Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Anambra Receives Donation of 500,000 Books for Schools

By James Eze (eziokwubundu@gmail.com)

The Governor of Anambra State has taken bold steps to secure the state’s enviable educational rating in the country when it took delivery of half a million books (500,000) from the UK based Ihezie Foundation to be distributed in schools, universities and libraries across the state.
The book donation is the first batch of donation from a strategic partnership between the state government and Ihezie Foundation that would make Anambra a recipient of one million books from the Foundation.

Presenting the books, the Chief Executive Officer of Ihezie Foundation, Michael Bloedorn said the Foundation was proud to identify with the efforts of the Obiano administration to proudly make Anambra State a centre for educational excellence.
“We view our donation of textbooks as a humble contribution towards the overall aim of helping each student achieve their educational goals. The half a million textbooks we donated to Anambra State are just the first half of the one million educational books we have pledged to the Anambra State Government. We have also promised both Sierra Leone and Liberia one million textbooks each which we are working to donate over the next four years,” Mr. Bloedorn further explained.

Offering insights into why the Foundation was donating printed books in the face of the growing presence of e—books, Mr. Bloedorn noted that “despite the hype surrounding e-books, over the last ten years the electronic book market has only accounted for around 10% of the global book market. According to the International Publishers Association, 114 billion Euros are spent on printed books each year. With the six largest markets (USA, China, Germany, Japan, France and the United Kingdom) accounting for over 60% of the global spending on printed books.”
He also pointed out that in the United Kingdom today, students from primary and secondary schools and universities, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities, still rely heavily on textbooks for their educational instruction and they are set to do so for generations to come.
He lauded Anambra State for being a great state, saying it is a State that “I have learned has produced the greatest Africans. The Zik of Africa, Professor Achebe, celebrated author of ‘Things Fall Apart’, Ngozi Adichie, just to name a few. The children I saw yesterday and the thousands of students in front of me today, have propelled me to go back to England to work harder for the children of Anambra State.”

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of Ihezie Foundation, Imo State born Dr. Alloysius Ihezie applauded the government of Anambra State accepting to go into a partnership with the Foundation and helping it fulfil its desire to reach out to school children and students across Africa.
Painting a picture of the scarcity of books across the continent, Dr. Ihezie said, “We are aware that across much of Sub Saharan Africa such is the scarcity of books that often there can be just only one book to share amongst twenty students and in some regions none exist. And this scarcity of books acts as a severe barrier to the development of our young students.”
He therefore expressed gratitude to Anambra State government for partnering with the foundation on the noble aim of giving every child a chance at a better future, declaring that “there can be no greater gift to the next generation than the provision of properly resourced education.”
Receiving the books from the Foundation the Governor of Anambra State thanked the team for extending such a kind gesture to Anambra State and assured that the books would be equitably distributed to schools, colleges and libraries across the state.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke observed that Anambra had always done exceedingly well in education and further stated that the government would continue to push the boundaries until the state eventually becomes the centre for educational excellence in the sub-region.

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