A former registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Prof Dibu Ojerinde has lamented the lack of reading culture among Nigerian youths.
Ojerinde who spoke at the Nigeria International Book Fair 2017 expressed concern at the alarming rate in which students spent hours on the internet at the detriment of their studies.
At the annual conference titled, “Book chain: government policies and the promotion of reading culture in Africa held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, the scholar noted that no society can develop without feeding on the knowledge of others, adding that adequate information is needed to drive the economic growth of the country.
He said: “Government should introduce a book into the examination system, making it compulsory for all secondary school students to read if he or she wants to gain admission into a higher institution. Regardless of the student’s area of focus, he/she should be tested on that book and therefore such a student would be forced to read it.
“It is so unfortunate that things have gone down in our schools, books are meant to be read, but people don’t read anymore, therefore, writers are not encouraged. That is why pirates are able to take over the book industry from the owners. When you force the students to read, then they know that they must have the book.”
The professor also charged teachers to ensure that books are readable, presentable and measure up to standard.The Senator representing Kaduna central senatorial district, Shehu Sani said the lack of reading culture among Nigerians was responsible for the low quality of intellectual capacity in the nation’s politics.
The lawmaker lamented that books only exist as furniture in most houses. He said, “Not just from the younger generation, but among the political elites and this could be seen and clearly evident in the low-quality level of our intellectual political discourse in the country. If you go through the archive and read the speeches of the first republic politicians compared to what we have today, you will see a lot of difference because politicians of the independent era are well read and highly knowledgeable compared to the present crop of politicians.
On his part, the vice chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Rahmon Bello who was represented by Professor Wale Okunuga also tasked parents on the need to inculcate reading culture in their wards.
Source: The Guardian