Mutawali of Ilorin and renowned legal luminary Dr. Alimi AbdulRazaq last Tuesday called on corporate bodies and well-meaning individuals in the country to join hands with the governments in the building of school infrastructure and other essential facilities that would improve the learning environment for the academic success of the students.
He also admonished all students to imbibe reading culture and study hard towards achieving greatness in life.
Dr. AbdulRazaq spoke in Ilorin as the Guest Reader at an event tagged: "Read With Me", where he led some participating secondary school students in reading a few chapters of "The Path of Fate", a book written by Funmilayo Braithwaite.
The book reading session was organized by Plat Technologies Limited in partnership with Iqra Books -- their Corporate Social Responsibility project to promote reading habits among school students in the state.
"Plat Technologies Limited has done a great job by coming up with this reading session and building very impressive toilet facilities for the students as part of their CSR project. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to other businessmen and women in Kwara to please join hands with the government in its ongoing efforts to develop school infrastructure and make the learning environment conducive," he said.
Dr. AbdulRazaq, who is an elder brother of Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, hailed the brilliance of the students that partook in the post-reading questions and answers, acknowledging that their gesture was a product of right investments by the Kwara State government in the education sector and commitment of their parents.
His reading alongside the students and sharing his wealth of experience excited the participants who were all eager to provide answers to some of the questions the elder statesman raised at the event.
He thanked Plat Technologies for honouring him to play that role, and for naming the public toilet it built for the Government Girls’ Day Secondary Schools after his nonagenarian mother, Alhaja Raliat AbdulRazaq.
"It is a privilege and indeed a great honour to be invited here to take part in this reading session for the young school students that sought to inspire the students and inculcate in them the practice of reading," Dr Alimi said.
"Reading is very key to assimilating study and acquiring knowledge. I pray for their success now and in the future. They have answered most insightful questions (which I asked) and I am most impressed by that and the work being done here. I congratulate the principals of the participating schools and the Ministry of Education for the excellent work they are doing to reposition the education sector in the State.
"It is a sign that we are witnessing the most transformative education policies and implementation in Kwara at the moment, and I am confident that these children will become our pride in the future."
In attendance were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Mrs Mary Kemi Adeosun; representative of the Chairman for SUBEB and Permanent Member (1) Alhaji Ibrahim Mashood; National Coordinator of Raliat Islamic Foundation Dr. Muhammad Ghali Alaaya; Principal of Government Girls' Day Secondary Schools (Junior class) Hajia Issa Memunat Moyosore; Principal of Government Girls' Day Secondary Schools (Senior class) Hajia Funmilayo Mohammed; representative of Pakata Development Association, Alhaji Yusuf Arowosaye; Chairman PTA for GGDSS Pakata Alhaji Owonwami; Head National Library, Kwara State Branch, Hajia Kafayat Olani; a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development Dr. Mrs Shagaya; Dr. La'aro Oba Abdukadir of Mass Communications Department, University of Ilorin; Alhaji Abdullateef Abdussalam, CEO Iqra Books; and the representative of the Founder of Imodoye Writer’s Enclave, Mr Yahaya Dumoye among other dignitaries.
Participating in the reading session were the students of Government High School Adeta; Kwara State College of Education Model Secondary School; Government Girls’ Day Secondary School Pakata; and Barakat Community Secondary School Ilorin.
Earlier in his address, the CEO Plat Technologies Limited, Engr. Taofik AbdulKareem Babaita, said for the reading culture to be sustained, the younger ones must be made to appreciate and internalise the value of reading as a lifetime adventure, a reason he said they organised the programme.
"Our resolve is to, in our own small way, contribute and ensure that the investment of the stakeholders in the education of the younger ones is not in vain. We have been doing this in series since 2012," Engr Abdulkareem said.
He thanked Dr. AbdulRazaq for accepting to be the guest reader and for his physical presence at the event, as well as other officials of the government that made the day a reality.
Highlight of the occasion were the official commissioning of the block of toilets built in honour of Raliat Islamic Foundation, as well as the presentation of prizes to the best-performing students, which was at the instance of Dr. Alimi AbdulRazaq.