Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd, an explorer at the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT-CTP) block in Ghana, has launched the second series of its joint scholarship awards scheme at Nsein Secondary School,near Axim.
The scheme, dubbed “Hess-GNPC Scholars”, is a joint corporate social responsibility programme with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, which is a partner in the DWT-CTP block.
The scholarship targets academically qualified but underprivileged students in three districts — Nzema East, Jomoro and Ellembelle — with emphasis on girls’ education. It fully covers the entire cost (boarding fees, .administrative fees, books, kits, uniforms and pocket money) for three years of Senior High School, vocational training or nursing.
Launching, the 2013 intake programme, Ms. Sandra Gentile, General Manager of Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd, announced a 40% increase over the 2012 intake due to the success and community acceptance of the programme.
She explained that the 100 selected beneficiaries will begin thier respective programmes in six partner schools in mid-to late- October. There were 71 beneficiaries last year, bringing the total to 171.
Ms Gentile said the size of the first year intake was based on the need to develop the programme efficiently and measure success. “Now that this has been tested, we are pleased to the able to expand the programme.”
The scholars were selected through an application process supported by the District Education Department (DED), which distributed and received applications via its 7supervisors. Each district was given 128 application forms to distribute. Criteria for selection were based on BECE scores, personal statement, chosen programme, gender and home situation, so as to balance the level of need with academic achievement.
Shortlisted candidates were all interviewed individually by a committee composed of representatives from the respective districts, Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd., and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
Ms. Gentile added that Hess Scholars are provided with counseling and mentoring on a regular basis throughout their studies. Additionally, through a memorandum of understanding, partner institutions arc also regularly visited and monitored for compliance.
The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, who doubles as MP for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, emphasised government’s commitment to ensuring that the capacity of local communities are built to take up the challenge of local content participation in the oil and gas industry.
He reminded companies operating in the country of their responsibility to improve the lives of the citizenry.
“At this period in the life of our nation, there is the need for a stronger collaboration with government to invest in its human resource for the oil and gas industry, since the local content bill which will soon be passed will give impetus to this vision,” added Buah.
In early 2011, Hess Ghana initiated an assessment study of the health and educational needs in Ghana, and the coastal Western Region in particular, to identify potential areas where the company could make a measurable, sustainable difference. The Scholars Programme was developed in response to the results of this study.
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