An educationist, Dr Tony Akpokeneme, has described as worrisome Nigerian Children’s preference for entertainment events than reading and scholarship.
Akpokeneme said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday, in Abuja, against the backdrop of the maiden Abuja Book fair and exhibition by Flomat Book Ltd.
He said that over the years, the priority that should have been alloted to education and health was not adhered to as such the two critical sectors fell below recommendations.
While growing up, it was a thing of pride to cite the numbers of books and titles one had read over the holidays, he noted.
“But, what we have today is the latest gadget, latest Samsung, I-phone and the latest movies on Neflix which are the types of discussions we have these days from our children.
“No wonder in essays, our children and even adults do not make proper statements like “four”, instead they write “4”, “you” is now “U”, and tenses are mixed up, due to lack of reading culture,” he lamented.
He stated that when some University graduates spoke, one would wonder if they actually went to school as they claimed, adding that this was the challenge the country was presently faced with.
Akpokeneme said that the country could not afford to fold its arms and allow things to degenerate, stressing that he would contribute his quota by educating the nation through the book fair.
He said that the business of selling books go hand-in-hand with the business of educating a nation and that was why he was passionate about the need for a reading culture in the country.
Akpokeneme said that because it remained a national dilemma, and not just limited to children, the issue should be confronted headlong.
He stressed that education would go down drastically in the country if it was not prioritised, the aftermath of which would be a total lack of readership.
“A situation where lecturers strike incessantly and they do not see it to stop the bleeding, there will definitely be a general decadence of a reading culture.
“It is entertainment we see companies and individuals struggling to sponsor, therefore it is time for us to put our action where our mouth is,” he said.