Onwenu decries ‘dying’ reading culture among Nigerian youths
DIRECTOR General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Onyeka Onwenu, has decried the decline in reading culture in the country, and called on the general public, especially parents, to work harder towards ensuring is improvement.
Onwenu spoke at a ceremony marking the closing of a Summer Reading Project organised in collaboration with the American Corner of the United States Mission in Nigeria, Tuesday.
She said, “The reading culture is dying, not declining. Every parent and teacher should encourage children to read and cut the number of hours spent watching television. We use to have libraries when I was growing up where we could go to borrow books. The establishment of the American Corner is to complement this gap in the reading society.
“Parents, especially should ensure the enthronement of sound reading habit in their children, and cut down on their television hours. Even when a child has to watch television, parental guidance should be ensured,” she advised.
Speaking specifically about the spelling bee competition, which was embedded in the nearly two-week event, she said, “The importance of this competition is to encourage children to study better. I find this very important because I know how reading as a child helped in expanding my horizon. The child’s mind is filled with imaginative ideas, they are like sponges, and they soak up whatever is put in their minds,” Onyeka added.
Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, Bob Kerr, made an example of how reading habits in children can be encouraged by reading from the book, So You Want To Be President, which is an easy read informative book on past American presidents and some of the ups and downs of their lives as heads of governments.
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