By Samuel Edu
The Ondo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Pastor Femi Agagu has charged secondary school students in the state to be committed to reading.
Agagu gave this charge while speaking during the literary awareness campaign organized by the Association of Nigerian Authors in collaboration with the Yusuf Ali Foundation held at Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure.
The commissioner who spoke through his representative at the occasion; Mrs Olufolake Mapayi, deputy director, of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology lamented the low level of reading among students.
“The advent of social media has caused more harm than good as majority of students now spend most of their time on social media.
“Most of the things you are searching for on the internet at this time are of no use to you, all you need at this time is to be focused on your academics as this is the only guarantee to a secured future.”
Earlier in his address, the chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, Ondo State chapter, Mr Sunday Afolayan said the awareness campaign was in a bid to revitalize the declining reading culture among students in secondary schools.
“This literary awareness campaign becomes imperative as we have discovered that reading culture is gradually becoming a mirage especially in secondary schools as most students now spend more time on social media.
“Today is historic because members of the association both within and outside Nigeria and those that matter in the society have packaged a lot of gifts for today’s programme to encourage the students.
“To further bring improvement to reading culture, we have made recommendations to the government to include literature as part of the compulsory subject for admission into tertiary institutions.”
He urged students to be dedicated to their academics and not be involved in any form of social vices.
Highlights of the event include debate, quiz competition, award presentation, free literature books distribution, and cultural dance.
One of the participants from Saint Peters Unity Secondary School in Akure, Olorunmatuse Loveth expressed satisfaction stressing that the awareness campaign was a big eye-opener for her as to the indispensability of reading.