Writing, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a medium of human communication that represents language with signs and symbols. Writing as an important form of communication allow individuals express their thoughts, opinion, emotions and personal experiences on diverse issues of life. It is unarguably a basic skill which is a prerequisite for academic and professional growth in the transitioning world.
In line with this truth, the AIFA Reading Society has organized its 4th Young Writers’ Awards (YWA). The Young Writers Awards is an event that celebrate young minds who emerged winners in the Society’s Essay Writing Competition. The competition targeted at government-owned secondary school students and teachers, was aimed at discovering the creative thinking and analytical skills of students and teachers to write on significant educational concerns.
The annual YWA which was held on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, under the distinguished Chairmanship of Professor Enase Okonedo, Dean, Lagos Business School and the President of the Society brought together notable figures within the country.
Professor Okonedo in her opening remarks emphasized on the need to imbibe a reading culture in citizens of the country, particularly the young ones, highlighting the importance of this to ensuring sustainable development in the country.
Present at the award ceremony was a representative of the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Abiola Seriki Ayeni, Director General for Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Lagos State. In her keynote address, Mrs Ayeni commended the Society for its constant promotion of competitive reading culture and sustainable educational development strategy that transverse Africa and for staying glued to its vision.
One of the major activities of the event was a panel session to educate participants on the current state of the educational system in Nigeria and ways to reposition it for relevance in a technological-driven society. This panel session was moderated by Mrs. Mary Agbu, Executive Director of Multiplan Pathway College. Members of the panel include: Mrs. Adeyoyin Adesina, the Chief Executive Officer of Corona Schools Trust Council; Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of the Education Partnership (TEP) Centre; Mr. Stewart King, Principal of the British International School, Lagos and Ms. Adaobi Oni-Egboma, an Associate at Kenna Partners.
Awards were presented to students and teachers with exceptional performances from the Essay Writing Competition. In the Junior category, the best writer Ms. Adams Mary Anjolajesu of Magbon Alade Junior Grammar School, Magbon Alade, Ibeju Lekki was awarded the sum of NGN50,000. The second place winner, Ms. Tomon-Kehinde of Okesuna Junior Secondary School was given the sum of NGN30,000 and Ms. Asika Lydia of Ajeromi Ifelodun Junior High School, who came third, received the sum of NGN20,000. In addition to the cash prize, the winners also received textbooks from Learn Africa Plc.
For the Senior category, the best writer award of NGN 100,000 was awarded to Ms. Ajala Gloria of Magbon Alade Junior Grammar School, Magbon Alade, Ibeju Lekki. Second place winner, Ms. Timothy Jesse Yali of Magbon Alade Senior Grammar School Magbon Alade, Ibeju Lekki, received the sum of NGN50,000, while third place winner, Ms. Oluyemi Esther Oreoluwa of Surulere Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Mosalasi-Mushin, Lagos went home with NGN25,000.
In the teachers’ category, Mr. Ajani Sunday Oluyemi of Girls’ Junior Academy Lagos Island came out overall winner and received the sum of NGN150,000. Second place winner, Mr. Odiagbe Martins Iyere of Magbon Alade Senior Grammar School Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, received the sum of NGN100,000, while third place winner, Mr. Awoniran Johnson Akinlolu of Magbon Alade Junior Grammar School, Magbon Alade, Ibeju-Lekki, received the sum of NGN50,000. In addition to the above stated gifts, plaques were presented to both Panelists and Awardees for their immense contribution to the success of the event.
Other activities to colour the day include poem recitation by students of Covenant Hall School Victoria Island Secondary School and musical presentation by the Covenant Hall School Band.
The Young Writers’ Awards ceremony was supported by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Olam Nigeria Limited, Central Security Clearing System Plc (CSCS) and Kenna Partners.