Community leader, foundation donate free text books to schools in Oyode community
By Francis Sadhere
President, Oyede Development Union (ODU), Surveyor Peter Akarogbe in conjunction with Every Child Counts Initiative For Education (ECCIFED) on Thursday donated free text books to all schools in Oyede Community, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Handing over the book to the schools during the occasion of the special donation and presentation of the free text books at Comprehensive High School, Oyede, the President of ODU said the gesture was born out of the need of the union to contribute its own quarter to the development of educational standard and eradication of illiteracy from the community.
He added another reason for the donation was that the reading culture of the Nigerian child has drastically dropped and has seriously affected the quality of the output they now have in the schools, stressing that the reading culture of Nigerian children has fallen to 30% according to the United Nation (UN) rating.
He said, “Research has also shown that this less reading habit and culture recorded amongst our students today is also a result of non-availability good and qualitative reading material and article for our children.”
Akarogbe, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Iterlen Industrial Services Ltd, added that a lot of Nigerian children were ready to read books and improve themselves but that poor funding of today’s school libraries by the government of the day, diversion of donated books to schools by the Government or private sectors have deprived the children of their dreams.
He thanked the initiator and founder of ECCIFED, Dr Veronica Ogbaugu who he said, was the brain behind the donation of the books to the children, adding that without her, the occasion would not have come to reality.
Initiator and Founder of ECCIFED, Dr. Ogbuagu who spoke at the occasion lamented that Nigerian children lack the basic educational foundation that will make them contribute to the growth and development of the country, adding that reading as a part of learning in Nigerian schools is a dead culture.
She said, “We are a Non-profit, Non-governmental organization that is committed to the course of children, youths and women. We teach young people life skills. We promote good health and quality education. We believe that every child must be educated to enable him realize his potential and contribute meaningfully to the development of the society.”
Ogbuagu, a former Delta State Commissioner for Education and proprietress of Chinkelly High School, Ekpan lamented that over 80% of Nigerian public primary schools pupils and secondary schools student are poor readers who have problem with comprehension of what they read due to poor foundation.
“As a teacher and the initiator and founder of and NGO, ‘Every Child Count Initiative for Education’ (ECCIFED), I decided to campaign for the donation of books from “Books For Africa,” USA. The campaign for books donation is designed to acquire books free of charge from our donors and distribute them to schools free of charge. We are determined to end book famine in Nigeria,” Ogbuagu said.
The Chief Inspector of Education, Isoko North local government council, Mr Solomon Oyenenue in his goodwill message said the donation of the free text books will help to redirect children from the vices induced by the social media and inculcate in them good study habits.
He said, “I am indeed grateful that your organization believes that every child counts and that proper foundation should be laid for our children. Once a sound educational foundation is laid at the elementary level, it iwill be easier and cheaper to train the children at every other level.”
Principal of Oyede Comprehensive High School, Mrs Roseline Ogbo who spoke on behalf of the schools thanked Akarogbe and Dr Ogbuagu for the gesture, saying that they were delighted and overwhelmed to be among the chosen schools in Delta to benefit from the project.
She also called on other NGOs, individuals and cooperate bodies to key into the innovation demonstrated by ECCIFED, noting that the gesture has complimented government’s efforts in teaching and learning process as government cannot do it alone.