R-L Otunba Ayobade Obajimi Tutor general/Permanent Secretary Education district 3 Ikoyi Lagos; Mr Steven Evans CEO Etisalat and Mrs Bisi Awoyemi Project director Lagos Education and Resource Network during The Etisalat's Adopt-A-School Career Counselling programme at Akande Dahunsi Memorial High School in Lagos. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke.

By Emmanuel Edukugho
In pursuance of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the Society, Etisalat, one of Nigeria’s leading innovative telecommunications company, has initiated a career counselling session for students of Akande Dahunsi Senior High School, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos which took place last Friday.

Executed under the auspices of Etisalat Nigeria’s Employee Volunteer Programme, the beneficiary school (Akande Dahunsi High School) is one of the schools Etisalat Company has adopted under the Adopt-A-School Initiative of the Lagos State Government.

At the counselling session attended by the representative of Lagos State First Lady, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Tutor General and Permanent Secretary, Education, District 3, Director of the Lagos Empowerment and Resource Network (LEARN) an NGO founded by wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Principal, Vice Principal and teachers, students of the school were taken through detailed information required to guide their decision are career paths in Marketing Law and Computer Science by experienced Etisalat employees in these three specialisations.

Etisalat CEO, Mr. Steven Evans, in his opening remarks said that the event is a huge landmark for the telecommunications company as it is the first demonstration of its commitment to internal CSR.

“Internal CSR is a concept we strongly believe in and are therefore committed to building within our staff so they can better appreciate and understand volunteering and becoming better citizens of the nation in the process.”
According to him, “we are a product of the society in which we live and do business,” adding, “that is why at Etisalat, we are committed to contributing to development in all levels of society.”

He explained that through the programme, Etisalat employees will have the opportunity to fulfill their desire of impacting the society positively. They will be encouraged to volunteer their  time and employ their skills in providing career counselling as well as mentorship to students of secondary schools.

“We are aware that students need appropriate guidance towards making the right and fulfilling career choices because a wrong career move may have some serious negative long-term effects. As a responsible corporate organisation, Etisalat’s CSR initiatives rest on the tripod of Education, Health and the Environment.”

Evans assured that the company will be working on this project with the Lagos Empowerment and Resource Network (LEARN) and plan to make this career counselling programme “our value addition to the Adopt-A-School Initiative of the Lagos State Government,” pointing out, “it will be an ongoing project and will happen at least three times yearly in our adopted schools.”

He disclosed that Etisalat has adopted three schools – Akande Dahunsi Memorial Secondary School, Rabiatu Thompson Primary School and Edward Blyden Memorial Primary School in the Adopt-a-School initiative of the Lagos State Government.

“At the moment, we are constructing 3 blocks of classrooms from scratch at both Edward Blyden and Rabiatu Thompson primary schools. Every year, we give out a minimum of 300 scholarships to students of various higher institutions across Nigeria in our Etisalat Merit Award Scheme.”

He also mentioned the recent commissioning of the Etisalat CSR centre of the Lagos Business School of Pan Africa University with a view to setting the agenda for present and future leaders as well as key policy and decision makers.

“As we progress on the volunteer scheme, I am full of hope that the objective of imparting knowledge through guidance and counselling of our young school children on the right career path would have been achieved at the end of the scheme,” Evans said.

The session, which lasted for nearly five hours involved presentations that provided, working definitions of the various professions, explaining what the professionals who do them really do, detailed requirements needed to undergo course of study in the higher institutions of learning, learning of the world of opportunities that studying these courses opened up to them and how they could specialise in different areas of which ever of these professions they chose to study.

The presentations also touched on the various challenges associated with the professions, the roles of professional bodies of the professions, among other discussions. At the end of each presentation, students were told to ask questions which many of them did, and the relevant answers and clarifications provided by the speakers, to the utmost satisfaction of the students.

After the highly stimulating and educative discussions which tended to enlighten, broaden their knowledge and understanding of their career options and dreams, the students left the venue contented, satisfied and rewarding.

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