Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, CBAAC, Prof. Tunde Babawale, has said the decline in the reading culture of Nigerian and African youths in general was not as a result of intrusion of the social media but systematic problem.
The DG bemoaned that lack of a reading culture by youths had become a major problem maintained that leaders were laying very bad examples adding that actions about policies were not tailored towards reading and development.
He said the leaders have proved to the youths that things were better done by cutting corners with the enthronement of endemic corruption. As a result of this, he opined that youths were not ready to learn and preferred the easy way of making money.
Babawale disagreed with those who have argued that the decline in reading culture was caused by the emergence of social media.
According to him, in Europe and America, youths had greater access to the internet and other social media more than in Africa, but the reading culture had not declined in those continents.
“I observed that each time I travelled out of the country, when you seat with young foreigners, you hardly see them at any point in time without books, sometimes very voluminous.
“But most of the young girls and boys from Nigeria and Africa would either be playing games, chatting (pinging) or playing music from their blackberry handset,’’ he said.
“That is why we see ritual killings, kidnapping, human trafficking and every youth wanting to go into politics to get-rich-quick,’’ he said.
Babawale said that in the last two decades, in various communities, honour and respect had not been given to educated people.
He said that people usually attached more importance to wealth at the expense of education, adding that this attitude had been transferred to children.
He said that the elders had also stopped reading and now attached more importance to acquiring cars and houses.
“Our values have been upturned and that is why our children do not read books, because they have forgotten that no society can develop without its core educated citizens,’’ he said.

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