By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Jan. 6, 2021 Lafarge Africa Plc says it has extended the registration deadline for its National Essay Competition in Nigeria to Jan. 15 to enable more children to participate.
Mr Khaled El-Dokani, the company Country Chief Executive Officer, said on Wednesday in Lagos, that the extension followed calls by parents and guardians of pupils in public schools requesting for more time.
El-Dokani said their calls were to allow their children and wards to take part in the competition.
Theme of the competition is: “Building the Nigeria of My Dreams”.
The contest is in two categories: the Junior category for pupils between the ages of seven and 10 years in public primary schools.
The Intermediate category is for pupils from age 11 to 14 in public junior secondary schools.
El-Dokani said the competition would help improve literacy amongst young adults.
He said that it would also engender loyalty to the nation as they would write about their hopes and aspirations of the Nigerian nation they desire.
El-Dokani encouraged eligible pupils within the age bracket and in public schools to visit www.learnwithlafarge.com to take advantage of the opportunity to further develop their literacy skills.
According to him, the winners stand a chance to win cash prizes of N1.5 million in the Diamond category; N1 million and N750,000 in the Gold and Silver categories respectively, and other exciting educational consolation prizes.
“One of our key sustainability priorities at Lafarge Africa is our commitment to our communities through education.
“We are actively collaborating with the government and the private sector to improve the country’s literacy ratio.
“Toward making an impact in reducing the World Bank estimate, which states that over 80 per cent of Nigerian primary school-leavers cannot read,” he said.
El-Dokani said that the registration portal, which hitherto opened for entries on Dec. 4, will now close on Jan. 15, while short-listing of successful entries would hold on Feb. 28.
“The overall winners in the different categories will emerge on March 15 after their individual presentations to the reviewing panel,” he said.
El-Dokani said the essay competition, which would be held virtually in strict adherence to safety guidelines and protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is aimed at bridging the literacy gap and developing human capital in the country.