Mrs Rose Samuel is the wife of one of the policemen serving in Oyo State Police Command. Because of the busy nature of her husband’s work, she is saddled with the responsibility of taking care of the children, including assisting them in their assignments.
But she had a great challenge doing this because she could be classified as an illiterate, though she attended secondary school before she stopped at JSS3. But now, her story has changed, thanks to the nine-month adult literacy programme, sponsored by Rotary Club International, Ibadan, which she underwent and graduated from towards the end of June 2016.
According to Mrs Samuel, “I got to JSS 3 but I did not write junior WAEC. I could not read or write very well then. Pronouncing words were also difficult. But now I have improved on reading, writing and speaking. I also know how to put punctuation marks. Now I can take my daughter through some of her assignments, unlike before when I used to look for someone to help her out.”
Also, Mrs Gloria Ada Samuel who said she could not operate the ATM and used to look for someone to help her fill withdrawal or deposit slips in the bank, stated that the literacy programme has helped her to do all those things herself, while her reading and writing have also improved. Same goes for Mrs Maria Akunya, aged 50, and mother-of-five, Mrs Ene Obiabo.
This was the trend of testimonies given by beneficiaries of the adult literacy programme whose graduation held at the police headquarters at Eleiyele, Ibadan. Nigerian Tribune learnt that the programme was organized by the Rotary Club, Ibadan, in collaboration with the Agency for Adult and Non-Formal Education in Oyo State Ministry of Education and the Oyo State Police Command.
At the graduation ceremony, 144 women who are wives of the policemen were issued certificates of participation. Seventy one of the graduates were said to be learners who went through the basic literacy level while 73 were learners at the post-basic literacy class.
In his address at the graduation ceremony, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade expressed his excitement at the achievements of the graduands, saying that the success of the programme has made the command’s centre to be coded as a model centre.
Describing education as vital in human development, Mr Oyebade enjoined the graduands to put what they had learnt to use. “Use your education positively; education is meant to make you have a broader view about issues. Apply your newly acquired knowledge and practise what you have been taught,” the police commissioner further admonished the women.
He pointed out that the knowledge acquired by the policemen’s wives would impact positively on every facet of policing because the policemen’s wives would be able to use to the academic knowledge acquired to assist their children when their husbands are busy at work. He promised that the police would always provide the environment for the initiative to be sustained.
Speaking on the collaboration with Rotary Club, the Director, Mass Literacy, Agency for Adult and Non-Formal Education, Oyo State, Mrs Mopelola Bolarinwa said that “Rotary Club is interested in helping people and since they know that we deal in education, they came so that we could collaborate with them to bring the women out of the shackles of illiteracy. We started on September 15, 2015 and 144 of them are graduating in literacy programme.”
Mrs Bolarinwa commended the women who participated in the nine-month programme, saying that they did not only follow instructions given by facilitators strictly during the period of learning, they also denied themselves hours of luxury to be present at their various classes.
The President of Rotary Club of Ibadan, Mr David Oyesina expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Police Force, which, through the Commissioner of Police, granted the use of classrooms in the command’s Training School, and the Acting Commissioner of Police, Police Medical Services, Dr Efunsola Sowemimo, who invited the club to the command.
Mr Oyesina said that the programme is one of the areas of focus of the Rotary Club International, as he is expected to carry out a project during his tenure.
“This is my one of my projects in my year of service and we want it to continue because it is making a direct impact on the society. When women are educated, they are empowered, and, consequently, their children. So, it is like killing two birds with a stone when you educate women. We will continue with the programme and maybe extend it beyond gender,” the Rotary president declared.