Over 2, 000 students from different schools across the country will converge on Abuja on October 1st, 2015, to participate in the Independence Reading Festival (IRF), as part of initiatives to promote reading culture among the Nigerian youth.
The fiesta is organised by a non-governmental Organisation, Explorers Book Club, to mark Nigeria’s 55th Independence Anniversary.
National co-ordinator of the NGO, Mr Hero Udenyi, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, decried the poor reading culture among the Nigerian youth as manifested in poor performances of candidates in public examinations in recent times.
Udenyi, said October 1st, was deliberately chosen by the Local Organising Committee of the Independence Reading Festival, to further accentuate the relevance of independence to “our national life” while at the same time teach the youth in Nigeria to embrace reading culture as the only way to liberate the mind and create a sound society.
He said the organisation was concerned that Nigeria is still home to over 54 million illiterate adults and adolescents in spite of the efforts of successive governments in the country to arrest the trend.
Udenyi, said the NGO, was even more worried at decline in basic education in the country, where graduates from primary and secondary schools could hardly read and write, adding that to salvage the situation all hands must be on deck.
He said: “This unique reading programme, which is an annual event to celebrate Nigeria’s independence, will bring together pupils, students, parents and people of all walks of life to read the story of this great nation.
“Independence Reading Festival is designed to motivate young people to read. Its aim is to make reading attractive to them early in life with hope that they grow up accustomed to and enjoying reading.
“The festival is a catch-them-young packaged to use entertainment to inspire young people, especially primary school pupils and secondary school students to embrace reading culture by inviting their favourite stars, some best known names in public life and role models in society to read and interact with them,” Udenyi said.
He added that the even which would take place at Tobix Recreation Garden, from 9am to 3pm, would also witness Book Exhibition as well as presentation of certificate and prizes to participants.