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Poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria are both at extremely high levels. Achieving higher rates of literacy is a vital part of the effort to eradicate Nigerian poverty but the relationship between the two is complex, because the effects of poverty are a major obstacle to literacy.The first impediment to literacy is simple: given the widespread poverty, few parents can afford to send their children to school and some parents send their kids to school with NO BOOKS. So many children in Nigeria from poor neighborhoods have no access to books at home or in school and Some families have so little disposable income, that they can’t afford any books at all. This is sad and needs to change. Children need to have access to books for them to read better, build a large vocabulary and become literate. Raising literacy rates depends on governments and NGOs making schools and programs for youth and adult education available. Some states are making a real effort to improve literacy. However, some government officials are either indifferent (or corrupt), give education a low priority, or their efforts are just poor.
Around the globe, one thing that has been shown to be a consistently powerful predictor of academic achievement is a home or school library equipped with books. Libraries can make a huge difference. In our opinion, the place to focus is the library, both the school and home library. Studies show a positive relationship between library quality (school and home) and the amount read, as well as a relationship with reading competence. Better libraries equipped with age appropriate books means more literacy development for younger readers as well as for secondary school students.
We at Reading Hamlets believe that access to books should be seen as a necessity, alongside access to food, shelter and health care. Urging young people to read more when there is little available or no books to read makes as much sense as urging starving people to eat, when no food is available! The inability to read or write can leave a devastating impact on economic security, personal autonomy and health. No country has ever achieved continuous and rapid economic growth without first having at least 40% of its adults able to read and write. And in order to read, you have to have access to books.
Books can change our lives and other people’s lives. When a child has access to books, he or she can read. And when they read, they learn. Without reading we wouldn’t know anything that we know today!
Literacy in Nigeria
Literacy in Nigeria is influenced by a host of factors and should be addressed from a multifaceted approach. Nationally, there is a growing consensus that the current standard of education in Nigeria is far less than respectable when compared to the developed and developing countries.
Access to books means literacy, reading skills, and knowledge.
A literate community = A smart community!