Head of the Department of Mass Communication, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisikas, has called on parents to be role models for their children and encourage reading culture.
She stated this during an interview with reporters on how to improve reading culture.
Ogwezzy-Ndisika said: “In looking at reading culture, the COVID-19 pandemic is both a blessing and a curse because some children who don’t have ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in their homes may not be able to do any serious work because one thing that has been pushing children to read is the online mode.
“When they are given assignments, they have to search, read, study, submit assignments and listen to lectures. So, for children with access to education, the gap won’t be much. For those who don’t have access to education, some would play their time away.”
The don suggested that parents must ensure that their children have reading timetables and keep to them.
“Though it is difficult in a complex environment, It takes discipline to pull this through. In churches now, they have those who coach children on different subjects. This is where community development comes in.
“Clerics should begin to talk about reading culture and encourage parents. Communities should begin to have groups who can guide children. Reading should be a culture both at the family level, schools and the communities.”
Also, education consultant, Akin Benjamin, said to improve reading culture parents and teachers must be involved.
“We must start early to read to our children, create a culture of reading for pleasure and not only for grades,” Benjamin said.
“Schools need to stock their libraries with appropriate reading materials to stimulate the love for reading. Well-arranged, beautiful reading corners should be in classrooms right from preschool through upper primary. Parents should be encouraged to donate books to classes.
“All levels of government need to establish more public libraries. Online libraries and books are a must now if we must revive the reading culture.”