In this context therefore, as argued in the earlier parts of this subject matter, the prevailing low esteem for the book and the reading culture and hence the resulting overall pedestrian mind construct of the society can only have severe telling effects. It means that the attainment of effective dissemination of knowledge-oriented, knowledge-inspired and knowledge-driven information for desirable effects will be and has been severely impaired.
It is therefore, our honest view that the forces of socio-cultural reformation and the public good, in this context, would have a task profile which should be minimally geared at the following:
- Drastically reduce the cyclical tensions and suspicions between government and the citizenry.
- Reduce the unacceptable levels of indiscipline and corruption in the society.
- Reinvent our collective and cherished values, norms and cultures, and world view.
- Generally evolve a society which is empowered to create strategic value and enhance the net worth of its citizens and productive base.
- Build, sustain and nourish a value chain for the evolution of effective and productive leadership and dynamic citizenry for growth and continual development.
However, this task profile would, in the current circumstances, have to contend with the ferocious forces of despair deriving largely from dilapidated knowledge infrastructure. And key of which include a far less than adequate reading culture, and a hostile mindset for intellectual rigor which are besetting the land today.
And in order to Bring Back the Book, as was once campaigned for by a certain central government in Nigeria, we would propose as a matter of urgency and national survival that we should initiate, in concert with relevant arms of government and in line with appropriate socio-economic and legal environments, constitute and entrench the following minimum prescriptions across the land:
- Encourage writers and fund the publication of creative books (leisure and academic) without let or hindrance.
- Reinforce the vigorous enforcement of pertinent laws on intellectual property.
- Educational institutions, especially at secondary and tertiary levels, may graduate a student only on presentation of discourses on at the least five (5) creative and educational leisure titles (outside of their course areas) which they have read in the past 24 months.
- Employers of labor should insist on intimate familiarity with at the least three (3) creative and educative leisure titles before a prospective applicant may be considered for employment.
- Mass communication media houses (especially electronic media) should devote quality air time on book programs including reviews, benefits, contests/competitions, inspirations, interviews, etc., with a view to modeling the reading art and culture as they do for the musical art and films.
- Corporate Nigeria and indeed high net worth individuals should institute a range of national awards, prize and visible recognition for the reading art and its habit, at all levels of formal and informal human capital development.
- Parents and guardians should be educated on the urgent need to de-emphasize the television and other audio-visual distractions at home and encourage their wards to read creative leisure books, even if for entertainment, using appropriate incentives, such as gifts, self-worth enhancing perks, etc.
- Deploy the platform of GSM to put a library of digital books in the hands of every Nigerian (in collaboration with key industry stakeholders)
- Corporate organizations should create quality time, on a regular basis, for staff to devote to creative leisure reading and education in order to enhance overall socio-cultural and general self-worth.
- Re-introduction of compulsory and creatively enforced leisure reading time-out in all primary/basic education schools in Nigeria.
The undesirable state of the Nigeria Project as amply reflected in the sorry pass to which the education industry has come makes a compelling statement on the fast diminishing windows of opportunity for sourcing creative, competent and effective leadership and responsive, and responsible citizenry.
A comatose culture of the reading art largely underscores these limited windows for evolving and nurturing, and mentoring creative leadership resources for the effective management of key natural endowments of the Nigeria Project and hence inspire, motivate and fire the zeal for responsive citizenry.
And yet again, we argue that recruitment of The Effective Leader by the people to superintend over the national political space of Nigeria, for instance, in 2023, is certainly the most important step in the productive process of Re-inventing the Nigerian Mind for the purpose of staking a place in the comity of global socio-economic leadership and domestic peace, prosperity and desirable progress..
We will continue this expose next week as we continue to update you on knowledge resources you can use.
This is Bisike Series!