National Library urges FG to increase schools funding

……promote reading culture

The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) has urged the Federal Government to increase  funding for schools to promote reading culture among students.

The Head of NLN, Enugu State, Mrs Rachel Neboh, made the call during the 2024 World Book and Copyright Day, organised by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) held at NLN, Enugu on Tuesday with the theme “Read Your Way”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Book and Copyright Day is a special day set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to celebrate writers, authors, publishers, to promote the enjoyment of books and reading.

The event was attended by some primary school pupils in Enugu, teachers and parents.

Neboh, a Deputy Director, said the funding became necessary to address the issue of overcrowded classrooms and to employ more qualified teachers that would encourage students devote more time in their studies than they spent on social media.

She observed that some schools had about 50 pupils to one teacher, making the class to be over crowded.

She called for increased government investment in education to improve learning environments and ensure access to quality education for all.

The, deputy director, however, urged parents to prioritise buying books for their children, emphasising the importance of cultivating a reading culture among them.

“Books are very important and the essence of living is reading. Like somebody will say that, when you stop reading, you start dying.

“So, we are here to celebrate authors for their contributions for cultural educational progress, among others.

“Read your way to success, breakthrough and beyond the four walls of the class room. Don’t limit yourself in reading as you can read anything you can for fun, entertainment and knowledge,” she advised.

Neboh also addressed concerns about excessive use of information and communication technology (ICT) among students, urging moderation and emphasising the importance of parental guidance.

“Students should limit the way they use ICT for fun as it distracts their attention. I am not saying that ICT is bad, but it is not everything there that is good, anybody can put anything on the internet,” she advised.

Speaking on the theme, she encouraged individuals to explore various genres and sources of knowledge that transcend traditional boundaries.

On her part, the State Director, NCC, Enugu, Mrs Ngozi Okeke, emphasised the importance of copyright in protecting authors’ intellectual property.

She explained that copyright grants writers exclusive rights over their works, leading to ownership of physical property as their asset.

This is even as she emphasised the transformative power of reading and its role in personal growth and success.

Linking copyright with the theme, the state director underscored the transformative power of reading and celebrated authors’ contributions to literature.

The state director further hinted that the Commission dedicated the celebration of 2024 World Book and Copyright Day to Prof. Wole Soyinka, a renowned Nigerian literary figure, who would be turning 90 in July.

Explaining, she said: “Copyright is when you create a work, you have a right to it; just like when you have your property, you have absolute right over it , and before someone else will use it, the person will come and say,` please can I use it’?

“When you talk about copyright, it is about the book or whatever the person has created.

“The person who writes a book has a concrete right over the book. And copyright is an exclusive right that is given to an author or a writer, for the person to do whatsoever he wants with it”.

A Primary four pupil, Chisimdi Akubuilo, thanked the organisers of the programme, highlighting the potential of reading to lead to success and leadership.

Akubuilo, a pupil from Hill Vill Education Center Early Learning, Enugu State, said, “You can read your way to great success in life.

“If you read your way, you can become something in life and you can become a leader”. 

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