By Stephen Adeleye.
An NGO, Ladi Memorial Foundation (LMF), on Monday inaugurated a literacy and numeracy project for adults, ‘out of school’ children and adolescents in Ileke, Ogugu, Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The Foundation, through its institute, ‘the Chateko Vocational Institute (CVI)’ would during the program, train children, adolescents and adults on reading, writing, arithmetic, and vocational training.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony in Olamaboro, the Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of LMF, Arch. Olushola Osikoya, said the institute was committed to assisting school drop outs to attain literacy goals while acquiring technical, vocational education and training.
He added that the institute had been providing training for trainees through formal classroom instruction, non-formal and informal training such as: tailored workshops, seminar and capacity building programmes, to ensure entrepreneurship.
The chairman noted that the foundation had also empowered many unemployed youths on garment making, and donated uniforms in March 2018, to over 103 pupils of LGEA Primary School, Ileke.
He also said that the foundation in August 2018, brought in some expert volunteers to train and empowered over 200 persons on various vocational skills, such as baking, hat making, cooking, among others.
”Today, over 600 textbooks have been provided with writing aides, and teachers recruited for the literacy project.
”Also, about 100 copies of complete sets of Home Economics textbooks for both JSS and SSS, have been procured for the vocational trade courses.
”We are grateful for your support and assured that with the availability of funds, the humble successes will be extended to other communities in due course,” the chairman said.
The Chief of Staff to Gov. Yahaya Bello, Chief Edward Onoja, who was a special guest at the occasion, announced a donation of the sum of N1 million to support the foundation’s activities, and promised to liaise with his friends to complete the ongoing block of classroom project at the institute.
Onoja commended the foundation for the gesture, saying it was in inline with the new direction agenda of the governor in empowering people to be self sufficient and reliant.
He advised the people to always appreciate every good gesture from their leaders and ensure they rallied round them to enjoy continuous benefits from the government.
Earlier, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the LMF founder, said one of the goals of the foundation was to provide career, technical and vocational education and training that equip children, youths, adults, gender and social backgrounds with practical and functional skills.
Osikoya, who is also the Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said the gesture was to empower people to be self-reliant, thereby reducing the burden of out of school young adults and social vices in the society especially local communities.
She commended the Chief of Staff to the governor for his personal donation to supporting the activities of the foundation, while appreciating the governor for giving her the opportunity to serve the people.
”Our dream is to go beyond and reach out to people outside Kogi State. We thanked the governor, the people and all stakeholders who had made this a reality.
”I am very impressed that we have about 57 adults who have enrolled and are not ashamed, but ready to learn how to read and write.
”This is inclusive education and we must bring everyone on board, and I am happy that we are having a good time,” she said.
The commissioner noted that a new department had been created at the level of the ministry, known as ”Inclusive and Non-Formal Education (INFE)”, saddled with responsibility to oversees the activities of adult and non formal education in the state.
Also speaking, Mr Noah Emmanuel, the President of Non-Governmental Association For Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS), noted that this was the first time such kind of project would be happening in Kogi State.
Emmanuel promised to give all the necessary support to LMF, and inclusion in the UNESCO project for literacy support services.
He expressed joy over the large turnout of enrollees for the program, while urging them to ensure the successful completion of all the required courses.
The Ejeh of Olamaboro, Chief Simeon Ujah, commended the commissioner for the gesture saying the project was the first of its kind in the history of the LGA.
The monarch stressed that the project would have great positive impacts in the lives of the youths, adults and children in the LGA, while thanking the community for providing the enabling environment for the institute to operate.
The monarch further urged the community to continue to support the Government of Gov. Yahaya Bello, in order to continue to usher in more developments.
On her part, Mrs Olabisi Oshagbemi, Director, Inclusive and Non-Formal Education (INFE), assured the people of the readiness of her department to give the necessary support in achieving the desired results.
One of the enrollees, Mrs Mary Audu, 61, expressed joy and thanked LMF for the opportunity given her to learn how to read and write at old age.
”With this education, I will be able to read my Bible which will help me to know God more. We are grateful to the foundation,” Audu said.
The LMF donated foodstuffs to the indigent people in the communities including women, such as bags of rice, salt, gari, maggi, guinea corn, among others.