The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) in collaboration with Niger state Ministry of Education on Thursday called on Nigerians to promote reading culture in the society.
They made the call at an event for students and education secretaries to commemorate World Book Day and disseminate of a report on the assessment of textbook availability in classrooms and schools in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Book and Copyright Day is an annual event marked in over 100 countries to promote reading, publishing, and even copyright.
Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, Niger state Commissioner for Education, said the event was apt, as there was a need to establish a formidable and sustainable reading culture among the young ones.
She said the Federal Government intervention programme in the provision of books was to attain the ratio of one textbook to one pupil in the public primary schools and improve the reading culture in junior secondary schools.
Salihu noted that the event was aimed at promoting reading for the improved outcome for children and called on publishers to ensure that books were gender-sensitive and negate stereotypes that affect transition.
She said the state government’s intervention in the educational sector was to improve quality education and called on parents and guardians to encourage younger ones to imbibe the reading culture to complement government efforts.
In his remarks, Mr Francis Elisha, Education Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, said the event was to encourage children to imbibe reading culture and adults to make provision of reading materials for them.
He called on participants at the event to ensure that books were made available at school and family levels as well as remind themselves of their responsibility to revive reading culture in society.
Francis called on educational secretaries of the various local government areas to reach out to all agencies that would support donations of books in schools.
In his remarks, Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger said the event was a re-awakening call to every individual to imbibe the culture of reading.
Bello, represented by Malam Mamman Musa, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said the state government made tremendous efforts through the renovation of schools to make the reading environment conducive.
Also, Dr Isah Adamu, Chairman of the Niger state Universal Basic Education (NSUBEB), advised students to read more books to become versatile and articulate.
He urged the public to promote reading culture among Nigerians.
NAN reports that some of the recommendations of the event were that everyone should ensure they read one book in a month.
It also called on government to provide books and for parents to encourage their children to cultivate a reading culture.