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Chevron donates hybrid libraries to Adamawa, Kano schools

Oil firm Chevron has donated hybrid libraries to two schools in Adamawa and Kano in what analysts say could be the first time children there…

Oil firm Chevron has donated hybrid libraries to two schools in Adamawa and Kano in what analysts say could be the first time children there would hold a mouse.

The hybrid libraries, equipped with VSAT internet connection, feature conventional paper and electronic books, along with customizable electronic library platform that allows teachers to digitize reading material that students can access on any of 21 internet-enabled workstations, which could also aid future digital-based examinations.

Each, sited at Aliyu Musdapha College, Yola and Government Secondary School, Wudil, also comes with water supply, diesel generator, inverter and reprography units.

“The facilities should not be seen as an end in itself,” said Jeffrey Ewing, director of Texaco Nigeria Outer Shelf (TNOS), a Chevron affiliate, at the donation last week in Abuja.

“Its value is not in its structure, but its use,” he added in comments delivered by Sam Otuonye, manager for policy, government and public affairs at TNOS, which holds licence OML 132 for offshore mining but spreads its corporate social responsibility to communities far away from the hub of the industry.

Kano state education commissioner Tajudeen Gambo said the government had already posted specially trained teachers to man the electronic library in hopes of changing popular apathy toward reading and library use.

He spoke of similar pilot programmes in two Kano schools where students get solar-powered tablets preloaded with required academic texts.

Some 50 students from Adamawa and Kano were awarded scholarship in medicine and engineering last year, funded by Agbami partners—a coalition of oil firms operating one of Chevron’s largest oil field, with 900 million barrels in recoverable reserves 113 kilometres offshore.

Ewing said TNOS was proud of its pivotal role in developing education but would continue to contribute to “improvement of standards of education and the development of superior manpower for Nigeria.”

Fidel Pepple, group general manager for NAPIMS, an affiliate firm, said, “We believe that our investment should not just be in the nuts and bolts of the industry but also in people.”

“One of the challenges facing the development of oil and gas industry in Nigeria and globally is the dearth of skilled manpower, which we call the big crew change,” he added in comments delivered by NAPIMS community development officer Ogor Mena.

“Investments such as this in the education sector would help address this issue.”

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