Funmi Ogundare

Lafarge Africa Plc, recently held a book reading session for children in an effort aimed at ensuring that they develop skills through reading and writing, to commemorate International Literacy Day, with theme, ‘Literacy Through Skills Development’.

The children who are between the ages of 9 and 13 years and drawn from public primary schools across the 109 senatorial districts, were being coached in reading and writing in preparation for its national literacy competition.

Speaking at the programme in Lagos, the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem said education is part of its social responsibility initiatives, adding that the intervention kicked-off with a national planning meeting with SUBEB representatives from all 36 states and the FCT who provided insights for the competition.

The run-offs to select the representatives from each state, she said, will begin from September 17 to 27 across the country.

“The regional run-offs of the competition will hold across all six geopolitical zones of the country in Abuja, Enugu, Cross River, Ogun, Kano and Gombe in October. The grand finale of the fifth edition of the competition, will hold on November 15, in Lagos where winners will be awarded prizes.

Ambrose-Medebem said since the inception of the competition, with the support of Ovie Brume Foundation. over 500,000 primary school pupils in 886 schools across 544 local government areas have been impacted.

Emphasising on the poor reading culture in the country, the Head Sustainability and Brand Lafarge Africa Plc, Mrs. Temitope Oguntokun; said, “When it comes to browsing the internet , I think there has to be a balance but the children needs to be aware about what is happening in their environment. It is a global village, so they need to go to the internet to understand what is happening around them.

“But then, they also need to balance it because currently, they are at the level where its mostly about their studies which needs to be taken care of. For us, this is why we are keen on promoting literacy. We have been running the Lafarge international competition for the past five years and our aim is to be able to support children to develop skills that will help them read and write; and comprehend to make them better citizens of Nigeria and of Africa and become global citizens.”