Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 5 June 2016 | 4,971 times
The Enyimba Reading Festival instituted by concerned intellectuals including lecturers in the commercial city of Aba, Abia State last year is aimed at making the youths and students to do more reading of books than talking.
One of the facilitators, Dr Ugochi Ikonne, said in an interview in Aba that the festival would also impress on Nigerian children, the need to develop a sound reading culture that would enable them build a better future for themselves.
Mrs. Ikonne, a lecturer at the National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Aba, while throwing light on the forthcoming festival scheduled for June 16, said that imbibing the habit of reading was very important to human development. According to her, researches in Aba have shown the residents talk more than they read, even as students devote more time to watching television and browsing on the social media, hence the need for re-orientation that would draw the youths closer to their books.
“Aba residents will appreciate that there is a need for a re-orientation in the city. A re-orientation that is striving to move the children from a talking culture to a reading culture,” she said, adding: “It is very necessary because there has been a prevalence of talking culture in recent years over reading culture among our youths.”
“This is blamed on many factors. Some blame it on television viewing and some on social media concentration through browsing such sites as To Go, Youtube, WhatsApp and the rest,” Mrs. Ikonne added.
She also attributed the dwindling reading culture to beliefs by students that they need to read for examinations only. “Our children are not reading. They see reading as an exercise that should take place only during examinations. They do not see it as a tool for learning better things that would make them better people in future,” she remarked.
She said that present day Nigerian children preferred to spend a great deal of their time on their phones, browsing social media sites rather than reading their books to prepare for a better future, stressing that reading creates and recreates good behaviour, meaningful challenges and activities in readers.
While it is good for children and youth to socialise, she noted that “it is not commendable for them to learn habits that would mar their lives in future, like spending so much time on social media.”
She identified students’ preference to chatting and browsing as factors responsible for the increased failing reading and writing culture among youths which has necessitated the Enyimba Reading Festival. She appealed to parents to help their children to read extensively by encouraging them to create time for reading daily.
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