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The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Joseph and Eunice Oladaiye Foundation (JEOF), High Chief Ademola Oladaiye, was so poor that he couldn’t buy the recommended textbooks during his days at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). Yet, he graduated with a First Class degree in Mathematics and later had his MBA at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Oladaiye, who lost his dad at 14, recalled his humble beginning, while addressing students of Ransome Kuti Memorial Senior Grammar School, Mosalasi, Mushin, Lagos State, during the commissioning of a modern library donated recently by the Western Union Foundation and Ecobank, in collaboration with the JEOF Foundation.
He attributed his success to good use of the library and urged the students of Ransome Kuti Memorial Senior Grammar School to read in order to succeed in life. He stressed the need for students to imbibe the habit of voracious reading at an early stage of their life.
“By reading, I don’t mean restricting your reading habits to only your curriculum textbooks, but also reading various literature books, novels, newspapers, etc. All these help you to improve on your vocabulary, self-confidence, critical reasoning and understanding skills,” he explained.
Oladaiye blamed the poor reading culture prevalent in today’s society on negative trends in the society. According to him, some young people lost interest in reading due to the neglect of education over the years, such that many primary and secondary schools lack good libraries and where it exists, there are no books. He indentified also the negative effects of social media on students, as some spend most of their time surfing the internet for information that doesn’t add value to their lives.
He advised the students to make good use of the library, saying, “Challenge yourselves to be better students and citizens, inspire yourselves to be much more than you are. I know this is very possible because I have walked in your shoes before; I have seen poverty and lived with it for so many years after the death of my Father when I was 14 years old. My poor mother and I passed through so many storms. However, I never took my eyes of the goal, I never allowed circumstances to stop my dream. Despite all odds, I graduated from the University with a First Class in Mathematics; through the use of the school library, because I could not afford to buy a single recommended textbook then.”
Oladaiye said school libraries play a very special role in enriching those students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and who need additional help to develop their skills needed to succeed. He promised that JEOF and its partners would continue to invest in projects that would improve lots of school children.
“School libraries are important cornerstones of healthy educational development. Libraries give you the opportunity to explore, experience new ideas, get lost in wonderful stories, while at the same time providing information, education and a sense of belonging for students to gather especially during their leisure time. The school library is often the only readily available source of comprehensive information needed by students in school,” he added.
The Programme Director, JEOF, Clare Henshaw, said the foundation visited several schools located in the socially and economically disadvantaged parts of Lagos State to conduct a needs assessment test. Based on the assessment, Ransome Kuti Memorial Senior Grammar School, Mushin emerged as the beneficiary of the 2016 ‘Read to Succeed’ school library project. She also expressed satisfaction with the innovative approach to learning in the school and commended the Principal, Mrs Christiana Olubunmi Dosumu for setting an enviable standard.
Clare said 1,299 hard cover books and 100 e-books were donated to the library, including fiction and non-fiction, books of renowned authors, motivational books, recommended textbooks, comic books, novels, literature books as well as other interesting books. She expressed optimism that the good use of the library by the students would help them improve their communication skills, as well as their level of competence… read more >>