STUDENTS and youths have been advised to hold reading, writing and ICT to a greater esteem owing to their unfathomable importance.
The Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze gave the advice while speaking at the 2021 International Literacy Day, organised by the library, with the theme ‘Literacy for a Human-Centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide’.
According to her, literacy today is no longer only about reading and writing, but also has more to do with being ICT-compliant, as the world now requires that everyone be ICT-inclined. She further said, some schools and students were still learning last year, when academic activities were almost crumbled by coronavirus that led to schools being shut down.
While noting that the state library has been in the forefront in equipping people with ICT skills, through the various free training they have been organising; the state Librarian, Dr. Udeze also advised them to imbibe good reading culture and acquire relevant digital skills to be able to bridge the digital divide to the barest minimum.
On his own part, the Senior Special Assistant on Secondary Education to Governor Willie Obiano, Dr. Paul Ifeanyi appreciated the library for organising the event and further decried the poor reading culture in society today, even as he dismissed as baseless, the armchair speculation by some people who say that education is no longer useful in the society today, arguing that countries like US and others are where they are today because of education.
He therefore advised the students to take their studies very serious and put everything they learnt at the event into practice.
Earlier, while interacting with the participants on writing skills, the Principal, Potters College, Awka, Mrs Ebere Chinonso, who basically defined literacy as the ability to read and write, highlighted the importance of reading, and reminded them that one has to be a good reader to be a good writer.
Aside other presentations by the participants, the event featured spelling competition among the participants, in which Master Emmanuel Ezeh, Master Anyachi Chinazaekpere and Miss Ezediebube Chimziterem took first, second and third positions respectively, and were presented with Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, exercise books, novels and pens as prizes. Writing materials were also distributed to other participants at the event. Others who spoke at the event include Miss Chinenye Anyaegbunam and Obianuju Umeh.
The event, which simultaneously held at Ihembosi Division Branch Library, was also celebrated at Onitsha Divisional Library, where the Secretary General of Nigeria Library Association, Anambra State Chapter, Mrs. Ngozi Perpetual Osuchukwu advised the participants to take reading very serious, and harped on the need to bridge the gap between the literate and the non literate and ICT-equipped and the non ICT-equipped members of society, which should not be left only for the government.
International Literacy Day, which was first celebrated in 1967 is a special day set aside in 1966 by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.