A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), South-South Professional Women Association (SSPWA), has emphasised the importance of reading culture among Nigerian children, especially the girl-children.
The group’s Coordinator in Edo, Dr Nosa Aladeselu, underscored the need for reading culture among the Nigerian children on Tuesday in Benin at the launch of SSPWA’s Book Challenge programme.
The event was held in Idia College, Benin, ahead of this year’s World Book Day scheduled for April 23.
Aladeselu said books were a great source of knowledge that played a very important role in the lives of students, stressing that children should be helped to imbibe the reading culture early in life.
She said the group decided to organise the programme to revive the comatose reading culture in the country.“You will agree with me that in Africa, especially in Nigeria, the reading culture has gone down among our children, hence our resolve to revive the culture among the girl-children.
“With this programme, we hope to develop in the south-south children, especially our girl-children, the habit of reading and exploring the joy of reading.
“It will also give our target beneficiaries the opportunity to appreciate the dynamism of books and how they can impact their lives for the better,” she said.
Aladeselu noted that the programme was the maiden edition, but said that it plan was on to make it an annual event across the south-south region.
“SSPWA hopes to make the girl-children understand the importance of books and reading and to arouse and sustain their interest in reading and writing.
“We also hope to organise various activities and events such as essay writing competition, speech preparation and delivery competitions, debates on contemporary issues and quiz competitions.
She further said that the organisation planned to hold annual reading sessions and free book distribution, especially to brilliant but indigent children across the region.
“As the name suggests, the focus will be on books and writing and we want to institutionalise this as an annual event across the south-south region,” she added.
SSPWA’s Focal Person, Dr Margaret Abikwi, said the group decided to begin the launch with an examination for 60 Junior and Senior Secondary School students from three government-owned schools within Benin.
“We had given each of them the same literature to read within the same specified period of time. Today, they are asked to write a summary and their impressions on the book.
“Our aim in what we have done here today is to celebrate the love for knowledge, promotion and enjoyment of books as well as reading among children in the south-south region of Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, the scripts will be handed to an independent assessor while the scores and awards will be announced on April 24, as part of SSPWA’s activities to mark the 2021 World Book Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participating students were drawn from Idia, Itohan and Iyoba Secondary Schools, all in Benin metropolis.
Choice Ufua and Jennifer Atiti, who spoke to NAN on behalf of other students, expressed delight over the examination, saying it was a pleasant experience.
The participants said the exercise would help them improve their vocabularies as well as their reading and writing skills. ( NAN)
– Apr. 13, 2021 @ 14:55 GMT