Employees of Airtel Nigeria, a telecommunications company, have urged children across the country to adopt reading culture as it commemorates with this year’s edition of the World Book Day.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Surendran Chemmenkotil, made this known on Saturday.
The World Book Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on April 23, 1995 and it is set aside to carry out activities with the aim of encouraging a culture of reading in all ages.
Chemmenkotil, in a statement in Lagos, said that Airtel employees had also unveiled plans for marking the World Book Day, noting that they planned to donate thousands of reading books to adopted primary schools in Nigeria.
He said that they also want to host interactive reading sessions with the children in the schools.
He said: “The programme, which is at the instance of the company’s award-winning Employee Volunteer Scheme (Airtel EVS), will be held in primary schools in Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Cross River, Imo and Kwara and it is entirely funded by employees of Airtel Nigeria.
“Airtel employees are passionate about building a solid future for children especially underprivileged kids as well as relentless in its focus in promoting continuous learning among deprived children.
“Knowledge is power, and books are full of it. We want children, no matter their family background or economic status, to have their imagination stimulated and to expand their understanding of the world.
“Airtel hopes to inspire and uplift as many children as we can, even underprivileged ones, so that they can strive for a better future and contribute to nation building.”
Chemmenkotil said that access to education was at the heart of the company’s sustainability strategy.
He added that he was delighted that his colleagues were not just pursuing the vision at a corporate level but also at a personal level.
He said: “The initiative will kick off on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at the Oremeji Primary School, Ajegunle, Lagos, and Yahaya Hamza Primary School, Zaria Kaduna while the train will move to the Iyeru-Okin Primary School, Offa, Kwara State and Presbyterian Primary School, Cross River State on April 27.”
He said that the final leg of the programme would hold at St. John’s Primary School in Ogun State and Community Primary School, Amumara, Imo State on April 28.
Chemmenkotil said that as part of the programme, Airtel employees would not only donate books but also take time off work to interact and read with all the children in the six adopted schools.
He said that Airtel Nigeria’s Adopt-a-School programme was targeted at rehabilitating the physical structure of underserved and rural schools while providing educational resources for the children and capacity building support for teachers on an ongoing basis.
The programme was launched in 2011 with the adoption of Oremeji Primary School, Ajegunle, Lagos State.