The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has expressed concerns over the poor performance of youths in national exams, blaming it on poor reading culture.
Represented by the First Lady of Nasarawa State, Mrs. Mario Al-Makura, at the official public presentation and book launch of Re-Engineers the Reading Culture in our Society (The Librarian’s Perspective) by Director of Library. Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Vivian Ngozi Okpara, she said reading printed materials remains credible tools in extending the values of education when there are best utilized.
Mrs. Buhari said a major area of concern today is the decline of credit passes in West African Examination Council (WAEC) and other examinations and the failure to meet the required cut of points in the JAMB by prospective candidates into higher institutions, attributing it to the decline in reading culture.
“Education had been by various scholars in different phase with all defining pointing to reading, inculcating and exchange of knowledge, culture, values, social, religious and moral instructions. Acquisition and development of skills to aid living linking this to the reading skills emphasized by the author will give knowledge, power and confidence to any category of persons who personalized and patronize the content of this book.
“The book presents more consequences on the individual and the society for not placing premium value on reading culture and provides ways of enhancing the reading culture bearing in mind that no nation can rule beyond what her citizens can do through reading,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari expressed hope that the book will serve as a source of reawakening of reading in the country among people across all spheres of life, adding that the book will benefit all categories of learners and recommended the book to students at all levels of education in the country.
In her remarks, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, described the book as a commendable literary work meant to revive reading culture.
Represented by the Director Special Services, Olushade Adesola, she said “Reading is to the mind what food is to our body. Without reading the mind is closed to new information which can be used to reengineer the country.”
She noted that the dearth in reading culture is not limited to the youth alone but also to civil servants whose limited knowledge on current national issues are exposed during promotional examinations.
She said in this era of change “we should make a change to the saying that to hide something from a black man put it in a book.”
In her remarks, the author of the book, Director of Library Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Vivian Ngozi Okpara, expressed concern that the new found love with electronic gadgets have greatly affected the academic performances of most Nigerian youths as most of them are carried away with its images and audio-visual contents at the expenses of their study through intensive reading.
She called for urgent steps to be taken to address the situation and re-engineer the reading culture to secure an all-round growth and development, skills, productivity and efficiency in all aspect of national life.
She said she was not undermining the contributions of electronic and computer gadgets to knowledge in everyday life but to advocate for a balance to its use without jeopardizing the benefits of a strong reading culture needed for all-round development.
“My campaign is largely to raise the conscientiousness of citizens in the power embedded in ‘reading’. To this end, this book titled Re-Engineers the Reading Culture in our Society (The Liberian’s Perspective) was born.
“This is largely to re-activate and re-direct our citizens in all spheres of life. Civil servants, teachers and indeed all progressive minded people. This book examines the weakness of the civil servants in utilizing the reading tool to maximize operational output. I have dedicated a chapter in this book to articulate the need for civil servants to improve their competency and productivity through re-engineering the reading culture. The book gives all categories of learners the direction to identify areas of interest at a given period and develop