By Gabriel Dike
Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading cement and building materials provider has announced the commencement of its 4th Annual National Literacy Competition with regional run-offs in October and the grand finale in November.
The competition is in line with the company’s sustainability strategy – The 2030 Plan –which stipulates its ambition for the construction – with a vision of enhancing the quality of life for all.
State run-offs were held in September and regional finals are taking place across the country this month.
The grand finale for this year will hold in November in Lagos where six winners made of three boys and three girls will be awarded national prizes. Public school students from the 109 senatorial districts in the country are taking part in the competition. To evaluate the reading and writing abilities of the pupils, tests would be conducted on essay/summary writing and spelling bees.
In the past four years, Lafarge Africa Plc has held the National Literacy Competition to support government efforts in raising the standard of English Language in public primary schools. Primary school students between the ages of 9 and 13 years are the primary target for this competition.
Since the inception of the competition, over 200,000 primary school pupils from 244 Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been impacted.
The competition is organized with support from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Lafarge Africa’s implementation partner, the Ovie Brume Foundation.
The Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem while commenting on the vision of this initiative remarked that: “We want to help create more literacy enhancement opportunities for several indigent students in Nigeria. We have been doing this successfully for the past four years and we are quite pleased with the positive impact we have made so far. It’s all about touching the lives of all our diverse people in a sustainable way.”
Mrs. Ambrose-Medebem further stated that Lafarge Africa Plc understands the key role education plays in the development of any society hence the need to engage the leaders of tomorrow on critical literacy skills at an early stage.
Situating the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition in the overall sustainable development strategy of the company, she said: “this initiative is in line with the LafargeHolcim2030 Plan, which articulates our efforts to improve the sustainability performance of our operations focusing on developing innovative and sustainable solutions for better building and infrastructure.” According to her, it goes beyond the company’s business activities and plans to achieve this vision by focusing on four categories of action: Climate, Circular Economy, Water and Nature and People & Communities. “Each of these classifications has specific actions and targets to ensure we achieve our ambitions.
It is in our People & Communities category that our National Literacy Competition is making a difference,” she concluded.
Plateau State won the North Central Regional finals of the competition. Plateau will represent the region in the finals in Lagos next month. For the rest of this month, other regional finals will hold in the other five geopolitical zones.