By Prince Osuagwu
ForÂ Â indigenousÂ Â comp uter manufact-urers, Zinox Technologies Limited, the best way to drag Nigeria back to greatness was to return a mass of growing youths back to reading culture. And so it has concluded plans to launch Nigeria Reads, an initiative inspired by the companyâ€™s exclusive affil-iation to the World e-Books Library.
World e-books library, gives direct access to over 750,000 e-books and documents embedded in every Zinox Computer and enabled by a Zinox e-Card, renewable annually at a subsidized rate.
The Head of the Zinox e-Books Project, Mrs. Loretta Agbakoba explained that Nigeria Reads was built on the fear that Nigeria would hasten to a failed state if urgent steps are not taken to instill or restore a reading culture among Nigerians.
She noted that the educational system in Nigeria has been consistently undermined by elaborate planning and inadequate funding; regular strikes and disruptions of the academic calendar; policy somersaults occasioned by the unpredictability of political successions; the exceedingly high cost of school fees outside the public schools system, which is generally seen as unstable.
Agabakoba said that the race for ill gotten wealth has become a major preoccupation that distracts todayâ€™s Nigerian from the somber culture of reading. For her, other distractions include television and video games, the internet, e-games and the colossal setback that is called power black out.
She noted that the problems that hinder reading in Nigeria were many and central to the under development of the nation, adding that, any attempt to return Nigeria to the path of greatness envisioned by the nationalists must begin with this plea to turn Nigerians back to reading.
Looking beyond Nigeria, the e- Books boss said the world today is talking about the imminent rise of China, India, Russia and Brazil. These are nations that devoted huge resources to education and are today reaping the results of a literate, confident, and productive citizenry. A recent study revealed that the Chinese child spends three times as much time on his academics than the American child. It would be interesting to compare the Nigerian child to the Chinese in terms of reading.
She declared that Nigeria Reads would partner with Governments, corporate persons, educational institut-ions, parents and other stake holders to equip the citizenry to access the vast reading resources, over 750,000 e-Books, embedded in the World e-Books Library.
In addition the e-suite contains 1,280 interactive educational games, 4,000 Computer Science e-books, 5,000 Maths interactive activities, 12,000 Classic Literature e-Books in PDF, 23,000 Audio books in MP3 downloadable, plus simulation tools in the Sciences and Teacher Lesson Notes, Worksheets and Classroom Articles.
She challenged Govern-ments at all levels and education stake holders to take advantage of the Zinox initiative to ensure that every school, every teacher, and every child has access to these e-books, since it solves two major problems associated with reading, availability and cost of books.