. . . Winners Smile Home with Cash Prizes
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
As part of their efforts to awaken the dwindling reading culture among the students and the youths, an advocacy group known as Making Orumba Great Again (MOGA) in collaboration with Alumni Association of Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State, recently organized a reading competition, tagged 'Readers Challenge' 2019 edition.
The event which was held at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Auditorium, main campus Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Main Campus, attracted Orumba North and Orumba South L.G.As students from various secondary schools and universities across the country, as participants.
In their various addresses presented at the event, the MOGA President, Mr. Victor Okoli and the President, FCE (T), Umunze Alumni Association, Mrs. Laeticia Udodiri Ugwu, noted that the 'Readers Challenge' competition was a programme targeted to awaken and promote reading culture among the youths and young stars of Orumba North and Orumba South L.G.As.
According to the MOGA president's address, 'Reader's Challenge is an offshoot of MOGA and it is targeted at revamping the reading culture of the youths in Orumba South and Orumba North L.G.As. It is crystal that when people read, they are educated. Education is the most powerful weapon with which we can change the world. We are happy to start off the processes of this change through this programme, from Orumba South and Orumba North Local Government Areas of Anambra State'.
The Reader's Challenge was divided into two categories which included Young Stars Category of 11-17 years old and Youth Category of 18-25 years old.
In the 2019 category as stipulated by the organisers, the young stars category read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for six hours with one break period after which they wrote an exam based on the novel.
This was even as the participants of the youth category read Anthill of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe for the same six hours with one break period after which they wrote an exam based on the novel they read.
Presenting his keynote address, Professor Gershon Ejeckam stated that education was the bedrock of any nation. According to Ejeckam, any nation that neglected education, neglected the future of its youth, and consequently the future of the nation.
He urged the youths to cultivate the habit of reading as the intellectuals remained the custodians of knowledge and those that promote society advancement. Ejeckam observed that it lied on the youths to re-evaluate their values, their vision and mission, and to accept their responsibility in the society.
He added that it was expected of the government to recognize the problems which were encountered by the youths, and put in place a sound and robust policy that would bring about youth development and advancement of the country.
On the choice of career, Ejeckam advised the students to choose careers that fit their temperament, skills and personality, so as to get equipped for great opportunities.
Earlier, in a welcome speech, the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Dr. Tessy Okoli, called for concerted efforts to revive the dwindling reading culture and enhance writing skills. According to the provost, who welcomed all the participants to the College, improved reading culture and enhanced writing skills were necessary for the needed knowledge to serve the country well.
She urged the youths to always take advantage of the knowledge, information and education available in books. This was even as she commended the organizers for making out time on impacting on young stars.
The first position winner of the 2019 Readers' Challenge in the youth category was Marah Bright Ifechukwu a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka (in affiliation with) FCE(T), Umunze while Ifeanyichukwu Okoyeocha, a student of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Favour Ozioma Ibekwe, student of FCE (T) Umunze, won the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
In the young stars category, Makuochukwu Jacinta Agba, a student of Community Secondary School, Owerre-Ezukala won the 1st position. 2nd position, Akachukwu Precious Chigozie, a student of Ezira Community Secondary School, won the 2nd position while Jacinta Oluebube, Isaac, a student of Madonna Girls secondary School, Umunze, got the 3rd position.
The 1st position winners of both categories smiled home with prizes of N50,000 each; the 2nd position winners of the two categories went home with prizes of N30,000 each while the 3rd position winners got N20,000 each for both categories. A total of 170 participants participated in the free competition.