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Social Media, Killing Our Reading Culture – Professor Edeji Ijii

Social Media Is Killing Our Reading Culture. These are the words of Professor Edeji Ijiiin an interview granted to Tribune newspaper. Here is the full interview:

Interest in social media like Facebook and the likes. What does this portend to students academic pursuits?

The advent of technology and social media like Facebook, twitter and the likes has seriously destroyed our reading culture because so many students now spend more time on the internet chatting with friends on things that will not add value to life.

They dump their books and spend more time on Facebook and this development has, to a large extent, affected the quality of students we churn-out as graduates because for instance, if you spend five hours chatting with a friend on the internet, how much time do you now have to read your books. I am not saying the internet is bad, but the addiction and obsession on the part of most students is worrisome. It is as bad as that.

How can this be curbed?
If you say curb, I agree with you but stopping it completely is like embarking on a fruitless journey. I think if we must curb it, then, it must start from the home. Parents have a role to play because most students just can’t do without the social media. As a student, you must try to spend more time on your books than on the social media. Also as a student, if you spend time reading articles, journals, and doing research on the internet, it is a good thing than spending time on idle talk.

What is your assessment of university education in Nigeria as compared to other countries?
University education in Nigeria is still evolving. We are not there yet. We cannot compare ourselves to other countries like the US or even Ghana because their governments pay more attention to education and provides adequate incentives for them, but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. Most times, we have to resort to strikes to get certain things done and this is not helping our education sector. You recalled what happened during the last ASUU strike. Students in public universities are lagging behind due to this development. We had to re-adjust the academic calendar in order to meet up. This is not good for us. Our government needs to pay adequate attention to the education sector through proper funding so that we can have quality education for our students and make them compete favorably with their counterparts in other countries.

Will you say this is the reason why many Nigerians troop out to other countries like Ghana for their academic pursuits?
Yes. It is one of the many reasons. So many Nigerian students are schooling abroad because most of them don’t want to be frustrated educationally. I am not saying our educational system is too bad, but we need to take a step forward and do things the right way. You find our students in Ghana not because of the quality of education there but because there is stability in their education sector education is given top priority attention in most of these countries so why won’t Nigerians go out of their own country.

What is the way forward for our education sector?
Adequate attention should be paid to the education sector through proper funding. Infrastructural development is key to the education sector. Like what ASUU fought for recently. We need enough classrooms for our students, medical facilities and many other things and if all these things are in place we will move a step higher in the sector. Source: Tribune Newspaper


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