The Ebonyi State Ministry of Education has boosted the book stock of the State Library through the donation of over 4,000 books covering over 36 subject areas.
The Ministry’s Management team, led by its immediate past Commissioner, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, presented the books to the Library on Friday at the Ministry’s headquarters, Centenary City, Abakaliki.
Delivering the books, Chima explained that the book stock were built from various collections submitted by different authors for review and approval by the Ministry for use in Ebonyi State schools.
He noted that the donation of the books to the Library was part of events marking this year’s International Children’s day, adding that the reviewed and approved books were for the benefit of children from Kindergarten to Senior Secondary schools.
He recalled that in the past, such books where either given to the reviewers as parting gifts or distributed to the hinterlands, where they often end up missing in one teacher’s house, emphasising that the Ministry decided to donate the books to the Library for a more positive impact.
Chima explained: “We started our book review in January and rounded it off in May.
“What you are seeing today is what we have already done, and we are making it public to the press today.
“It was part of our Children’s Day event; to give books to our children.
“This event would have happened on May 27, but we needed to stamp these books.
“Here we have over 4,000 books, covering over 36 subject areas from the Nursery to Senior Secondary school.
“One thing is remarkable in this year’s book review: the Ministry of education tried to do something different, to involve industry practitioners, the best of the academia in its review.
“We brought them together in a conference for them to review the books that are approved for usage in the 2021/2022 academic year, starting from September.
“The books would be used for the next three years for Junior and Senior Secondary and for the next six years for the nursery and basic education: Primary one to primary six.
“We would be giving these books to the Library for Ebonyi State.
“”n the past, these books were either given to the reviewers as parting gifts or distributed to the hinterlands where they often end up missing in on of the teachers’ house.”
While commending Governor David Umahi for his unrelenting interest in improving the education sector, the ex-Commissioner lamented the dearth of books in the State Library in the past, and expressed optimism that the books would encourage reading, research and writing among school children and teachers.
Chima added: “When we started, we visited the Library, we noticed that Ebonyi State Library had little or no books for nursery, primary, junior and senior secondary.
“No wonder the children at these levels of education do not know how to use the Library.
“We want to encourage them to start using the Library.”
Receiving the books, the Acting Director, Ebonyi State Library Board, Ugbor Igariwey, appreciated the ex-Commissioner and the entire management of the Ministry for the gesture, promising to effectively preserve the books for the ultimate benefit of Ebonyi populace.
Igariwey explained that the Library had only 3,000 books before now and expressed excitement over the gesture which she noted would greatly expand their collection to enhance quality and variety in reading and research in the State Library.
She said: “And I want to assure you also that with these new arrival of books in the Library, we will do our best as professionals to create the awareness that people need to use them.
“And I also want to promise all of us, the Ebonyi parents that we will do all things possible as professionals to put a touch of class to these books, so that in the very shortest period, we would have catalogued, classified, and shelved these book for the use of our children.”
The subject areas covered by the books were English language, Sciences, technology, Arts, Social sciences, Civic education and Igbo language, among others.
The ex-Commissioner was accompanied to the event by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Elijah Itumo; and Head of Department, Curriculum Development, Virginia Egbu, among others.
Recall that Chima was among the members of the State Executive Council recently dissolved by Governor Umahi.
The donation was part of events to wrap up his activities in the Ministry having just concluded the David Nweze Umahi Sports competition in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports.