Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has expressed concern over lack of reading culture among the younger generation of Nigerians, saying the trend was capable of affecting negatively the standard of education.
Prince Abiodun who stated this in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, while receiving the President of National Library of Nigeria, Prof. Lenrie Aina, who paid him a courtesy call, noted that it was important to inculcate in the children the ability to read.
“We grew up reading so many books. Back in the days, we will go to our libraries and spend time reading. We had library time and it was compulsory you go there and spend quality time reading, these things have eroded”, he recalled.
The Governor who acknowledged the important role of libraries in the education sector, expressed worry at the state of libraries in the State, pledging that something would be done to reverse the trend.
He said the present administration viewed education has a means of empowerment, as academically qualified youths are better placed for gainful employment, which in turn, would reduce their involvement in criminal activities.
Prince Abiodun said his administration decided to focus on repositioning basic education, as it was the foundation for other levels in the sector, adding that 200 primary schools have so far being rehabilitated across the State, just as teachers’ welfare and the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in imparting knowledge, were being vigorously pursued.
“We are also promoting vocational training for those who do not want to go to the University. We are proceeding to see how we can certify them so that they are better placed to become entrepreneurs”, he said.
The Governor who lamented the poor performance of students in external examinations, acknowledged recent improvement, saying government was committed to positioning the State as the foremost in the education sector.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Aina while stressing the importance of a functional library in an academic environment, said many Nigerians who study abroad excel as a result of availability of standard libraries, adding that the aim of the National Library of Nigeria was to have standard libraries all over the country.
He said his visit to the State was to solicit for a piece of land from the State government, for the body to build a befitting branch in the State capital, as it has done in other parts of the nation, to support the State’s efforts in the education sector.