KIKUUBE – At least USD 14,000 (Shs.49,500,000 million) has been given out to students from Hoima, Kikuube districts and Hoima City who excelled in last year’s national examinations.
The money was given out by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda, one of the companies involved in the exploration of oil in the Albertine Graben.
CNOOC is taking the Kingfisher oil field in Buhuka parish Kyangwali sub-county in Kikuube district onshore of Lake Albert.
Kingfisher field development area is spread over approximately 344kms in the Lake Albert Rift Basin in western Uganda.
The oil field is situated on the eastern bank of Lake Albert, which acts as a border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It was discovered by the Kingfisher-1 wildcat well in 2006.
The funding will go to 180 pupils and students from the three local governments selected by the offices of the District Education Officers (DEOs) based on the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) results released early this year.
This is part of a prize codenamed the CNOOC Best Performers Award, introduced in 2012 to primarily encourage better performance in Hoima, Kikuube districts and Hoima city.
The money was received by the Education department of the respective local governments who will in turn give it to the beneficiary students.
CNOOC Uganda Corporate Affairs Advisor, Alan Zhanga said, CNOOC is committed to improving education standards and building a cordial relationship with the communities in their areas of operations.
However, he challenged the communities in the region to get prepared by educating their children and engaging in production so as to be able to benefit from the oil and gas industry.
He noted that the sector is going to provide a lot of opportunities which will require skilled personnel and quality supply of goods and services.
Johnson Kusiime Baigana, the Hoima City Principal Education Officer applauded CNOOC Uganda for the support and advised the beneficiaries to use the money for the right purpose.
He explained that sometimes parents grab the money from the beneficiaries for their personal interests such as alcoholism and other domestic works.
However, he also demanded CNOOC to change the policy of awarding the students to see that even the students from the government schools benefit from the initiative.
“All these awards have gone to students from private schools because they consider students who performed 100% and sometimes all these students are from rich families, if they change this policy, Universal Primary Education (UPE) students from poor families who perform well will also have a chance of benefiting from the initiative.”
The Kikuube district Vice Chairperson, Opio Vincent commended CNOOC for the awards adding that the initiative is contributing to the district’s effort towards promoting the education sector in the area.
He however said, the education system in the district is facing several challenges such as inadequate staff quarters, class room structures and staffing among others and appealed to development partners such as CNOOC to offer support to the district to address such challenges.
Brian Kaboyo, the Hoima City Mayor, was optimistic that the awards will encourage students to double their effort in studying and this will contribute to the improvement of performance in schools.
He added that the awards are a motivation to the students adding that the element of motivation of the learners is still lacking adding that such challenges affect the performance of students and pupils mostly in the government schools.
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