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EDUCATION

Improving reading culture among pupils

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ACCORDING to oxford dictionary, to read is “to look at and understand the meaning of written or printed words or symbols”.
There is urgent need to awake students to embrace intensive reading culture which has been slaughtered at the altar of trading, watching pornographic websites, yahoo-yahoo, 2go, twitter, facebook and other forms of technological means.

There is a common aphorism that reading makes one intelligent, it’s very painful to know that the rare sight of books have created strangeness between books and some persons. Some persons approach books in such an apologetic way that brings fear and timidity that makes one loose the joy of reading.
Instead of putting more effort and confidence on reading, some felt as though it’s not important. I know of a student who during his final examination in school felt reluctant.

All he was saying was that the day of examination has not yet approached, that he had some petty business he wanted to do so as to have money to buy things that he needed, so there was no reason for him to read. A to the examination he started reading but was so confused because he didn’t even know where to start from since the exam question can come from any topic.

Unfortunately for him after the whole examination, he came out with a poor result all because he never concentrated or adopted reading culture from the very beginning.

This implies that for a person to anticipate a promising and bright academic status, intensive reading can never be ignored. During the holiday periods, many students enjoy trading, watching of films and pornographic websites, being on twitter, facebook and the rest, forgetting that the holiday is not all about resting but a time for one to refresh his or her memory through reading.

In an interview with Uchenna Louis from Awka, on the way forward to stopping poor reading culture among students, he said that reading was very important in the life of youths, most especially to students (primary, secondary, tertiary) because it helps them to avoid engaging themselves in examination malpractice.

He also used himself as an example, saying that during his days in school, he found it difficult to read not just that he didn’t like reading but he lost all his concentration to trading and playing of football. He later failed his final examination (senior secondary schools) and that made his parents force him into business.

According to him, he is doing very well in his business but he would have preferred if he furthered his education.
He said all this was because of his poor reading culture. He also said that this holiday’s period is the very best time for students to dedicate themselves to reading.

However, he said that despite the fact that reading culture among students has gone oblivion, there are certain measures, if adopted, will help restore the lost glory towards reading.

He advised parents to leave no stone unturned ensuring that their children or wards pay much attention to their studies at home, rather than allowing them to engage themselves in unnecessary activities that could jeopardize their future on reading.

Charles Okoro a teacher in Bishop Okoye Memorial Girl’s Secondary School, Osigbu, Ukpor, said that education was a lifelong learning process starting from elementary class and progressing through all levels of education. The standard and their supporting performance indicators are some school activities (art work, assignment) for teachers to use in building appropriate objectives, learning activities and assessments.

Using this, students will have progressively, more challenging educational activities and experience that will enable them to develop intensive reading culture.

He also said that it is very important for parents to make their children or wards pay attention on reading, rather than allowing them to hawk goods on the streets and markets.

However, he said that teachers were not left out in this exercise. They should help inculcate the spirit of intensive reading into their pupils and student.
Chidimma Peter, a student of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said that reading is very important for students, so as to prevent them from engaging themselves in examination malpractices. He also said that to her, as a student, she loves reading, but because her parents cannot afford all that she needs in school (school fees, buying of text books etc.) due to lack of funds, she engages in doing some little jobs so as to help herself. With this, she finds it difficult to have time to read her books. Even now that she is on holidays, she said that she was using it as a period to make money for herself before going back to school.

However she appealled to the government to revamp this moribund state of reading culture among students by building and equipping libraries with relevant materials, (text books) or by making the lecturers sell some of the text books at affordable prices, organizing seminars, quiz competition and giving scholarships, it will motivate students to read intensively.

Ushie Patrick a teacher at Vision Development College Zaki-bian, Benue State said that reading culture among pupils or students was not encouraging. “Reading is supposed not to be ignored in the life of pupils and students. He also said that as a teacher, he discovered that most of his pupils engage themselves in some petty trading and farming work, especially this period of holidays, instead of using this period as a time to read and refresh their memories. “This makes some of the pupils not to concentrate on school activities after the holiday due to the fact that they spend their holidays without going through their books.

However, he said that parents should ensure that their children have time to read their books, most especially this holiday period. You can send them to trade or hawk goods around for you but after that, create time for them to go through their books.

Adaeze Akabogu a pupil of St. Lucy Nursery and Primary School, Awka, said that she loved reading, most especially during examination periods. Coming to the holiday period, she sees it as the period of resting from academics activities.

However, she advised her fellow pupils to adopt reading culture among themselves so as to help them stop speaking vernacular inside and outside the school. “One reading his or her books can improve the quality of one’s spoken and written English

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Joy Terfa, a nurse from Benue state said that reading in her days in school was a must do exercise but today, majority of the pupils/students believe that reading is a mere waste of time and energy; that what matters in this present time is one’s financial capacity (How much you have). “They believe that if one don’t have money, no one will recognize or respect him or her irrespective of his/her level of education.”

However she implored pupils and students to shun poor reading culture among themselves pointing out that no nation had ever grown without hard work and reading is part of it.

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