As part of efforts aimed at improving literacy in the country, Alewa House President and Plateau State 2023 Gubernatorial Aspirant Retnan Daser has come up with an innovative way of making books available in schools and communities across Plateau state.

Driving the initiative for the pilot project is ‘The Reformers’ a not-for-profit organisation in partnership with Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers National Student’s Forum (NIMechE-NSF),  Alewa House, FAFME, AutoLady Inspire Foundation, Nenis Foundation and Government Secondary school Hai Rayfield, Jos

The Chief Launcher, Daser, on launching the first library: “The Reformers-NIMechE Public School Library” on the 20th of November 2020, said in his speech: “we understand that books are critical to sustainable development. Through this unique project, our goal is to provide resource-friendly libraries in schools and communities. We believe these libraries are innovative and best attuned to the resource-constrained communities we are targeting through this project.”

“Next year, I want to set up a public library in every community in Plateau State. People would probably think it is a non-people oriented project, because the government of past years has made it seem like important projects are only stomach based, hence the popular saying in government: ‘stomach infrastructure’. But, I am very certain of the long term impacts that projects like this always bring. Like I tell the students that I have had the privilege to teach, I say  that all of my effort, time and dedication in class is for one student. Just one person that is able to run with the vision”

“When you have reading leaders, you will see traces of innovation in the entire system of governance. Government then becomes what it should be; A system where the led are aware of their rights, and are not afraid to question. In the same vein, the leaders are aware of their duties and do not mind constructive criticism and a call to accountability’

“Over the years, in the north, there has been deliberate efforts to discourage education. The northern elites are deliberately impoverishing the people. Education is a weapon to fight oppression, and a large number of people in northern Nigeria are constantly oppressed, because they have been robbed of the tools to fight”

“This is a fight to weaponize communities with books and other educational materials to contribute towards raising the standard of education in the country. Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children, and until that changes, there will be no visible change in how the people respond to mediocre governance. We are working towards a literate society, and  literacy is a word to depict acquisition of knowledge, not only writing or reading, but acquiring sustainable and efficient skills.”

“An education that promotes enquiry and gives the child space to use, test and reformulate knowledge is an education that readies children for the future. One that gives children the opportunity to draw together the separate strands of their studies and formulate conclusions, following their academic interests – this is an education that develops critical thinking, civic responsibility as well as literacy, bilingualism, numeracy and an appreciation of the Arts and the Sciences – not simply an appreciation of what distinguishes Art from Science, but also a personal revelation of what connects them”

“This library project will not only be the heart of such an education, but it will also be a power house where communities, will learn to find ways to liberate themselves, build their own communities, and together drive changes that will affect the society and the nation at large”

Categories: Local News

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