By Bennett Oghifo
Lafarge Africa Plc., the Nigerian operations of the world’s leading building materials company, LafargeHolcim, has extended the registration deadline for its National Essay Competition in Nigeria to 15th of January, 2021 to give more interested children the opportunity to participate. This is in response to calls by parents and guardians of pupils in public schools requesting for more time to allow their children and wards to participate in the competition.
Themed “Building the Nigeria of my dreams”, the contest which is in two categories: the Junior category, for pupils aged 7-10 years in public primary schools and the Intermediate category, for pupils aged 11-14 in public junior secondary schools, will help improve literacy amongst young adults and also engender loyalty to the nation as they will write about their hopes and aspirations of the Nigerian nation they desire.
Following the call for the extension, Lafarge Africa’s Country Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Khaled El-Dokani, encouraged eligible pupils who are within the age bracket and in public schools to visit www.learnwithlafarge.com to take advantage of the opportunity to further develop their literacy skills even as they stand a chance to win cash prizes of 1.5m in the Diamond category; N1m and N750,000 in the Gold and Silver categories respectively as well as other exciting educational consolation prizes.
He said: “One of our key sustainability priorities at Lafarge Africa is our commitment to our communities through education and we are actively collaborating with the government and the private sector to improve the country’s literacy ratio towards making an impact in reducing the World Bank estimate which states that over 80 percent of Nigerian primary school-leavers cannot read.”
The www.learnwithlafarge.com portal which hitherto opened for entries on the 4th of December 2020 will now close on the 15th of January, 2021 while short-listing of successful entries will hold on 28th February, 2021 and overall winners in the different categories will emerge on the 15th of March 2020 after their individual presentations to the reviewing panel.
The virtual National essay competition is built on the recognition that the depth and quality of the country’s human capital are as important as its physical infrastructure. The essay competition which is aimed at bridging the literacy gap and developing human capital in the country is being held virtually in strict adherence to safety guidelines and protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic.