*The founder Olise Omolu Foundation, Chief Sunday Omolu, (4th left) with students of St George’s College Obinomba, Delta State during the presentation of the books.
By Japhet Alakam
Recent developments have revealed that the reading culture among Nigerians, especially the youths and students have waned significantly. And as part of efforts to stem the tide, a non governmental organistation, Olise Omolu Foundation is set to introduce a reading competition among some schools in Delta State. This was disclosed by the founder of the foundation, Mr Sunday Omolu shortly after donating over 100 novels to his alma mata, St George’s College Obinomba, Delta State.
Omolu who stated that the move was his own little way of promoting reading culture among youths in his community said he has been supporting Educational projects because education is the bedrock of any nation. “A nation that neglects education, neglects the future of its youth and consequently the future of the nation. We talk about children being out of school, and some end up as drug addicts, street urchins, so it beholves on every man and woman that has the means to help in contributing to the education of the youths. What we have just done is our little way of contributing to the future of the nation,” he stated.
Omolu who was accompanied by members of St George’s College Old Boys Association and the Principal of the school, Rev. Father Bekibele during the event disclosed that the foundation which is in its fifth year, has been helping school children in many ways. “We started from Ezionum which is our pilot project, where we provided school uniforms for about 600 children, provided 9000 exercise books, trophys and when the state government made interhouse sports compulsory for all secondary schools, within 2weeks of notice we contributed our quota towards financing the interhouse sports for Ezionum Grammar school Ezionum, Delta State.”
On how to make sure that the books are well utilised, Omolu pointed out that the foundation is working towards introducing libraries in some of these schools and that from next session they will introduce reading competitions among secondary schools. “We have selected four secondary schools in Delta State where we are focused now. Prizes will be given to them, and we are also working with the local education boards there, and they are very enthusiastic to support us.”
He further stated that apart from Delta State, the Foundation has been assisting children in various ways. Recently when Vanguard newspapers reported a story that children of Sogunro community near Iwaya, Yaba Lagos access their schools on canoes without life jackets, the foundation provided life jackets for the children in partnership with the Lagos State Water Ways. And that really changed the story of the children and the fear of getting drowned while going to school ended.
Contnuing, he said, “like I earlier said, after the first trial reading culture competition, we are going to involve the government.At present, we are liaising with the Local Government, and after that we intend to go up to the state. Even here in Lagos, we are already working towards replicating such a program too, and we will make sure that our desire to increase the reading culture in areas we are concentrating on are given a flip.”
On whether he was unfortunate not have quality education,he said, “Not exactly, but I was a beneficiary of people’s large , during my education, my father was a fisherman and when the Federal Military Government banned our people from going to fishing during the civil war, my education was almost stalled but a friend in the village where I was schooling told his parents, and they came to my rescue and paid my school fees, it was a big relief. So I took a cue from that, and vowed to assist people in my own little way.”
Finally, he called on Old Boys to come to the aid of their alma mata in the provision of infrastructures to the school and also commended those who have been supporting the foundation for the past five years.Related