Hess and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) have awarded 125 new scholarships to academically qualified but underprivileged local students who entered senior high school in late October.
Frank McKay, General Manager, Hess Ghana Exploration Ltd., made the announcement at a secondary school in western Ghana during an event marking the fifth annual scholarship presentation by the two companies.
The students selected this year bring the total number of scholarship beneficiaries to 521 under the Hess-GNPC Scholars Program. 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,” he said.
Last year, two additional companies – Fueltrade Ltd. and Lukoil Overseas Ghana Tano Ltd. – joined Hess and GNPC in supporting the program.
“We hope the achievements of the first and second group of Hess-GNPC Scholars, will motivate the new students to also excel in academics,” McKay said.
Alexander Mould, Acting Chief Executive of GNPC congratulated the scholars and 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.
“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,” he said.
“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.” 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 program initially targeted students in three districts – Nzema East, Jomoro and Ellembelle – with an emphasis on girls’ education. Since, it has been expanded to six coastal districts.
The scholarships cover 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.
McKay said that in addition to paying the school fees, the scholars are also provided with ongoing counseling and mentoring 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 future leaders.