By Albert Ohams
It was an exciting time in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Tuesday, January 31, 2016, as the Ihezie Foundation, a charity organisation based in the United Kingdom, unveiled the first batch of one million educational textbooks donated to schools and universities in Anambra State.
Mr. Aloysius Ihezie, a British-born native of Mgbidi, Orlu West Local Government Area of Imo State, is the chairman of the foundation.
The Ihezie Foundation, Daily Sun gathered, presented the textbooks in partnership with the Anambra State Ministry of Education to promote reading, literacy and numeracy attainment in schools throughout the state.
It was a historical moment at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, as the first 500,000 textbooks donated by Ihezie Foundation were unveiled. The foundation announced that the second batch of 500,000 books would be presented in the very near future.
The Ihezie Foundation’s key objectives are aimed at assisting partners in Africa to eradicate illiteracy, enhance educational standards and, most importantly, place African students at par with their counterparts in the developed countries of the world.
The special guest at the event was the deputy governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, who unveiled the textbooks, assisted by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha.
In his speech, Okeke pledged the support of the state government to the foundation in completing the donation and distribution of one million textbooks to Anambra.
On his part, Ihezie said: “We are very aare that in the UK children have an abundance of books, whereas the availability of such books in Africa, including here in Nigeria, are much more restricted and in some instances absent.
“Donating these books enables us to demonstrate our solidarity with the students of Anambra State and to support the Ministry of Education in all their efforts to provide increased educational opportunities for Anambra State children.”
Michael Bloedorn, CEO of the Ihezie Foundation, commended the Anambra State government for its partnership with the foundation and its efforts in the distribution of the textbooks.
He praised the state government for providing support for the continued aims of the charity, adding that the foundation’s aim is to ensure that all schools and universities in Nigeria and across Africa benefit from the foundation’s educational empowerment programmes with an abundance of textbooks.
It was with excited smiles that the head teachers and students of more than 1,000 schools received their consignment of textbooks. There were long lines of school buses and vans waiting to collect and distribute the 500,000 textbooks to the secondary schools and universities across the state.