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Education: Inspiring a new generation
Education can open the door to opportunities, helping many people to move out of poverty and build a better future. Our scheme in India teaches contracted workers to read and write, while in Nigeria we support students to attend top schools. In Australia, Indiana Jones lends a hand in bringing science alive for children in remote towns and villages.
We are working across the world to give more people the chance of a good education.
From cradle to career - scholarships in Nigeria
In Nigeria access to good, affordable education is limited. Shell companies in Nigeria are helping reduce illiteracy levels in the Niger Delta, giving students the chance of a brighter future.
In 2013, the Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited awarded 1,795 scholarship grants to secondary school students and 850 to university undergraduates. This added to over 14,000 beneficiaries over the 50 years of these.
The Cradle-to-Career scheme pays full board for the brightest children from rural communities where SPDC operates in the Niger Delta to attend good secondary schools.
The scheme aims to boost academic excellence and, in the three years since it began, has benefited 240 schoolchildren.
"I don’t have to sell plantains any more to support my poor parents,” says Obienne Margret, who received an award to attend the Arch Deacon Brown Memorial College in Port Harcourt.
“I now attend one of the best schools in Nigeria."
Below in photos, see the story of 16-year Isaiah Inaibo, whose plans include studying to become a chemical engineer and one day building a house for his parents.
Shell Questacon Science Circus
Australia has some of the most remote towns and villages in the world, from Murray Island near the Great Barrier Reef with a population of just 450 to Pipalyatjara in the Gibson Desert.
To help engage young students and spark their interest in science, in 1985 Questacon, the Australian National University and Shell launched a unique three-way partnership to take science out into far-flung communities.
University students take interactive science exhibits to schools and town halls – a programme known as the Shell Questacon Science Circus.
By 2015, over 400 students who worked with the circus will have gained a postgraduate qualification in Science Communication from The Australian National University in Canberra.
“The circus uses theatre to engage people across cultures, even when English isn’t their first language,” said Bobby Cerini, who helped present the science circus in 1997.
“For example, we imitated Indiana Jones to show the physics in the way he rolls to escape danger, as well as his problem-solving.”
More than 2.2 million school students, their teachers and families have visited the Science Circus in 490 towns and 90 indigenous communities.
Others are now interested in adopting the science circus model, including the Chinese Science Centre in Beijing and the International Science Circus Safari in Africa.
Bringing out the best in young Filipinos
Unemployment is on the rise in the Philippines, according to the National Statistics Office Labor Force Survey, with figures reaching 7.5% in April 2013 compared to 6.9% a year earlier. Around half of those unemployed are aged 15-24.
Shell, on behalf of its joint venture partners, operates and develops the Malampaya deep-water gas-to-power project in the Philippines. We launched a training programme through the joint venture’s social arm – the Malampaya Foundation – to help tackle the growing problem of unemployment. The programme, called Bridging Employment through Skills Training (BEST), aims to equip people in communities close to Shell operations with vocational and life skills that will help them find work.
BEST scholars are trained in welding, pipe-fitting, piping insulation, scaffolding, construction or machining. Other sessions improve participants’ communication skills and confidence, along with their English, to position them for better employment opportunities.
Between 2007 and early 2014, the programme benefited almost 2,000 Filipinos in Batangas, Oriental Mindoro and Palawan, where we have project facilities.
“Many things have changed in my life – especially with what I earn now,” says Bayani Bayta, who used to be a farmer earning just enough to survive day-to-day.
He received technical training, including how to perform in line with the health, safety, security and environmental standards of international oil and gas as well as construction industries. Now Bayani is working on the Malampaya Phase 3 project, the first offshore gas platform to be fully built in the Philippines.