From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule has begun moves to revive the culture of reading and the use of library among young students in the state.
The Director General, Bureau for Information and Communication Technology (BICT), Mr Shehu Ibrahim revealed that the governor has purchased text books for both primary and secondary schools and donated to five Electronic Libraries (e-libraries) across the state to improve knowledge and academic performance of students.
At the flag-off of distribution held at Ta’al Model e-Library in Lafia, Mr Ibrahim said the distribution of the books worth millions of naira was in line with Governor Sule’s desire to improving the quality of education in the state.
According to him, the state would ensure that libraries key into the digital transformation, through the training of staff in line with modern ways of managing knowledge as well as acquiring skills to provide optimal service to library users and patrons.
The DG therefore, called for multi-functional partnerships between the state, national and international libraries among others, in order to create a single source resources that would provide abundant resources to the public to improve the quality of education in the state and country at large.
He said that the books donated by the governor would go a long way in equipping students to excel in all subjects, as well as entrepreneurship, sciences and ICT training materials that will be accessible at all times in the various state owned libraries.
“We would like to remind parents to ensure their wards take advantage of the governments’ free JAMB training sessions which would further equip and prepare those to write the 2021 UMTE exams, which will commence at all 5 libraries locations when the registration is done.
“The library as part of its provision of e-resources would also make available over 44 million learning resources online to registered library users; it is worthy to note that the hubs have been training youth on ICT since 2019, providing easy access to digital skills.
“Nasarawa state has put focus on automation of basic services and the library would be left out as steps are on to replace the current library cards with multi-purpose smart cards very soon,” he said.
Also speaking, Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Mohammed Dan’Azumi, represented by the Permanent Member 1 of the board, Alhaji Mohammed Sameel, said the provision of the current books to e- libraries across the state would revive the reading culture which he said was gradually fading out.
Alhaji Sameel appreciated Governor Sule for placing high premium on education and called on stakeholders to synergize to ensure that students utilize the gesture of the governor.
“We are encouraging reading culture among our youths because people don’t read. This falls back to the fact that teachers are not encouraged to teach and students too don’t care about school anymore but with what we have done today, it will encourage them to read and this will revive the reading culture.
“Parents and guardians should encourage their wards to go to school. We are here to make sure that education stands and we want to ensure that all the children hawking on on streets are taken to the classrooms for the betterment of the state,” he said.
Earlier, in his remark, Acting Director of Library in the state, Mr Odoga Saudi, enumerated the challenges of the state library ranging from inadequate manpower, lack of proper funding, and the inability to undertake capacity building of staff, among others.
He, appreciated the governor for equipping the e-libraries with current books and assured that the books will be well disseminated for reading, research and consultation, according to the purpose it was given.
Responding on behalf of students, the National President, Nasarawa State Students’ Association (NASSA) Comrade Alkhamis Ladan, appreciated the governor for the gesture, saying it will go a long way in encouraging students to read.