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FG’s Plan to Promote Reading Culture and the question of access

By on September 27, 2011

We applaud FG response to reverse the declining reading culture among Nigerians. A strategic plan has been created to boost reading culture in the country with the Minister of State for Education leading the charge.

Recent results from different examinations undertaken by students nationwide show the shoddy state of eduction and the depth of decay that pervades the sector. It has become an unending tale of lamentations from all interested persons and institutions. The blame varied with the different stakeholders’ perspective on the issues. While proper funding tops the issue, absence of planning has compounded the woes of this sector. Qualified manpower remains absent and the environment that enables teaching and learning are all not available.


Our classrooms are lost in the rusty enclaves with trees as shades and kids have to seat on dusty floors. The president’s passion about this is insufficient, we need action that addresses the core of this issue: funding. We think altering our national strategic approach to driving our economy’s competitiveness is imperative.


Also, Meetings have lost their use with everyday and so are committees and their reports because we seem poor at executing or exercising the needed will to bring our desire to reality.


Yet, we have to ask what do we mean by encouraging a culture of reading? Is it about promoting the culture of reading in English?


Regrettably, we have a huge barrier that still needs to be addressed. It is the question of access. For advanced economies, promoting independent reading is hardly hampered by access to appropriate materials. We should consider the fact that the students have access to libraries, either in their schools or in the community. And also, their parents can also purchase books or magazines. Here access to reading material is a critical issue especially with increasing poverty and the get-rich syndrome and absent/collapsed  infrastructure and insecurity.


Finally, we no longer compete against ourselves. We are competing against nations who are keen about leading the 21century and they are doing this with all their strategic resources and are not taking any hostage in their drive to be great at this. In driving this laudable project to encourage reading, we have to factor in the essential truth that we can only foster a culture of reading when literature is available in a language that tells stories that are relevant to the speakers of that language. We have to encourage writing stories of local flavour, which borders on the traditional themes taken from the tales told by generations of our elders to their children.

  • Anonymous

    This is going to be an up hill task, but it can be done holistically and not by simply isolating the education system. Sign boards to explain every activity of life, radio and tv constantly remind Nigerians to read and follow written instructions on anything they come in contact. You must read,  fill forms,and follow instructions. Use pictorials to reach Nigerians directly , if the corrupt civil servants will serve. Advice citizens to read and follow directions on packages,medicines etc.We have to force our people to read from the kindergarten up and not just to pass tests but to gain knowelge. Package things that we have to read the outline in order to us it or they become useless otherwise.It will require a total effort in all ourdaily life it has to become culture in itself.

  • Clemence Olaoluwa

    I believe we may at last be on the verge of a major cultural, social and indeed overall national revolution if this initiative to drive and promote a better reading culture among Nigerians. Personally I’m of a strong opinion that great and tremendous power lies within the pages that has gone untapped. It’s therefore a laudable initiative but one that will require strong commitment to actually see it becoming a reality.

    Clemence Olaoluwa