Chairman of Literamed Publications, Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin has stressed the need for parents and government to provide quality books for children to enhance their academic performance.
He made the observation at a briefing in Lagos to flag off activities to mark the 50th celebration of Literamed Publications which include Lantern Leaders Competition for children.
Said he: “In the beginning, our vision was to provide total education by making available books for both learning and leisure. We also considered that good books targetted at children give the right foundation for education at all levels.
“Over 50 years on, the vision is alive through more than 250 curriculum relevant lantern primary and junior secondary textbooks, about 200 culture relevant storybooks, over 150 comics that tell good African stories and about 100 living scrolls comics of Bible stories.
“Lantern books is one of the few publishers with it own press, so the organization exercises full controlof the production process from manuscript to books, thus ensuring high quality books and availability all year round.’’
As part of contributions to support the provision of sound basic education for the Nigerian child, it has trained thousands of teachers nationwide in Lantern Books Skills Upgrade for Teachers (SUFT) workshop.
The Literamed Publication boss also revealed that in partnership with Lagos State Government support Our Schools initiative project, it have made several donations to motherless homes and orphanages.
“To make reading refreshingly fun and bring books closer to the people, we have our book stand filled with exciting storybooks, comics and pre-school books at supermarkets, shopping malls, airport lounges and other non-conventional outlets,’’ he added.
According to him, the briefing marks the milestone of another celebration in the history of Lantern Books and to boost the reading culture, it is flagging off a Leaders Competition for children to win one year scholarship and other prizes by reading one Lantern storybooks every month.
Lawal-Solarin said the scholarship for the first prize is N500,000, laptop and smartphone, second prize is N30,000, laptop and smartphone and third position will go home with N200,000 and smartphone.
He explained that the competition is opened to children aged 5-13 years and will be in four stages while it comprises of spelling bee, essay and brain teasers from the subscription titles.
“Our vision for the next 50 years remains growing education, not just for the Nigerian child, but the entire continent of Africa’’, Lawal-Solarin stated.
He decried the activities of pirate and some unscrupulous salesmen and advised the Federal Government to implement the National Book Policy which stipulates that a child must read five books.
His words: “If government must provide five books to 25million Nigerian children, it must partner with parents and publishers to get the relevant books. If it provides the books, then, it is promoting free education.’’