The author of the “Book
of the Month” of March, 2015, Professor Zaynab Alkali, Department of English Nasarawa State University, Keffi, has revealed that memories of her childhood as a teenager inspired her to write the book, “The Virtuous Woman”.
Speaking to The Tide at the weekend in Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, venue of the presentation of the book, professor Alkali hinted that the book was a quest to present the life of a typical strong-willed village girl in the northern part of Nigeria.
“I think childhood memories (inspired me) because as you can see, it’s a kind of tracking my journey when I was in my teens from my village to my school, as a typical girl from the northern part of Nigeria who aspires to be educated”, she said.
The book, a narrative of the travails of a strong-willed girl from a humble northern family in her quest to be educated, even with the disadvantage of disfigurement caused by polio attack as a child, the author said, has not had the expected impact on the society of its setting.
“It has not impacted enough, actually, because most of the things in the book are still happening. Though I can say that the book is still relevant to today’s situation, the impact of the book is not much.
“This is because for a book to make an impact, it has to reach the people. But there is a problem in that because people are not reading”, she said.
In spite of this, however, she said the book has a lot to offer to school children morally.
“There are some pieces of moral advice in the book which school children who are able to read the book may gain from what has been written”, she explained.
CommenTing on the “Book of the Month” a former don at the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ebiegeri J. Alagoa, noted that while the programme will improve the reading culture of Nigerians, its significance is confined in the city.
“It is signifant, but the success has been confined largely to Port Harcourt. I do expect that later, there should be a plan to send it to cover the whole of Rivers State and I hope other parts of the Niger Delta.”
“The virtuous woman”, which was the 12th book to be presented as “Book of the Month” to mark the one year of Port Harcourt being the World Book Capital from April 2014.
Highlight of the occasion was discussion of key elements of the book by students comprising two males and two females picked from four secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
There was also drama presentation on the book.
Stories by Sogbeba Dokubo
UNICEF, Adamawa Train 50 Girls On Digital Innovation
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB), has begun a three-day training exercise for 50 girls on digital innovation.
The exercise is designed to prepare the girls ahead of the national competition as part of activities to mark the 2021 International Day for Girl-Child Education.
The United Nations has proclaimed October 11, as International Day of the Girl-Child.
The theme for this year is “Digital Revolution: Not Without Girls.”
Mr Joel Jutum, UNICEF Education Consultant, who spoke at the inauguration of the exercise, said that 10 participants were selected from each of the five participating local government areas of the state.
Jutum listed the councils to include Fufore, Guyuk, Hong, Yola South and Yola North.
He said that 10 best performing girls would be selected at the end of the session, adding that five of them would represent the state in Abuja while the remaining five would be honoured in Yola on Oct. 11.
In her remarks, Mrs Wilbina Jackson, Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development reiterated the state government’s commitment towards ensuring quality girl-child education in the state.
Jackson, represented by Mukhtar Tukur, Director, Human Capital Development of the ministry, said that the state had attained over 70 per cent computer and ICT compliant in the public schools.
She stressed the need for the girls to understand that they have the potential to change the world in the future.
Also speaking, Dr Salihi Atequ, Chairman of the Board, admonished the girls to take the advantage of the exercise and study hard for a better future.
Atequ, however, decried the high rate of rape and other forms of abuse against girls, and charged them to focus on their studies to achieve academic excellence.
On her part, Dr Jiddere Khaibo, Chairperson, High Level Women Advocate (HILWA), an Adamawa State based NGO, urged the girls to study hard so as to become good mothers and contribute positively to their families and the society.
She also urged the state government to give more employment opportunities to women.
Securing Nation, A Collective Responsibility -Lecturer
A polytechnic lecturer, Mr Adegoke Adejumo, on Saturday, said that ensuring the nation’s security is a collective responsibility which should not be left alone to the government.
Adejumo, Head of the Marketing Department, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, gave the advice in Osogbo on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the department’s 2007 alumni.
“Safety is a shared responsibility, which must not be left in the hands of security personnel alone, but must be supported by individual, corporate, and social entities.
“All stakeholders must support government at all levels in the fight against banditry and kidnapping.
“The issue of insecurity has impacted a lot on the social economy of the country, leading to the loss of lives and property.
“It has also affected the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is scaring away investors willing to come into the country,’’ he said.
According to the don, government must urgently think outside the box to find solutions to the current challenges facing the country.
He added that everybody was a stakeholder so should assist security personnel in taking proactive step to tackle the issue of insecurity.
“I want to say that insecurity, unemployment and extremism have a lot to do with governance and must be given adequate consideration and not separated from each other,’’ he added.
Adejumo called for behavioural change among the die-hard extremists, who delighted in escalating tensions and heating up the polity.
He praised the alumni for organising their AGM, adding that such gathering would foster love and unity amongst them.
Adejumo also appealed to the executives of the 2007 set to support and render hands of love to their fellow colleagues who were on the verge of success.
Earlier, Mr Moshood Adeyemi, the newly elected President of the alumni group, commended the Federal Government for its effort in tackling the issue of insecurity in the country.
Don Wants Institutions To Prioritise Character In Educational Pursuits
A university teacher, Prof. Prince Nwachukwu Ololube, has called on institutions across the nation to place emphasis on character as much as education for a balanced institutional leadership and management.
Ololube made the call in his inaugural lecture titled: “Social Sins and the Character of Institutional Leadership and Management: A Nation Programmed to Fail” delivered at the Auditorium, Main Campus, of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) in Port Harcourt, Thursday.
Ololube noted with dismay the preference given to uncreative career at the expense of character stating that such act had hampered the smooth functioning of not only the nation’s institution but its overall sector.
He maintained that in education that ignores character building is an incomplete education and is bound to produce an incomplete education and is bound to produce an incomplete individual.
The professor averred that education at all levels plays weighty role in the advancement of institutions including the economic, political, social, cultural and technological development of any country, adding that in order to achieve the objective of education, institutional leaders are expected to have good character likely to manage and direct the affairs of institutions.
In his words, “Nigerians obsession with materialism in tends to make us more concerned about acquiring knowledge so that we can get better jobs and make money. A lucrative career is preferred to memorable character. Institutions emphasise career building and not character building”.
“People that are outstanding in their career, who score “As in every course and strive harder to maintain their grades become bookworms, passed with distinctions and got uncreative jobs but they can not deal with people nor can they build relationships. They do not have time to learn the important aspects of life (character). All the years of study and excellent grades cannot bring happiness or the desired character to live among people. An education that ignores character building is an incomplete education,” he said.
Ololube regretted that Nigeria lacks genuine leadership with institutions despite the abundance of highly skilled Individuals in the field of institutional leadership and management saying “thousands of millions of naira and dollars were stolen from these institutions which make them unproductive in terms of providing quality education for its students and faculty.”
Describing social sins as sins either by commission or omission with reference to political, economic, social and religious leaders behaviours in society, Ololube said they are realities that delineate societal standards.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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