18 students drawn from different schools across Delta state have been awarded by the Delta State Government for their outstanding academic performances.
The students who received cash, laptop and plaques from the state government at an event tagged ‘Delta State Award of Excellence for Pupils and Students’ organized by the State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and sponsored by the Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, were told to remain focused in their academic pursuits.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Unity Hall Government House, Asaba, wife of the state governor Dame Edith Okowa, who was the Special Guest at the event, observed that majority of the awardees were from schools in the rural areas, congratulating them, their parents and teachers as well as the sponsor of the awards.
Okowa said the upbringing of a child remained a collective effort, starting from the home front, noting that misplaced priorities among the key players in the formative years of a child, was the bane of society, urging the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to extend the awards to deserving teachers and principals to encourage them to work harder.
The awardees were three best performing students from each of the five categories, including, cognitive and placement examination, conducted by the State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for Primary Six pupils and the Basic Education Certificate Examination for JSS 3 students.
Others were the National Business and Technical Certificate Examination conducted by NABTEB, the Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE conducted by the National Examinations Council, NECO and the SSCE conducted by the West Africa Examination Council WAEC. All the awardees received laptop and plaque while those in the first category received N100, 000 for first prize, second prize N70,000 and third prize N50,000.
Special awards of N100,000 each was presented to three students who distinguished themselves academically including the winner of the Nigeria 2017 edition of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria, MAN, National Competition for Primary Schools, the winner of the sixteenth edition of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, National Quiz Competition 2017 as well as a visually impaired student who secured credit in eight subjects at the 2017 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination.
The State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie said the award was in line with the Support-A-School Program, SASP, approved by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in July last year, which provided a platform for individuals and organizations to contribute to the development of education.
Ebie who recounted the landmarks recorded by the Ministry under the SASP, said the idea of rewarding superlative academic performance, through the award ceremony, would have been impossible, but for the sponsorship offer by the Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited.
He disclosed that the awardees emerged from the examination bodies which technical analysis produced the winners who wrote their examination in Delta State, irrespective of State or Local Government of origin, gender, religion or type of school attended.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, Mr Ebiaho Emafo, said the Company was interested in education, adding that sponsoring the awards was part of their corporate social responsibility programme aimed at improving lives in the local communities of their operations.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the awards and cultural dance by the students of Model Secondary School, GRA, Asaba.