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Reading society deepens reading culture, rewards essay winners

By Bertram Nwannekanma
03 April 2022   |   1:40 am
To deepen reading culture in Nigeria, a not-for-profit organisation, AIFA Reading Society, has honoured winners of its 2020/2021 AIFA essay competition, themed, ‘Learning in the Digital Era’, in Lagos.

To deepen reading culture in Nigeria, a not-for-profit organisation, AIFA Reading Society, has honoured winners of its 2020/2021 AIFA essay competition, themed, ‘Learning in the Digital Era’, in Lagos.

The fifth edition, which was attended by students from public and private secondary schools in Lagos, professionals from the private and public sector and stakeholders in the education sector, held at Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island Lagos.

President of the Society and Vice Chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University, Professor Enase Okonedo, stated that the competition, initially targeted at government-owned schools, has evolved to become the most sought after contest among secondary school students.

According to her, the quality of life of citizens of a country is dependent on the level of education that the nation provides, and the society aims to enhance the quality of education by improving literacy.

She called for stakeholders active involvement in this cause, as many Nigerian children do not have access to quality learning.

In her speech, Director, Google West Africa, Ms. Juliet Ehimuan, explained that technology serves as an equaliser and brings a wealth of empowerment to everyone’s fingertips.

Highlighting the achievements of Olumuyiwa Hastrup, who runs ASOP worldwide, and in fact, won a Richard Branson award for his work, encouraged students and stakeholders present to take advantage of technology to improve their learning skills.

A panel, which interrogated the future of digital technology, noted that COVID-19 revealed teachers’ and students’ inability to use digital tools for teaching and learning.

The panel, which had Director, Science and Technology, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Grace Olayibo Akinfoyewa; CEO/Co-Founder, Tuteria Edutech Company, Mr. Godwin Benson; Founder, Meadow Hall College, Dr Kehinde Nwani; Associate, ICT Practice Unit, Kenna Partners , Mr. Kennethcollins Ajagu and CEO, Purple Shelve Limited, Ms. Amara Chiemeka , discussed the future of digital technology in learning for Nigerians regardless of status.

Moderated by Chiemeka, the panel concluded that the training of more teachers would enable learners to navigate information effectively and efficiently, and more people could be taught.

For the first time, the Young Writers’ Awards had five categories: (a) Junior Category Private School (b) Government-owned School (c) Senior Category, Private School (d) Government-owned School and (e) Teachers’ Category.

In the Junior School Category Government-owned School, Ms. Overo Irenitemi of Girls’ Junior Secondary Grammar School, Keffi, Lagos, received a cheque of N100,000 for the first prize. Ms. Peace Andrew of Girls’ Junior Secondary Grammar School, Keffi, Lagos, came second and Ms. Goodness Deberechi Peter of Surulere Girls Junior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, third received the sum of N50,000 and N30,000 respectively.

For the Junior School Category Private School, Ms. Odusanya Janet of Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba, Lagos received a cheque of N100,000 for the first prize while Ms. Okonkwo Regina Rejoice of Holy Child College, Ikoyi Lagos who came second and Ms. Onus Vanessa of Holy Child College, Ikoyi Lagos who came third received the sum of N50,000 and N30,000 respectively.

For the Senior School Category Government-Owned School, Ms. Olayemi Eunice Ibukun of Surulere Girls Senior Secondary School, Lagos, received a cheque of N150,000 for her first prize effort.

Ms. Olusanya Ifeoluwa of Girls’ Senior Secondary Grammar School came second and Ms. Akhabue Gracefield Onosetale of Magbon Alade Senior Grammar School, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, came third and received the sum of N70,000 and N35,000 respectively.

In the Senior School Category Private School, Master Ekwueme Great, Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, received a cheque of N150,000 for being the first prize winner. Ms. Nnorom Chinonye of Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba Lagos, came second and Master Igbah Ighoyota Marvel of Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, came third. They received the sum of N70,000 and N35,000 respectively.

The Teachers’ Category had Mr. Orolu Mutiu Temitope of Surulere Girls’ Junior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, received a cheque of N200,000 for the first prize. Mr. Adeleke Adeite of Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, Victoria Island, who came second and Mr. Olupitan Moses Olawale of Surulere Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Lagos, who came third received the sum of N150,000,000 and N100,000 respectively.

During the presentation of awards to winners, Director of the Society and CEO, Whyte Cleon Limited, Mrs. Nireti Adebayo, stated that education is about formal or informal knowledge and AIFA Reading Society is committed to ensuring that everyone is empowered with knowledge that could lead them through every area of life.

The award ceremony also hosted an after awards dinner, where guests were serenaded guests with good music and literary performances from poets and authors. Ms. Timileyin Olugbenro, a 16-year-old author, read a chapter from one of her books, A Stitch that Saves Nine.

Director of the Society and Principal Partner, Kenna Partners, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, thanked the sponsors of the Young Writers’ Awards 2022, which include; Kenna Partners, Pillar Oil Limited, Gamaliel & Susan Onosode Foundation, Whyte Cleon Limited, Central Security Clearing System Plc and West African Book Publishers .
He re-emphasised the society’s mission and how it has been committed to empowering people to learn by promoting a reading culture and called for collaboration to make AIFA more impactful.