The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero has called for the declaration of a State of Emergency in literacy level in Nigeria to arrest the tide of ignorance.

Professor Atayero made the call on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, as Covenant joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s International Literacy Day. The University celebrated the day with the donation of teaching aids to Unity High School, Oke-Ore, in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State. The University’s gesture was in a bid to make quality education available to rural community schools, with the end goal of enhancing the teaching of sciences.

The Vice-Chancellor, represented by the Head, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Professor Sheriff Folarin, noted that the International Literacy Day was a day set aside for assessing educational activities in the country and around the globe. The occasion availed Covenant another opportunity to play her part in driving the cause of literacy in the University’s host community.

While highlighting that ignorance has been a major stumbling block to progress in the country, Professor Atayero, while calling for a declaration of a state of emergency on the form of literacy in the country, stated: “One of the main things Covenant University does is to make an impact. Our service to humanity does not start until there is an impact. You do not impact a system that has no human elements, but you make an impact by adding value to human beings. You make an impact on the very young ones, catching them young.”

Professor Atayero noted that the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had carefully set aside the International Literacy Day to become a rallying point for nations. The day, according to him, allowed them to reflect on how far they had gone and identified what the future should look like as far as the educational value was concerned.

In her opening remarks, the Chairman, Covenant University Community Development Impact Initiative Committee (CU-CDIIC), Dr Tayo George, said the literacy day was set aside for stakeholders to contribute their quota towards advancing literacy at various levels. Advancement of literacy, she added, was pivotal to societal and national development. “Globally, literacy day has consistently played a critical role in promoting literacy, in terms of reading culture, writing, and other activities that can enhance learning and teaching in our various schools. It is essentially because of the critical role of literacy in societal development and the sustainability of our world,” she averred.

While responding, the Principal of Unity High School, Mrs Janet Olaokun, appreciated Covenant University for the impact on the community and the University’s generous contribution to the development of Unity High School. She appealed to other public-spirited individuals and organisations to emulate Covenant by contributing towards improving the level of literacy across communities.

Since its inception in 1967, UNESCO had consistently used the platform of the International Literacy Day to extol the concept of literacy to the public. The theme of this year’s celebration was ‘Literacy Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 Crisis and beyond’.

Some of the equipment and chemical agents donated by Covenant included Bunsen Burner, Retort Stands, Test Tubes, Pipettes, Lasany Bureite, Measuring Cylinders, Filter, and Litmus Papers. Others were Formalin Solution, Iodine Crystals, and Dissecting Set, among others.

The event also had in attendance Mr Vincent Olumuyiwa of the Registrar’s Office, members of the CU-CDIIC, and community members of Oke-Ore.