• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo


What UNESCO-YOD wants to achieve with poetry contests in Nigeria

UNESCO allays majority of basic education financing gap in Africa

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with a non-governmental organisation, Youth Orientation for Development (YOD), has since launched an annual poetry completion in Nigeria anchored since 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Now, the actual objective seems to be clearer. Each year, the organisers choose themes that touch on youths and proper orientation. This year, according to Greatman Badom, CEO of Maiden International Education, who represented Emma Ejiogu, head of YOD, three worries plagued their minds.

He said: “The theme on ‘Dignity of Labour’ tries to call attention of the youths to the importance of labour. Most young ones are being misled into thinking that however you make money is what matters, whether with dignity or not. UNESCO wants to refocus their attention to labour.

“The theme on ‘Danger of Drug Abuse’ is aimed at making the young ones research into it and communicate it in poetic language as their own thoughts. Drug abuse seems to attract most young ones.

“The other topic, ‘Education is key’ is targeted at the young ones who now wonder if education is worth it anymore, based on how people hit it big without education.”

Badom was reacting to questions at the opening ceremony at the Butterstone International Secondary School, Okporo Road in Port Harcourt.

Read also: Despite hardship, polls show Nigerians prefer investing to secure future

Earlier in his briefing on behalf of Ejiogu, the CEO of Maiden International said March every year is dedicated to by the UN to promote language and communication. It is to give students a platform to prove their power of composition and communication and also to address issues that ravage the society and the young ones.

He said the prizes range from N150,000 down to N50,000 but that many stakeholders usually shower more gifts to winners on final day. He also said many schools were sending their entries from that today, and that efforts had been made to reach all schools public or private through all the authorities that regulate schools and associations of schools.

“Both those in the rural and urban areas have adequately been reached. No school has been left behind. The Government of Rivers State is aware that the UNESCO poetry competition has kick-started in the state. The office of the Deputy Governor is fully abreast of developments.”

Badom explained that entries would be online and would first to the University of Lagos to be pruned down to best five in each category and sent to the University of Port Harcourt to do vigorous selection for first to third in each category. “Plagiarism or work that is found not to be original will be disqualified. It is aimed at extracting the literary resources of students. The works will be published to immortalise the young poets.”

In her welcome address, the proprietress of the host school, V.S. Awuse, represented by the head teacher, Uloma Ndunagun, said the competition is very valuable to students. She said Butterstone is always open to whatever concerns academics and things that will boost the intellectual prowess of their students.

A guest poet, Chidike Ifediora, performed at the opening ceremony, while JohnBest Uche, a member of the team, coordinated the event. Students of the school rendered some poems with dance and motion.