On Friday, February 18, 2022, Kenna Partners joined AIFA Reading Society at its 5th edition of its Young Writers’ Awards, the themed “Learning in the Digital Era”. The event was held to honour winners from its 2020/2021 AIFA Essay Competition at Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island Lagos, attended by students from public and private secondary schools in Lagos, professionals from the private and public sector and stakeholders in the education sector.
In her opening remarks, Professor Enase Okonedo, President of the Society and Vice Chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University, stated that AIFA Essay Competition has evolved as it initially targeted only government-owned schools. However, given the goal to instill a reading culture in all young people, a new category – Private Schools Category – was introduced, and the competition was therefore extended to private schools.
She noted that although society had experienced learning through technology, the advent of Covid had accelerated the pace of learning and in turn, aggravated the gap between the haves and have-nots.According to her, the quality of life of citizens of a country is solely dependent on the level of education that the nation provides, and the AIFA Reading Society aims to enhance the quality of education by improving literacy. She called for an active role by stakeholders in this cause as many Nigerian children do not have access to quality learning.
The Keynote Speaker, Ms. Juliet Ehimuan, Director, Google West Africa, explained that technology serves as an equalizer and brings a wealth of empowerment to everyone’s fingertips.Highlighting the achievements of OlumiyiwaHastrup, who runs ASOP worldwide and won a Richard Branson award among other accolades for his work, she encouraged students and stakeholders present to take advantage of technology to improve learning.
Our Associate, Kennethcollins Ajagu of the ICT Practice Unit, Kenna Partners joined other panelists – Mrs. Grace Olayibo Akinfoyewa, Director, Science and Technology, Lagos State Ministry of Education; Godwin Benson, CEO/Co-Founder, TuteriaEdutech Company; Kehinde Nwani, Founder, Meadow Hall College; and Amara Chimeka, CEO, Purple Shelve Limited as the Moderator to discuss the future of digital technology in learning for Nigerians regardless of status. The discussion further addressed the fact that Covid-19 was on eye-opener that teachers and students are unable to use digital tools for teaching and learning, emphasising the urgency for which facilitators of knowledge need to be trained. They concluded that the training of more teachers would enable the learners to navigate information effectively and efficiently, and more people could be taught.
For the first time, the 2022 Young Writers’ Awards had five winners’ categories, includingJunior Category – Private School and Government-owned School, Senior Category – Private School and Government-owned School, and Teachers’ Category.
In the Junior School Category Government-owned School, Overo Irenitemi of Girls’ Junior Secondary Grammar School, Keffi, Lagos, received a cheque of NGN100,000 for the first prize. Peace Andrew of Girls’ Junior Secondary Grammar School, Keffi, Lagos, who came 2nd and Goodness Deberechi Peter of Surulere Girls Junior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, who came 3rd received the sum of NGN50,000 and NGN30,000 respectively.
For the Junior School Category Private School, Odusanya Janet of Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba, Lagos received a cheque of NGN100,000 for the first prize while Okonkwo Regina Rejoice of Holy Child College, Ikoyi Lagos who came 2nd and Onus Vanessa of Holy Child College, Ikoyi Lagos who came 3rd received the sum of NGN50,000 and NGN30,000 respectively.
Proceeding to theSenior School Category Government-Owned School, Olayemi Eunice Ibukun of Surulere Girls Senior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos received a cheque of NGN150,000 for the first prize. Olusanya Ifeoluwa of Girls’ Senior Secondary Grammar School came 2nd and Akhabue Gracefield Onosetale of Magbon Alade Senior Grammar School, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, came 3rd and received the sum of NGN70,000 and NGN35,000 respectively.
In theSenior School Category Private School, Master Ekwueme Great, Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, received a cheque of NGN150,000 for the first prize. Nnorom Chinonyeof Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba Lagos, who came 2nd and Master. Igbah Ighoyota Marvel of Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, who came 3rd received the sum of NGN70,000 and NGN35,000 respectively.
The Teachers’ Categoryhad Orolu Mutiu Temitope of Surulere Girls’ Junior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, received a cheque of NGN200,000 for the first prize. Adeleke Adeite of Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, Victoria Island, who came 2nd and Olupitan Moses Olawale of Surulere Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, who came 3rd received the sum of NGN150,000,000 and NGN100,000 respectively.
During the presentation of awards to winners, Nireti Adebayo, Director of the Society and CEO, Whyte Cleon Limited, stated that education is about formal or informal knowledge and AIFA Reading Society is committed to ensuring that everyone is empowered with knowledge that can lead them through every area of life.
This award ceremony also hosted an after awards dinner where guests were entertained with music and literary performances from poets and authors. Timileyin Olugbenro, a 16-year-old author, read a chapter from one of her books, ‘A Stitch that Saves Nine.’ Her book narrates her experiences as a teenager, capturing the excesses of teenage years, whether at school or home. It also warns of peculiar dangers that are against teenage advancement in life.
Thanking the sponsors of the Young Writers’ Awards 2022 – Pillar Oil Limited, Gamaliel & Susan Onosode Foundation, Whyte Cleon Limited, Central Security Clearing System Plc and West African Book Publishers – Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, our Principal Partner and Director of the Society, reemphasized the mission of AIFA Reading Society and how the Society has been committed to empowering people to learn by promoting a reading culture. He urged everyone present to join the society and be a part of the impactful work being done.