Stakeholders seek revival of reading culture
By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
The need for students to cultivate and sustain the culture of reading has again been stressed.
Some stakeholders in the education sector in Ondo state stated this in separate interviews with The Hope.
The state Librarian, Dr Fredrick Akinnuoye observed that the culture of reading is gradually eroding as people do not read like before.
According to him, the attitude has been on for a while as students only read to pass examinations nowadays.
He affirmed that in the 60’s,70’s and early 80’s, reading culture was the norm noting that despite the advent of television later then, students still made it a habit to read well.
Arawande posited that Nigeria was able to produce people like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe among others because people read a lot then.
“Due to the advent of technology, students now spend most of their time on the internet, this is taking most of their time, adults are involved in this too.
“Our value system is also a factor, people do not pay much premium on research. Parents should take it upon themselves, by encouraging students to read, even right from their tender age. They should create library at home, buy books instead of worldly things and compel them to read “,he stressed.
While charging students to create time to read, not only for examinations, he said they can only discover their God-given potentials through reading books.
“Reading enhances the thinking faculty, students should build themselves, a reading nation is a thinking nation. lf this nation must develop, our students must have a change of attitude, he emphasised.
He however called on governments at all levels and well meaning Nigerians to build more libraries in order for student to have wider access to information.
Corroborating the Librarian, a public Secondary School teacher, Mrs Ronke Orimoloye noted that many students are graduating from schools with poor reading skills, attributing the development to the poor reading habit cultivated during their stay at school.
While saying one of the greatest problems of education is that of poor reading culture among students, she called on various stakeholders to help students improve on their studies by engaging them in reading activities.
Speaking on the attitude of students to reading, a university don, Dr Fredrick Akinnuoye said there must be a change in students attitude to reading if the society must progress.
All they do now is to check the stuff online and most of the time, not even for academic purpose. The blame falls on the advent of technology. Students read more books in the olden days than now.
“Reading culture is declining, students now spend more time on irrelevant adventures than reading. Many give most of their time to social media. Even though, the social media has helped many people to discover innovative things ,many use it negatively. Student must set their priorities right”, she maintained.
In his views, a private school Principal, Mr Ayo Aladeseye observed that students prefer the electronic library to going to the shelf to get books adding that most students like easy things and do not want to stress themselves by looking for books or reading them.
“Students no longer read hard and for a long time like before, as a result , the future may not have qualified people in different fields, unless we all rise up to address the situation.
“We had the culture of seriousness to reading in the past, then , students read everyday and even at night , something urgent must be done, we all have a role to play to revive the old culture “,he opined.
Most students who spoke in separate interviews with The Hope affirmed that they find reading a bit boring, especially educational books.
A Senior Secondary School 2 (SS2) student, Ayomide Ologun said that school books are boring and are not worth reading over and over again.
But an undergraduate, Tobi Araola noted that he reads his books everyday after each lecture, saying that ”The more I read, the more I understand. Reading has been part of me since my primary school days, through my parents who ensured that I read always.