WIEN awards 498 female students varsity scholarship in Rivers State
Nearly 500 female students in Bille kingdom, Rivers State, received strong incentives from the Women in Energy Network (WIEN) to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including university scholarships.
WIEN, an all-female group hosted the platform for professional women playing in the energy industry, gave out scholarships and science education packs to the students in the maiden edition of its Supernova Girl initiative designed to groom young women for roles in the energy and industrial sectors.
Located in the Degema Local Government Area of the state, Bille Kingdom, the scholarship Programme and Science fair was taken deep into the river-rine Bille Kingdom. It provided a forum for WIEN to interact with all critical stakeholders in shaping girl-child education; including traditional rulers, parents, school administrators, teachers and political leaders from Rivers State.
President of WIEN, Funmi Ogbue, declared that the aim of the Supernova Girl Scholarship Programme and Science Fair is to support girls in STEM education and provide broader career paths to enable them thrive.
Out of the 482 beneficiaries of Bille Supernova Girl event, 16 girls from three categories received WIEN’s scholarship and the rest gor high-end education packs for STEM education. School uniforms, sandals, bags and textbooks were also distributed to students at the event.
Ogbue stated that the students form the initial batch of beneficiaries while the Bille programme serves as a pilot scheme for future programmes. She said the Supernova Girl initiative would form WIEN’s signature intervention programme in its nationwide STEM education campaigns.
“WIEN is confident that early contact with group will indeed spark the desire and ambition of the girl child to take a study path that will get them ready for career in the industrial sector.
“The goal is to stimulate our children’s innate capacity and inclination to desire science education as part of our overall plan to accelerate the movement towards full optimization of female talents in the country,” she said.
She further stressed that WIEN’s role is to mentor, point the way forward and partner with future champions to midwife their careers by way of providing learning aids, seminars, scholarships at some points and inspiration. “The scholarships, dressings, books and instructional materials are the ways WIEN intends to stoke the fire of excellence in our girls in STEM education and motivate them to become greater professionals.”
“We are comfortable that the curriculums that guide primary and secondary school instructions are robustly developed and well implemented. What remains a serious concern however is the poor percentage of female students pursuing science and technical studies,” she added.
In his remarks, the highly elated monarch, Agbaniye-jike XVIII, HRM King Igbikingeri Ngwowari Cornelius Herbert, the Amayanabo of Bille Kingdom, who was the father of the day, noted with great delight that Bille is the first in the country to benefit from the Supernova Girl initiative.
He expressed appreciation of his kingdom to WIEN for bringing such a laudable initiative to Bille, saying: “We made several appeals to the oil and gas multinationals to come and do this for us, and severally they ignored us. But now, we are getting it on a platter without having to struggle for it.”
Keynote speaker, Adokiye Tombomieye, who hails from the community, declared support for the Supernova Girl initiative, adding that he would help WIEN sustain the programme in Bille kingdom.
He stated that the prevailing socio-economic situation in the post pandemic world requires that the people of female gender be given the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the recovery and growth process along with their male counterparts.
In expressing the confidence that the objectives of the project would be realised for the good of the Bille kingdom and Nigeria in general, Tombomieye thanked WIEN for taking the programme to Bille. He pledged to contribute in preparing Bille girls for a greater future.
In his speech, former Degema council area Caretaker Committee Chairman and a United Nations POLAC Ambassador for Peace, Mrs. Okorite Adiele, described WIEN’s empowerment programme in Bille Kingdom as divine intervention.
She said: “The iconic restoration of hope in the almost emptied eyes of the Bille Girl Child has been removed at this instance is in tandem with the wise saying ‘Action and Conduct speak better than words’.”
Former Permanent Secretary at Rivers State Ministry of Health, Dr. Justina Junmbo, also emphasised the need to educate the female child as part of deliberate measures against unwanted pregnancy and sexual misconduct.