Decline in reading culture in Nigeria

Reading is a means for language acquisition, communication, and sharing information and ideas. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. It also requires creativity and critical analysis.

   Reading culture is a foundation skill for learning and academic achievement, and in the wake of worldwide concerns with literacy rates, many nations have turned their attention towards reading instruction and strategies.

  Decline on the other hand is the period during which something is deteriorating or approaching its end. It is also the downward movement, fall, weakness, reduction or diminution of activity.

  From time to time people have wondered why reading is important. Reading is one of the most important ways of knowing the word around us. It helps you grow mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Every book gives you an opportunity to learn new things and explore new ideas. Reading books increases your knowledge and makes you smarter.

   Decline in reading culture amongst the various age and population segments especially in Nigeria has indeed become an issue of increasing concern. This is so because reading has been proven to stimulate imagination, encourages curiosity. Reading enhances acquisition of skills for handling complex ideas or issues. It is generally believed that readers are leaders.

   Reading, whether for pleasure or for academic purpose, is therefore an essential habit that forms the bedrock of greatness in everyone, regardless of age, gender or status is hardly ever disputable.

   The reading culture which was common among Nigerian students, youths and adults in the pass has been significantly eroded.

  Some education stakeholders have also attributed the drop in reading culture in Nigeria to the lack of adequate awareness on its important, inadequate library facilities, poor access to books and other reading materials, growth in tele viewership culture and the migration from text book culture to electronic learning that is yet to fully gain ground.

However, a major phenomenon has been linked to dwindling reading culture is low level of computer literacy among citizens. Added to this are the distractive and wrong application of information and communication technology device and the high cost of books.

   As good as ICT is, many observers say it has also cast some measure of negative effect on Nigeria’s, especially on their reading habits. The state of our public and institutional libraries has not also helped matters as they do not present in them any practical incentives for the young ones to engage in the study of relevant and contemporary texts. 

   Studies have also confirmed that where as reading should be for self-development , majority of students at the secondary and tertiary institutions see reading as mean to passing examinations.

    Students, on their own side, have stated that in a highly materialistic society where people are rated in line with the “fatness” of their bank accounts, there has not been enough compelling reason for them to bury themselves in books while the adults cart away the nations wealth.

    Truth is that a nation whose youth no longer read is sure to face an uncertain and endangered failure. Let us take steps today to save our future by practically reviving our reading culture.

Martha Yahi

Mass Communication Department,

 University of Maiduguri

Leave a Reply