the curriculum particularly in areas such as oil and gas.
The Social Performance Manager of Tullow Ghana, Mr. Edmund Fiifi Enchil, commended the students for the commitment to the course and justifying the investment in the stem programme.
He said education remains one of the top priority areas for the company since it began operations in the country, due to the critical role in national development.
“Knowing the importance of education, we started supporting from kindergarten in the communities to senior high school to ensure that best care is given to all beneficiaries and ensure a solid foundation for a good start” he said.
“We know that there is a free SHS policy in place, but the truth is that students need other basic important items which we provide for our scholarship programme,” he said.
He said for the team at Tullow, students constitute an important constituent of the company’s stakeholders and “we are looking forward to engaging them now and in the near future.”
The engagement, he said is to ensure that “We do not just offer support and go to sleep, but we meet regularly to know how the scheme is progressing and pick important feedback to make the scheme better.”
“It is not for nothing that the company introduced the speed-mentoring session as part of the engagement with the beneficiaries but to provide opportunity for the beneficiary students to interact with engineers with vast experience currently working with Tullow Ghana” he added.
Ms. Donne Christie Essel, a beneficiary and a final year Petroleum Engineering student said the support made life easy for them on campus especially meeting their basic needs.
“We have the support coming as a great relief for our family which made it easy for us to pay our academic and hostel fees, stipend to meet personal and academic needs,” she said.
A member of the social performance team, Mr. Elijah Boye-Ampah after the presentations of the company’s social investments programme said the speeding mentoring session afforded the beneficiaries the opportunity to understand how to set clear expectations and goals at the beginning of their journey to the world of work.
“It also brought to the fore the importance of setting boundaries at the beginning of mentorship. It is crucial to cultivating an authentic connection between mentees and our mentors.
The Chairman of the occasion, Obrempong Hima-Dekyi XIV commended the company for its support on education especially in their host communities.
The Tullow Tertiary STEM Scholarship (TTSS) Scheme is aimed at contributing to the realization of the local content and nationalization agenda for the oil and gas industry. An allocation of 50 per cent of the awards is made to indigenes of the Western Region to pursue programmes at Legon and KNUST.
The project also bridges the gap between the trained and field ready graduates under the TTSS programme, offering the opportunity and exposure for networking.
The scholarship scheme was created with a management board comprising the university authorities and representatives of the Western Regional House of Chiefs.