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At investiture, Ladoja, Abiodun, others call for revitalising reading culture in Nigeria

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Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, Lagos State Commissioner for Education

Former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Commissioner for Education in Lagos, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo and others have stressed the need to revitalise reading culture in Nigeria.

They made this known at the investiture ceremony of the President of Reading Awareness Society for Development in Africa (RASDA), Mrs Bukola Ladoja as Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Ambassador.

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Speaking at the event held at the University of Lagos, former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja said there is a need for Nigerian youths to embrace reading culture.

He recalled that people usually go a reading while travelling back in those days before the development of the internet.

Ladoja stated that children these days prefer to be on the phone rather than reading; hence, the need to prioritise reading more.

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“We must go back to reading that we have jettisoned for a long time.

“In those days when you are travelling, you would take a book to read. But, now our children are always on the phone.

“The challenge today is so many, particularly in the last few years. When did we start the Internet that has taken over everywhere? Look at it now, you can not only speak to another person but also see the person,” Ladoja said.

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Also, Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, said Nigeria lost its reading culture due to the fact that less or no attention is given to the children between the ages of 0 and 6 years.

The governor, who attributed the failure of students to the fact that they are decoding rather than comprehending, stated the need to make a recourse back to the foundation.

He noted that there is a need for the generation Z, Y and alpha to be taken into consideration; hence, advocated for the digitalization of reading as technology is the language of the current generation.

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, who was represented by Mr. Sunday Jokotola, said reading is crucial to achieving success.

She said reading as an integral part of education changes individuals’ orientation towards becoming better and responsible members of society.

The new ambassador, Bukola Ladoja, expressed appreciation to the body for the honour, saying the appointment will encourage her to do more in promoting reading culture in the country.

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She pointed out that parents are no longer responsible for their children, adding that they leave them to the school alone to educate them.

While noting that change could also be implemented to get students to read, especially at the grassroots, Ladoja charged council chairmen to promote reading culture by putting in place libraries in their council areas for the benefit of the youths.

She said only by changing mindset and embracing learning and reading culture can the nation grow.

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In his address at the event, President of ANA, Camillus Ukah, said the body decided to honour Ladoja as Children Ambassador for supporting the innovation of reading books to children, which she has been doing over the years.

He said: “It is creativity that moves the mind. The current ANA, even the world today is driven by literature.

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“ANA has focused on the theme of a book per week for the child and in 52 weeks which makes up a year, a child would have read 52 books. With a book a child project, we say let us go back to the roots.

“ANA is the biggest writers’ body. Ladoja has promoted literature and that is why we honoured her today.

“ANA will be 40 this year and we have a bigger project ahead of us which we are calling sponsors for, to at least buy 40,000 worth of books from Nigerian authors.”

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