Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd. and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) have successfully launched their fifth annual scholarship awards at Nsein, near Axim in the Western Region.
The “Hess-GNPC Scholars Program” was established to support academically qualified but underprivileged students.
While making the announcement at the Nsein Secondary School, Mr. Frank McKay, General Manager, Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd, confirmed that 125 new scholars have been selected for the 2016/2017 academic year. The students will begin their studies in six partner institutions and will enter Senior High School in late October 2016.
The students selected this year bring the total number of scholarship beneficiaries under the Hess-GNPC Scholars Program to 521.
McKay emphasized that the excellent performance of previous scholars motivated the partners to maintain this year’s intake.
“The size of the first year’s beneficiaries, 71, was based on the need to develop the program efficiently and measure success. Now that it has been tested with excellent results, we are pleased to expand the recipient districts to create room for other prospective students.
“We hope the achievement of the first and second group of Hess-GNPC Scholars, will motivate the new students to also excel in academics,” Mr. McKay said.
Commending the scholarship beneficiaries on their selection, Mr. Alexander Mould, Acting Chief Executive of GNPC said, “We expect that you approach your studies with seriousness to justify this award to enable you to climb further up the educational ladder, with the support of your parents and your community.”
He added, “GNPC views the education of our people as a priority; hence our investments, which include the construction of basic school infrastructure fully equipped with ICT labs to improve teaching and learning in our communities.”
“We believe that our country’s greatest resource is its people and thus set up the GNPC Oil and Gas Learning Foundation in 2012 to provide institutional focus to oil and gas-related subjects at the postgraduate level. So far, our Learning Foundation has sponsored 184 postgraduate students to various universities across the world,” Mr. Mould concluded.
The “Hess-GNPC Scholars Program” was developed in response to a study of the health and educational needs in Ghana, and in the coastal districts of the Western Region in particular, to identify potential areas where the companies could make a measurable and sustainable difference.
The Scholarship initially targeted students in three districts – Nzema East, Jomoro and Ellembelle – with an emphasis on girls’ education.
Since then it has been expanded to six coastal districts. It covers the entire government-approved school costs (boarding fees, administrative fees, books, kits, uniforms) as well as other necessary expenses (trunk, chop box, mattress, pocket money, etc.) for three years of Senior High School, Vocational Training or Health Training (Nursing), depending on the student’s preference.
Last year, two additional companies – Fueltrade Ltd and LUKOIL OVERSEAS GHANA TANO LIMITED – joined Hess and GNPC in supporting the program.
This year’s launch extends the scholarship program to include students from the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan area.
Scholars are selected through an application and Interview process supported by the District Education Directorate (DED).
Criteria for selection is based on BECE scores, a personal statement from prospective scholars, chosen program, gender and family situation.
Shortlisted candidates are interviewed individually by a Panel comprised of representatives from the Traditional Council, Fishermen Associations, District Education Directorate, District Assembly, District Parent Teacher Association, Hess Ghana, and GNPC.
Hess’ Mr. McKay added that in addition to paying the school fees, the scholars are also provided with counseling and mentoring on a regular basis to support their academic efforts. He appealed to parents and the community at large to provide support to these hard working young students who will become our future leaders.