THE importance of reading cannot be over-emphasised. Scholars have often stressed on the importance of reading because there is no way one can become a scholar without reading. Prominent people who have made it in life today made it because they paid attention to reading and reading good books in and out of school walls.
Last Saturday, a Non- Governmnet al Organization (NGO) called AIFA moved its crusade of culture revival to the university town of Nsukka in Enugu State. It was a day many people who attended the occasion will not forget in a hurry largely because of its sweet memory.
During the epoch ceremony, six students and three teachers from Nsukka cutural zone were given awards for their outstanding performances in the reading world.
Speaking at the award ceremony held at Adada House, Old GRA, Nsukka, Professor Pat Ngwu of the Department of Adult Education & Extra-Mural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, described AIFA as a society that aimed at social and personal growth through promoting and supporting the culture of reading. He said that AIFA Reading Society believed that good education encouraged reading because education is one of the most powerful tools in eradicating poverty and improving the living standards of people.
Ngwu, who delivered a keynote speech at the award ceremony entitled, “the importance of reading culture in the society,” said that reading was one of man’s ingenious discoveries or inventions, pointing out that reading was one skill that not only opened up several social spaces and opportunities for man from which he made choices but also prepared one for the future in a nearly perfect predictive trajectory.
The don urged students and pupils to read extensively because it would open vistas of opportunities for them, noting that the first thing taught in school was reading which would eventually enable one to write.
Describing reading as a cornerstone for a child’s success in school and indeed throughout life, Ngwu encouraged reading which he said was the world’s longest kept secret.
Lamenting that Africans were not good at reading, Ngwu said that they were taunted that if you wanted to hide important information from an African, you hid it in a book, because the African is
preoccupied to want to read.
The erudite Professor emphasised the importance of reading which he said was what gave vent to the industrial revolution of 1700 to early 1900 in the western world. He said the revolution was possible
because the workers were able to read and know the workings of the machines used in the industries.
“There is no gainsaying that reading is so important that only the oppressed can afford to be illiterate because of powerlessness, ignorance, and poverty… therefore any community that does not
promote reading should not be recognised by government as an autonomous community,” Prof. Ngwu declared to stress the importance of reading.
One of the resource persons that graced the occasion, Dr Mike Ajogwu, SAN, also harped on the importance of reading, saying that one of the famous writers, Charles Dickens, did not have much education, but by reading extensively, he was able to write powerful novels.
Also speaking at the occasion, the chairman of Enugu State Post Primary School Management Board, PPSMB, Barrister Nestor Ezema stressed the importance of reading and promised to ensure that more teachers were employed to teach core subjects that would aid reading at early
stage, saying that the government would not take the gesture of AIFA
in improving reading and learning fore-granted.
Students entertained the august visitors with drama series portraying the bad effect cultism and playing truancy in school
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of awards to deserving students and teachers as well giving of cash rewards toother recipients.