The Director-General, Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance, OEQA, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, has challenged school pupils to embrace the culture of reading books from their formative years.
She said they could dedicate at least 20 minutes of their time to reading books that would expand their horizons and increase their knowledge about life generally on a daily basis.
Seriki-Ayeni gave the charge on Thursday when the Office of Education Quality Assurance and its partner, “iRead Network” took the ‘READ Aloud Lagos’ to pupils of Lagos State Model Primary School at Oba Akinjobi Road, GRA, Ikeja.
The Director-General informed that READ Aloud Lagos, was introduced by her in 2020 to school pupils across the State as part of measures to revive the dwindling culture of reading books while also exposing school pupils to some authors worthy of emulation.
The DG, who led the students in the Read Aloud Lagos by reading different books to the pupils and interacted with them, described the gesture of bringing the Read Aloud Lagos to Lagos State Model Primary School at Oba Akinjobi Road, GRA, Ikeja, as the biggest Children’s Day gift that could be given to the pupils.
She also used the opportunity of the Read Aloud Lagos to present different educational books to pupils of the school as a gesture to encourage continuous reading and also address the challenge of inadequate or access to good books for school children especially pupils at the primary school levels.
Mrs. Seriki- Ayeni urged the pupils to cultivate the habit of reading in order to learn new words and develop their vocabulary usage.
“Reading books will expand your horizons, increase your exposure and make you learn about places you have not been before and even know the culture and way of lifes of other people.
“Apart from this, through Read Aloud Lagos, you can begin to prepare yourself to participate in our Annual Spelling Bee Competition usually organize by Office of Education Quality Assurance to test the vocabulary knowledge among secondary school students, ” she stated.
The Director-General revealed that a Mobile Library was also brought to the school to show the pupils that there were multiples ways through which they could read and learn while also having fun.
She said: “We don’t want reading to be focused on English class alone or a language class. As a matter of fact, reading is basic for all subjects including science subjects and thus explains why teachers and parents are also not exempted from the Read Aloud Lagos initiative.”
The Director of Planning Research and Statistics, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mr. Remi Abdul, said the office was trying to ensure that learners inculcate the habit of vast reading culture so as to enable them acquire knowledge that would develop them to become good leaders in future.
He stated that the office is focusing on effective reading culture by promoting the reading ability of learners in elementary and primary schools.
The Founder and CEO of iRead Network, Miss. Funmi Ilori who coordinated the students in the area of poems and educative songs explained that the organisation is supporting OEQA in order to complement the efforts of the state government in reducing illiteracy and encouraging reading among pupils.
The Head Teacher of Lagos State Model Primary School, Oba Akinjobi Road, GRA, Ikeja, Mrs. Florence Bamgbade, said that the Read Aloud Lagos would stimulate pupils’ interest in reading, in addition to building their vocabularies, speaking and confidence.
One of the pupils of the school, Boluwatife Odusanya, appreciated the state government and iRead Network for the choice of the school for the Read Aloud Lagos project.
She appreciated the Director-General, OEQA for reading different books to them, saying that the gesture will motivate them to be better readers that pay attention to details.