By Dayo Adesulu
Dearth of reading culture and absence of equipped libraries have been identified as the two causative agents in the rate of failure in WASSCE, NECO and JAMB among our youths.
Mr Kolawole Oyeyemi, Founder, Ignite Africa Leadership Foundation who spoke while launching a world class Library at Ikeja said: “The reading culture is almost dead ; the libraries are either nonexistent or empty of relevant books.”
Oyeyemi who pegged the rate of failure in WASSCE, NECO and JAMB at over 80 per cent, described the scenario as a national embarrassment that only emphasis on reading culture.
He posited, “If you give a child a book, he is going to star t reading. If a child starts reading, he is going to start thinking. If a child starts thinking, he is going to imagine. And if a child experiences the beauty of imagination, there is no telling how high he can soar!”
He asked, “What does the future hold for a nation with a youthful population that is not interested in studying, and to whom the reading culture is unattractive.”
He maintained that the consequences are at variance with sustainable development, adding, “this is where Ignite Africa comes in.”
He averred that the NGO wants to turn up a crop of Nigerian who are intelligent to take the world, nothing that if you don’t read, you can’t lead.
The launched library which is designed for primary, secondary and university students, according to him, will also serves as a research centre for undergraduates and professionals.
Meanwhile, the Project Director, Winnie Aduayi disclosed that Ignite Africa currently has about 4500 books to serve students, while expecting 65,000 imported books.
According to her, 90 percent of the Ignite Africa books come from the US, because it is cheaper, adding that the cost of similar books in Nigeria are relatively higher.
She said: “Ignite Africa has impacted hundreds of school children across the Nation. “We have established over 50 book clubs and Book-To-Child connection groups across schools in Lagos State; Onelga region, Portharcourt, and Bonny Island in Rivers State. We provide these books free to them for reading.”
Aduayi urged every person to register freely online www.ignitenigeria.org to enable them use the books and internet computers, stating that the library opens 8:30am – 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, while on Saturday, it opens 10am – 4:30pm.