Accra, May 16, GNA – The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has presented science equipment, chemicals, reagents and glassware to the Science Laboratory Department of the Accra Technical University (ATU).
A gas chromatograph with five cylinders, water bath, and various chemicals including assorted acids and alkali, safety equipment, fume chamber, various glassware, centrifuge, heating mantle among others were donated.
The donation, which is part of GNPC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), would go a long way to deepen the relationship with the two institutions in order to promote excellence in science and engineering education.
Dr Kwame Amoah Baah-Nuakoh, the General Manager of Sustainability, GNPC, and Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation, the CSR wing of the Corporation, led a six-member delegation to present items on behalf of the Board and Management of the Foundation.
Other members of the delegation include Dr Patrick Ofori, the GNPC Sustainability Manager; Mrs Carmen Bruce-Annan, the Corporate Affairs Manager; Mr Eric Pwadura, the Deputy Corporate Affairs Manager; Mr Jonathan Ato Kobbie, the Senior External Affairs Officer, and Mr Peter Odjawo of the GNPC Research and Design Laboratory.
Dr Baah-Nuakoh said for the first time GNPC introduced a local scholarship for students in the tertiary institutions, in which 900 Ghanaian students had been granted scholarship to pursue various programmes for the 2017/2018 academic year.
He said undergraduate students were being given a bursary of GH¢9,000.00 per year, which covers tuition, accommodation and living expenses.
He said the objective was to train Ghanaian students for the oil and gas sector and help them to also acquire skills for all sectors of the economy.
Dr Baah-Nuakoh said the Corporation had also established four professorial chairs in four public universities to the tune of four million dollars.
These include the Chair for Petroleum Geoscience at the University of Ghana; the Chair of Petro-Chemical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Chair of Mining Engineering at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa (UMaT) and the Chair of Petroleum Commerce at the University of Cape Coast.
He said under the professorial chairs, they would be helping the various universities to build their laboratories, capacity of their staff at the PhD level and each of them were to receive annually 250,000 dollars over the next four years.
“So each of these four universities is getting, over a four-year period, one million dollars to upgrade their laboratories, improve the skills of their lecturers and conduct research, which is relevant to the oil and gas industry,” Dr Baah-Nuakoh stated.
He said, this year, under the auspices of GNPC, the Chemistry Department of the University of Ghana would host a summer camp training of science teachers from the basic and senior high schools across the country.
“We want to make the teaching and learning of science more interesting,” he added.
Dr Ofori said as part of GNPC’s efforts to promote science and technology education in the country, a one-year split side scholarship programme would be rolled out for teaching staff of the technical universities who were pursuing PhD degrees locally to go abroad for further studies.
Mr Martin Owusu Amoamah, the Dean of the School of Applied Science and Arts, ATU, who received the items, expressed gratitude to the GNPC for the kind gesture.
He said the donation was timely as the Department was hard pressed due to lack of adequate equipment, which were very expensive.
He said the University, in pursuit of its mandate to train students hands-on in various disciplines, was pursuing Competency-Based Training curricula in their science and technology departments; hence the need to ensure that there were adequate supplies of equipment, chemicals and consumables for both class work and examination.
“It is worth noting that the Science and Engineering Department of the University now conducts Competency-Based Examinations where actual practical work is carried out by students during the end of semester examinations.
“This, we believe, goes a long way in ensuring that products of this University are abreast of the use of modern equipment in various industries and can, therefore, easily fit into such establishments,” he said.
He said the donation would go a long way to help them in carrying out practical training of science students in the Department.
Professor Edmund Ameko, the Vice Chancellor of ATU, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the GNPC for coming to the aid of the Science Laboratory Department of the University.
He appealed to the Corporation to adopt one laboratory in the University and equip it to the state-of-the-art level to facilitate excellent teaching and learning.
In attendance was Prof Sylvester Achio, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of ATU.