Declining reading culture in Nigeria


A room without a book is a body without a soul, the situation of things in our nation has shown that many of our youths bother less about reading books. It is as noticeable as a soup stain on a bridal gown that these days, students commit the chunk of their productive hours to inane and ludicrous activities. These may not be unconnected to a lot of factors.




CAUSES

First of all, the sybaritic lifestyles that students lead and live this days have made them jettison reading in preference for watching movies. Since the advent of Nollywood, students have preferred viewing Nigerian home videos and films from Hollywood in California, USA to reading their books. This accounts for why most of students find it extremely easy to real out ten (10) movies starring Mofe Damijo or find it easy to recite the lyrics of Kanye West’s songs but find it an herculean task to name a poetry written by Niyi Osundare  or a novel by the late Chinua Achebe.

The word is a global Village in which there is free access to information of any kind from the internet. While this should have been a plus, our youth don’t make good use of this rather the fingers lingers on phones for wasted hour for the search of pornography and for the common trend, I guessed you know? Yahoo Yahoo! Most students spend hours on Facebook instead of facing their books. Most social media like Whatsapp, Linked in, pin interest and twitter have students as their regular customers. Has the invention and the use of smart phone really helped the education of Nigerian youths?   




The lackadaisical attitude of successive governments in Nigeria to education has not helped matters. The gross and chronic under funding of education has made it impossible for schools to stock their libraries with relevant and up- to-date textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, novels and autobiographies for students’ reading pleasure and development. The torture of our students in the name of ASUU strikes and labour strikes has been a bane behind our woes. Students  of Nigerian public universities have been at home for close to nine months , this do tell on students’  psychology. Can we blame the government for all?

The attitudes of some parents towards the overall development of their children are also contributory factor. Some students are malnourished and poorly clothed due to the insensitivity of their parents to their welfare. The issues of rape and sexual molestation also have a long term effect on student psychology. Hence, the decline 

Lastly on the causes, I must confess that the rampant sex for mark scandals in our universities, the examination malpractices in virtually all exams in our secondary schools, even in our primary schools. I was speechless when I heard that there was now malpractices in common entrance exams and the said primary school leaving certificate exams. All these tells on the decline we see in reading culture today because he, who knows the way, is regarded as the brilliant one in our Nigerian society (Eni mo way, lo mowe). Those teenagers who should be trained to imbibe this reading culture are now less motivated be of this locust in our education sector.

EFFECTS

The consequences of the above are legion, but for lack of space, only a couple will be examined. Poor reading habits of students ultimately lead to one thing: failure! This is because the person, who fails to plan, plans to fail. Without having adequately prepared for examination through rigorous reading, students end up having poor grades.



Another effect the poor reading culture of students is examination malpractice. To make up for not conscientiously reading for examinations, they cut corners and try to pass at all costs. The result of this is that they engage in expo, eegun, orijo, fayawo etc. in order to do well in examination.



SOLUTION

To curb this undesirable trend and bring the glorious days when students used to commit their productive hours exclusively to readings. Here are the solutions


The time used on internet can be regulated and the time of information sought for on internet can regulated. I once had that the technological revolution North Korea is experiencing is laid on the foundation of step the government made as they prevented students of high schools from internet and parties prohibited for such students. You are thinking this is too tough right?

On the part of parents, they must educate their children on the need for time management. Watching movies becomes a vice when addiction sets in.  As such, parents and guardians must endeavor to admonish their children and wards to use just a fraction of time for viewing films.

Again the government should adhere to the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) directive that developing nations should commit at least 26% of their annual budget to education. Doing this will make funds available for purchase of essential materials and equipment in our schools. It is highly pathetic that Nigeria still commit less than 14% of its annual budget to education




In conclusion, bringing back the declining value is an all-important task for all if Nigeria is to groom knowledgeable, responsible and worthy leaders because READERS ARE LEADERS.


REFLECTIONS

Bishop David Oyedepo said in one of his books that if you put what it will take to make an AFRICAN MAN a billionaire in a book, for 100 years to come, he will never find it. Is that true?

 I once told my students that Newton, Faraday and Coulomb are my friends, they were surprised and thought that I have died once. I told them that when you read books of great minds, you become their friend 



Please give your comments and views about this topic thanks 



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