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Eroded reading culture: NGO organises stakeholders' meeting, proffers panacea

A non governmental organization, Refuge of Life foundation (Relfond) has organised stakeholders meeting across all sectors in Osun state in order to address the trend of poor reading culture in the state and country at large.

The founder of the NGO, Mr. Bolarinwa Olabode, who had donated 1000 books to schools in the state, disclosed during the meeting held in Osogbo on Thursday, that plans were in top gear to donater another 3,000 books to schools in the state as efforts to encourage reading in schools.

Olabode, the convener of the meeting and Project Director of Refuge of Life Foundation, said the meeting was organised to appraise the reading culture in the state and motivate people to read more.

Bolarinwa said "In 2016, Refuge of Life Foundation embarked on a project tagged #Donate1000Books to Osun State Library and it was executed successfully. Our vision is to encourage people to read most especially the youth and we are giving them the orientation that readers are leaders and leadership starts with them from today."

The meeting was attended by stakeholders from various sectors including education and the media. Students drawn from various schools in the state, an NGO, Value Female Network (VFN), and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were also at the meeting.

Also speaking, the Head of Station, RAVE FM, Osogbo, Mr Femi Olanipekun charged youths to imbibe reading habit so as to broaden their knowledge.

Speaking on the meeting's topic:"Reading; The Eroding Culture," Olanipekun lamented that many youths have abandoned the books and that their refusal to read is a dangerous trend and delicate signal for the future.

He said the reading culture of the youths of nowadays was very poor and urged the youths to strive to get useful books and read very well to broaden their knowledge and position themselves in the right space as leaders of tomorrow.

For the Chairman of the  Correspondents' Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Osun State and Correspondent of Daily Trust newspaper in Osun State, Prince Hameed Oyegbade, the meeting came at the appropriate time as he commended the convener of the meeting.

A member of Osun State House of Assembly representing I've North State Constituency,  Honourable Tunde Olatunji said people should read meaningful things that would add value to their life and benefit them and the society.

Olatunji said "The same way you learn how to be polite and and do things right, you must learn how to read very well. Reading is beyond passing examinations. We must read books that would make your life better. We must ensure that our kids cultivate reading habit from tender age. Read very well, you might not be able to change the whole world now but u could make a different in your own small corner."

A veteran broadcast journalist in the state, Mr Foluso Adedigba urged the state government to motivate the teachers in the state and make them happy to enable them perform their duties with joy and impact on the lives of the students.

VFN founder, Miss Costly Aderibigbe while speaking at the meeting contended that eroded reading culture in the state was responsible for the poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations.

Aderibigbe, represented by a volunteer of the group, Miss Tosin Opalola advised governments at all levels to provide relevant books stressing that parents and teachers should also encourage students to read.

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