The Vice-Chancellor, Mountain Top University, MTU, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, has said for reading culture to improve in the country, the government must place a high premium on education.

He said this at a one-day event to mark the 2021 International Book Day organised by the MTU Library.

The VC explained that the lecture tagged: Plagiarism and copyright in academic writing, presented by Dr Ifeoma Oluwasemilore, was apt as it exposed those in the writing business to the importance attached to producing an intellectual work.

According to him: ”One of the ways to improve reading culture is to create awareness and encourage reading culture in the country.

“It is also by publishing and making it available not only in hard copy but also in electronic format, because these days, people want the electronic format more.

“On the decline in reading culture, if education does not change people, people will not value reading; if the government does not value education, people will not value education.

“With so many social vices in the country such as killings, kidnapping, etc., how do you expect those reading to focus on reading?

“They will go and look for something that will bring money to them, but if the government places value on education, it will encourage people to read,” he stated.

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On the theme of the day’s lecture, the VC noted: ”We learned a lot from the presenter as the lecture was organised to commemorate the World Book Day.

“The lecture underscores the difference between law and education.  From the legal point of view, we have known that some of the things we do or take for granted which have allowed people to exploit us, are things we can take up legally, which if done, may fetch us some money instead of other people benefiting from the work.

“So, my advice to those in the academia is for us to understand the law governing intellectual properties and ensure they protect their intellectual works,” the MTU VC said.

The host and MTU Librarian, Dr. Helen Akinade, stated that her love for books and the need to celebrate those involved in writing formed the basis for the lecture.

Her words: ”Librarianship and taking care of the library are my passion and anything that has to do with books makes me happy. I already know that WBD calls for the need to celebrate books, to celebrate our authors and those that run the engine of education. 

“And based on today’s lecture, my advice is that when you are informed, you will not be deformed. When you know your right as an author in an academic environment, you won’t do anything that will tarnish your prestige. So, we need to know our rights, and know what governs intellectual works among others,” Dr Akinade said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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