The Nigeria Centre for Reading, Research and Development (NCRRD) of Bayero University, Kano, along with other stakeholders in the early-grade education sector, has proffered solutions to address the declining reading culture in the country, especially among early grades.
Speaking during the 4th National Conference on Children’s Books and the Teaching of Early Grade Reading in Nigeria organised by the NCRRD in Kano, on Thursday, the stakeholders regretted the increasing negative impact of poor reading culture and its effect on the academic performance of school children, while seeking urgent attention of concern authorities for holistic change.
The director, NCRRD, Professor Talatu Garba, explained that the theme of the conference “Innovative Methodologies for Research and the Teaching of Early Grade Reading in Nigeria” was conceived to proffer solutions to the declining reading culture, especially in early childhood.
“The trend nowadays is reading electronically which research has shown to be a deficit in terms of ability to comprehend unlike reading through books which enables a high sense of focus and understanding. Yet, we must not lose the merit of electronic reading systems which is the trend. Now, this conference is looking into the process of synchronizing both methods for positive results,” she said.
She added that the centre, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is focusing on “supporting teachers to revive the reading culture through training on early grade teaching process, in line with the curriculum. We are also building teachers’ capacity on ICT to be able to transfer knowledge to the children”.
Similarly, the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) said the full implementation of the National Reading Framework at the basic level in the country would help kick-start the much-needed revolution.
The Keynote speaker, Professor Graceful Ofodu of the Department of Arts and Language Education, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, who identified poor learning of the reading process as a major impediment in the classroom insisted that early literacy must go beyond the classroom and that parents must master the early reading of their child and assist to complement teacher’s efforts.
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