Edo State Wins Lafarge National Literacy Competition
Edo State has emerged the winner of this year’s Lafarge National Literacy Competition.
The state contingent, represented by 11- year old Yusuf Hassan and 10-year old Faith Toun-Agbai emerged winners in the keenly contested finals. The other finalists were Plateau, Anambra, Ondo, Kano and Gombe. The first runner up was Ondo State while Kano and Gombe emerged 3rd and 4th respectively.
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Delivering a keynote address at the event, Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili commended Lafarge for taking its initiative to public primary schools across the country. Decrying the longstanding neglect of public schools in Nigeria, she called on the private and public sector as well as faith-based organisations to join hands in addressing the crisis in Nigeria’s education sector. Dr. Ezekwesili maintained that human resources are the country’s greatest asset. It is an asset, she however added, which could also become a liability if our population is poorly educated.
In his remarks, The Chairman of Lafarge Africa Plc., Mr. Mobolaji Balogun, lamented Nigeria’s rather low literacy rate, which stands at 59.6% (for people aged 15 and above) which is significantly below the global average of 86.3% and the sub-Saharan Africa average of 64%.
He added that an intervention like the Lafarge National Literacy Competition would help boost the rate if all stakeholders devoted more time and resources to improving the quality of education in Nigeria.
On his part, the CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc., Mr. Michel Puchercos, commended all the finalists for putting up a spirited performance throughout the competition, from the local government, state and regional finals.
“For an initiative that started as a Reading Project across the five locations where Lafarge Africa is present,’ Puchercos said, ‘the competition has grown into a national event today
The impact achieved here is beyond the
children you see here today. Our overall target is to lay a solid foundation for improving the literacy level across the country.”
Also speaking, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development at Lafarge, said the competition was designed to touch lives of our diverse people in a sustainable way.
Lafarge Africa Plc., she continued, was pleased with the positive impact it had in the past four years. She disclosed that over 2,700 public primary school students took part in the competition while over 300,000 primary school pupils across 244 LGAs have been impacted since the competition began in 2014.
The National Literacy Competition is one of the initiatives of Lafarge Africa Plc. to support government efforts at raising the standard of English Language in public and primary schools.
It is in line with the company’s sustainability strategy – The 2030 Plan – with the ambition to enhance the quality of life for all. The 2030 Plan is grouped into 4 pillars: Climate, Circular Economy, Water and Nature and People & Communities. The literacy competition falls under the People & Communities pillar.
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