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Reawakening reading habits among Nigerian youths

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readingReading stimulates imagination, encourages quick learning, and expands horizons. It encourages creativity and curiosity. Reading enhances acquisition of skills for

handling complex issues. Present and future generations of Nigeria are at risk with regards to reading attitude. Overtime since the invention of internet technology and social networking platform, the attitude towards reading among Nigeria youths has gradually eroded, this is because, Nigerian youth pay much attention to this fascinating internet technology than the manuscripts.

Reading, whether for pleasure or for academic purpose, is an essential habit that forms the bedrock of greatness in everyone, regardless of age, gender or status. However, no one is criticising reading through internet, but the reality about this system is that, youth of nowadays pay much attention to the aesthetics aspect of the internet than the educational aspect. 

Youths indulge in incessant chatting, unremitting social networking, among other time wasting activities. Maturity has no complementary relationship with seriousness. The age of a particular person is not a yardstick or prerequisite to that person reading habit. The main problem is exposure, that is; the more we are exposed to something, the more we tend to dispense time towards that activity. The western world has made internet outreach more easily as it’s now mobile and affordable. 

Before the inception of internet technology, people pass time with books, novels, tabloids among other manuscripts. However, in recent time, when you get to public places like lounges, lobbies, offices, schools, we see people, young and old holding on to their mobiles to surf the social networks by chatting or watching internet galleries.

The menace of poor reading habit has created a lot of devastating effects in our society. When the statistics of secondary school leavers was consulted with regards to their certificate examination results, the outcome of the research made us to know that large percentage of students now fail in their certificate examination compared to the students of the past before internet technology.

A research was conducted by a non-governmental organization among the western countries. The research was conducted to confirm the veracity of the information given to them that Nigeria youths lack reading culture. Some youths were selected from different tertiary institutions across the nation to attend a particular seminar. 

The motive of their convocation was made undisclosed. After the first batch of the seminar, a book of 500 pages was distributed to each and every participant to study and they were instructed to give a report about what they have read in the subsequent seminar. The second seminal was held and the chief instructor asked them all about one significant thing the experienced in the book. Unfortunately, due to our lackadaisical attitude towards reading, none of them passed the test. 

What these researchers did was, they attached to leaflets of the book together and a single100 dollar note was inserted within, but unfortunately, none of the participants could unleash the trick. These researchers concluded that if the participants really read the book from cover to cover, they ought to have discovered that single 100 dollar note.

In order to revive the reading habit among Nigerian youths, a crucial step must be taken. An educationist and a retired secondary school principal, Mrs Juliana Ugwanyi has called on parents to instill reading habit in their children by buying them books rather than buying them movies. 

We should understand that children are always good at whatever they are being exposed to right from childhood and consequently they get accustomed to that system and they grow up following the trend. A little child who is much engrossed with video graphic games, movies and smart phones tends to give much to that, he or she grows up with that through his or her adulthood at the detriment of his or her academics.

Youths of nowadays also find it difficult to write and speak correct grammar, this is because they are mesmerized with social network slangs and abbreviations which gradually impedes their spoken and written grammar. To correct the damage made among the youth, I propose we should adopt the popular Nigerian street axiom which states “na cause go cure cause”. 

By adopting this axiom, we can use this same internet to widen our horizons as youths. There  are unlimited number of books, journals, articles, tem papers, researches, etc someone can lay hand upon, most times these materials are free of charge to download. We can dedicate much of our time onto this and gradually refrain from all day chatting culture. 

We can make the money we use in subscribing for internet more rewarding if we can make more researches through the internet technology instead of wasting time tagging along with celebrities all over the social network.

AbdulGaniyu Mubaraq Abiodun; smartmubbin@gmail.com, 08188505578

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