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On UN Literacy Day: Gov Fashola Goes To School

Posted by The PM News on 2008/09/09 | Views: 1362 |

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On UN Literacy Day: Gov Fashola Goes To School


Lagos state governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Monday, celebrated the United Nations International Literacy Day by taking time off the State Executive Council meeting to read a passage from a popular novel to pupils of St Peterís Anglican Primary School , Alausa, Ikeja.

Lagos state governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Monday, celebrated the United Nations International Literacy Day by taking time off the State Executive Council meeting to read a passage from a popular novel to pupils of St Peterís Anglican Primary School , Alausa, Ikeja.

Governor Fashola, who read from pages 38 to 44 of the The Drummer Boy, written by the late Cyprian Ekwensi, at a programme titled "Lagos State Reads", held at the School premises, also took time to ask questions based on the passage from the pupils.

He advised that just as the passage has taught the pupils about being able to keep promises as a matter of honour, no one should make commitments when he is not sure it is something he can redeem.

He added that knowledge through reading is the easiest way to combat poverty, adding that "the only thing I took away from my parents was very good education which involved reading a lot".

He added: "Reading is not only about education, but a total knowledge of what happens around us. Engaging in pastimes such as reading newspapers, books and articles enables you to visualize and understand what is happening beyond the shores of where you are, and that gives you information about what is happening in other states in Nigeria ".

Governor Fashola urged the young ones not to be deceived or scared by superstitious beliefs being peddled by some people such as the issue of human beings transforming into animals, saying such claims lack scientific proof.

He appealed to media practitioners to mind the kind of information they put in the public domain as children are reading, watching and listening to some of the outputs and should rather encourage our children to be bold, courageous and adventurous.

He described the programme, which is a joint initiative of Rainbow Book Club and Lagos state government, as a privilege and opportunity for him to give back what he has received as a child, recollecting vividly his english comprehension classes in primary school, where the teacher usually reads a comprehension passage to the pupils before asking them to write summaries about their understanding of such passages.

Governor Fashola explained that the programme is a further demonstration of the commitment to improve on education, as the human resource of the country is its greatest assets.

The Lagos state helmsman added that an educated population would even be a greater asset to the nation, adding that some of the decisions he has had to take as a governor have been influenced by some of the residual knowledge he gained overtime, which, though appeared useless then, but has now come in handy.

The Governor expressed the hope that he would have succeeded with the programme in inspiring the children into a culture of reading, not only for knowledge, but for developing and arming themselves with a tool to fight poverty.

He also called for the striking of a balance in terms of provision of hard copies and e-copies of books for children to engender reading culture, urging parents to allow kids access safe libraries on the internet where it is possible.

The governor told the pupils that from the passage read, it has been shown that God has a special purpose for each personís life and no one should be regarded as an invalid because of his special needs or circumstance.

While demonstrating their understanding of the read passage, two of the pupils, Miss Hannah Ashaobi and Master Qudus Ajenifuja, said the passage taught good lessons like not being selfish in our relationship with fellow human beings as well as being able to control our temper at all times

Speaking earlier, the Co-ordinator of the Rainbow Book Club, Mrs Koko Kalango, said the Club is one which stresses the importance of reading as a very important way of life, adding that the occasion presents a unique opportunity as it was the first time a governor would be reading to some pupils.

The Drummer Boy, which took inspiration from the old Nigerian minstrel, Pa Benjamin Aderonhunmu (a.k.a Kokoro), is the story of a blind minstrel, Akin, who was rejected by his parents due to his physical challenges, but who, through his creativity and hardwork, succeeded in rebuilding the business empire of a particular woman who had lost everything.

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