… Adazi-Nnukwu praised for library support
GOOD education is the best gift any parent can give to a child and there are over 13million out-of-school children in Nigeria today, due to poverty, early marriage, crisis, and other such reasons.
Former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdị Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Awka, Stella Okunna stated these at the 2020 International Literacy Day organised by the Anambra State Library Board (also known as Prof. Kenneth Dike State Central E-Library, Awka), in collaboration with the Nigerian Book Foundation (NBF).
Noting that anyone who does not know how to speak, read or write in his own indigenous language is a stack illiterate no matter his educational level, Prof. Okunna, who is the first female professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria and former Commissioner in Anambra State further decried the rate at which ndị Igbo no longer use or show interest and concern for Igbo language, as everyone claims and speaks English.
“…UNESCO has already predicted that Igbo language will go extinct by the year 2050, which is just about 30 years from now. Ndị Igbo, we shouldn’t allow this to happen to our language. I therefore charge every Igbo parent to start teaching their children Igbo language and culture. I also urge you Igbo students and youths to learn how to fluently speak, read and write in Igbo language, so as to save our language from dying off as predicted by the UNESCO,” she added.
Earlier in her opening remark, the Director, Anambra State Library Board,Nkechi Udeze said the aim of the annual event was to promote literacy among all and eradicate illiteracy in the society, which she said, was a bane of development in every aspect of human endeavour.
Describing this year’s theme of the event — “Literacy Teaching and Learning in COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond” as apt in relation to the world’s experience in learning and teaching in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic; Dr. Udeze noted that the world is now going digital while literacy has gone beyond reading and writing, hence the need for everyone to upgrade and be ICT-inclined.
The Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Uche Nnyagu of the English Language Department, UNIZIK, said the value of quality education could never be over-emphasised.
In a vote of thanks, the General Manager of the Nigerian Book Foundation (NBF), Ms. Nneka appreciated the various individuals, groups and schools that took part in the event, pledging that the duo of NBF and Anambra State Library will not relent in their effort towards promoting literacy among all.
Others who participated at the Awka event included the Director, Emeka Anyaoku Foundation, Ms. Nguzoro Oluchi; Public Affairs Analyst, Sir Dennis Ekemezie; as well as the Admin Officer of the NBF, Mrs. Gloria Chukwurah.
Among other activities, the event featured book reading, poetry rendition, and drama by various groups, including the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra Chapter).
In a related development, Adazi Nnukwu community has been described as Library-most supportive community in Anambra State.
The Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze disclosed this at another edition of the 2020 International Literacy Day commemoration held at Adazi-Nnukwu Community Library in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. She said the community library stands out among the other community libraries in the state both in terms of performance and operation; while the community stands out among others in terms of support to and management of their library, as well as participation in library-related activities.
According to her, “among other things that make Adazi-Nnukwu stand out, the community is also the only community in the state that has a Special Committee on Library, absolutely separate from the community’s Education Committee, which shows the level of value the people of the community place on library and learning.”
While urging the people to sustain the beat, she noted that International Literacy Day is a day set aside by the United Nations in 1966, to celebrate and promote literacy across the world, even as she advised everyone to always make use of the library, to enthrone literacy and eradicate illiteracy and ignorance. She says the event holds on September 8th of every year.
In his address of welcome, the President General of Adazi Nnukwu Town Development Union (ATDU), Chief Francis Mmadubuike, represented by the first Vice President, Chief Tonny Obijindu, appreciated the Anambra State Library Board for hosting the event in the community, even as he pledged continuous support of the town’s apex body to the community library.
In their respective lectures at the event, Mr Peter Ibe of Ozubulu Branch Library harped on the importance and advantages of literacy, library usage and knowledge acquisition to the young and old, to include making one to stand out among others, and making one to be resourceful and contributory to the development of the society; while Nurse Ikenwa Uchechukwu of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka (COOUTH), blessed the participants with tips on how to promote good healthy living for now and for the future.
On her own part, a retired Library Director at Wisconsin, United Kingdom, who is also an indigene of Adazi Nnukwu, Dr Mrs Ego Enemuoh described library as a centre of knowledge and learning, and also pledged to sponsor the creation of a children’s section in the librar, exclusively and specially equipped for children.
In their respective votes of thanks, the Branch Librarian of Adazi-Nnukwu Community Library, Mrs Perpetual Okonkwo, the Committee Chairman, Adazi-Nnukwu Library Board, Chief Peter Okafor Etika; some other members of the committee, Chief Eddy Anarado and Chief Livinus Nnebedum appreciated the participants and hailed the Anambra State Library Board for contributing to development of knowledge in the Community.
Others who spoke at the event included some clan chiefs of the community, Chief Chike Ezimora and Chief P.N. Obiakonwa; the Secretary General of ATDU, Chief Goddy Ezeani, and a retired deputy director, National Youth Service Corps, Mr. Ozomma Ikechukwu Joseph.
The event featured essay presentations from some students of the various participating secondary schools, including Miss Peace Kenechukwu Anarado of Ado Girl’s Secondary School, Onitsha; and Munachi Ejike of Loretto Special Science School, Adazi Nnukwu, ably led by Miss Precious Ndubuisi Oluebube (teacher).
The celebration of this year’s International Literacy Day was also replicated at various branches of the state library, including Ozubulu Branch Library, Ihembosi Branch Library, among others.