Regional Winners Emerge in 2019 Annual Lafarge Africa’s Literacy Contest

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Regional winners have emerged in the sixth Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition, which started in August 2019 in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Two winners each emerged from Ogun, Rivers, Enugu, Kogi, Gombe, and Kastina States at the end of the regional competition last week. The winners, Daniel Alao, Divine Nwafor, Ledee Prosper Barikpoa, Emmanuelle Nuakuadeekari, Michael Anigwo, Kosisochukwu John, Yakubu Abdulbaki, Abdul Mumuni Zarfira, Ibrahim Muhammad Hussaini, Aisha Yusuf Abdullahi, Jamila Gambo and Muhammadu Salele will proceed to the grand finale in Lagos on November 7, 2019.

The competition is part of the company’s contribution to the strengthening of public education in order to bridge the literacy gap in Nigeria. The company has received support and endorsements by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Federal Ministry of Education.

Launched as a flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) intervention by Lafarge Africa in 2014, the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition has since grown to become a national initiative positively impacting children and teachers across the country. “Our target was to increase the literacy skills of 500 primary school pupils in our host communities by at least 25 per cent.

“Since its inception, the competition has impacted more than 700,000 primary school pupils in 1,665 schools across 544 local government areas (LGAs). Lagos State won the competition last year and we look forward to this year’s highly contested grand finale,’’ said Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development.

According to Ambrose-Medebem, promoting literacy and the education over the years has proven to be an effective approach to alleviating poverty and improving the well-being of the society, hence the company is leveraging on the national literacy competition in achieving equality and fostering sustainable development across Nigeria.

The competition which now is in its sixth edition, is organised and delivered across 109 senatorial districts in all 36 states, including the FCT; working with implementation partners – State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEBs), TEP Centre and Ovie Brume Foundation.

The Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand Manager, Titilope Oguntuga added: “Lafarge Africa’s Annual National Literacy Competition is an intervention in Nigeria’s education sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Four which focuses on ensuring inclusive quality education and learning opportunities for all. It is also part of the company’s overall sustainability ambition hinged on four pillars, including climate and energy, circular economy, environment, and community. Our annual National Literacy Competition sits under the community pillar.”

According to her, over the last six years, the company has continued to introduce new ideas as a way of improving the competition and making it bigger.
“This year, we introduced the computer based testing (CBT) for the first time as a mode of assessment. The tests include a reading assessment exam using a questionnaire of forty objective questions, summary writing, essay writing and an off competition spelling bee. After being coached using specially developed study guides, select pupils compete in a state run-off, which sees two candidates, male and female emerge to compete at the regional levels. The winning regions then proceed to the grand finale where six winners will emerge.”