Soyinka to Deliver Lecture at Oando Foundation, Lafarge Literacy Competition Finals

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Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate and iconic Nigerian Playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka, is billed to deliver the keynote address at the finals of the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition (LANLC) in partnership with the Oando Foundation scheduled to hold on Thursday at the Civic Center, Lagos.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY, yesterday winners of the competition will be awarded educational grants to support their primary and secondary education, which is in line with both organisation’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – improve access to quality public primary education.

The event will also be supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the British Council, endorsed by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education in charge of Basic Education across the country is organised and delivered across all 109 senatorial districts in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, “Nigeria has over 13.5 million out of school children, which calls for collective the efforts of both Government and private sector to salvage the ailing education sector by supporting the implementation of the United Nations resolution in making quality education the right of all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.”

Commenting ahead of the finals, Head, Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke said “Education is the key to achieving all 17 Goals on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Increased support for education is crucial to reaching set targets; hence, platforms that promote partnerships particularly private sector involvement is vital for scaling innovative solutions that address educational challenges. We are proud to associate with Lafarge and other well-meaning organisations such as UNESCO and the British Council to further push the agenda of ensuring every child has unrestricted access to quality education. It is important that partners come together to scale up interventions in the education space. This competition is yet another testimony to the fact that partnerships maximizes scale, evident in the partnership with Lafarge Africa Plc and other stakeholders in bridging the literacy gap in the country”

In July, in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), Oando Foundation brought together a network of active players in the sector to chart a sustainable partnership for growth in the Nigerian education sector. The overall objective of the roundtable was to create a network of private sector leaders within the Basic Education space to explore methods and techniques for supporting elementary education through partnership. The network serves as a platform for further engagement for UBEC and private sector players.

Over the last four years, Lafarge Africa Plc has organised the National Literacy Competition to “bridge the literacy gap” and support government efforts in raising the standard of literacy among pupils in public primary schools and between the ages of nine and 13 years. Since inception, the competition has positively impacted over 500,000 primary school pupils in 886 schools across 544 Local Government Areas (LGAs).