Director, AIFA Reading Society, Mrs. Folashade Alli (left); Miss Faustina Peace Anani of Magbon-Alade Senior Grammar School; Ini-Obong Alfred of Ajeromi Ifelodun Senior High School; Senior Secondary School category star prize winner, Chidinma Okonkwo of Okesuna Senior High School, Lagos Island and President of ALFA Reading Society, Dr. Enase Okonedo at the event… in Lagos
The issue of a dwindling reading culture among the youth came to the fore recently at the 2017 Little Writers Awards organised by ALFA Reading Society for Junior and Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos. The yearly event, held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, was another bold effort by the society, a not-for-profit organisation committed to the promotion of reading culture and the attainment of sustainable educational development across Africa.
President of the society and Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Enase Okonedo, said the event, opened to junior and senior secondary schools in Lagos, was the high point of activities organised yearly to address the declining reading culture. Stressing that poverty has denied many students access to reading materials, she urged the youth to go back to reading to develop and broaden their minds for development.
According to her, recent study has shown that 40 per cent of Nigeria graduates do not read after school. Okonedo expressed happiness with the acceptance of the yearly Little Writers’ Awards, with the increasing number of schools participating, thereby promoting reading.
The society, she said, also embarked on a yearly book drive to encourage reading among pupils. Expounding on the theme ‘Reviving the Reading Culture: A Prerequisite for Self and National Development,’ Principal Consultant of Discover Your Potential Ltd, Dr. Kunbi Wuraola, said when one cannot read, he cannot write well and if one don’t write well, one cannot speak well. She stressed that everyone has a role to play to revive reading culture in the society
Wuraola said reading is not just studying; it can be pleasure reading and is like a relay race, which requires constant reading to get to the top. Another guest speaker and celebrity writer, El Nukoya said although the wealth of the nation is on younger people, they need self-development for maximum results. According to him, young people should leverage on the their asset to attain their full potentials.
He noted, “We should not be discouraged what they said about Africa not reading because a lot of people are reading. Young people should inculcate the culture of dreaming big and reading to get to the top.”
The star prize for the senior secondary school of N100,000, plus a carton of Cheri Noodle, Blue Boat powder milk went to Miss Okonkwo Chidinma from Okesuna Senior High School, Lagos Island, while the second and third positions went to Miss Alfred Ini-Obong of Ajeromi Ifelodun Senior High School and Miss Anani Peace Faustina of Magbon-Alade Senior Grammar School respectively.
In the junior category, Ibiyemi Wuraola Hafsat of Magbon-Alade Junior Grammar School came first, while Bejide Tunmise of Magbon-Alade Junior Grammar School and Eze Mary-Ann of Ajeromi Ifelodun High School came second and third respectively.
In the teacher category, Ajani Sunday Oluyemi of Girls’ Junior Academy, Lagos Island, came first, while Onaneye Salewa of Lafiaji Senior High School, Lagos Island, and Mr. Martins Odiagbe of Magbon-Alade Senior Grammar School came second and third in that order.
Apart from cash rewards, all winners went home with cartons of Cheri Noodle, Blue Boat powder milk, from Olam International, and a school bag from ACCION Microfinance Bank. A total of 14 schools attended the award ceremony.