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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Zinox to revive reading culture among Nigerians

Head of Zinox eBooks Project, Mrs. Loretta Agbakoba has said the Information Technology (IT) driven firm is determined to revive reading culture among Nigerians by advancing plans to launch Nigeria Reads.

Speaking at the weekend, she said that Zinox Technologies Limited, manufacturers of Nigeria’s premier internationally certified branded personal computers (PC), has concluded plans to launch Nigeria Reads, an initiative designed to revive a reading culture in the country.

Nigeria Reads from Zinox Computers, she said, was inspired by the company’s exclusive affiliation to the World e-Books Library, which gives the nation direct access to over 750,000 e-books and documents embedded in every Zinox Computer and enabled by a
Zinox e-Card, renewable annually at a subsidized rate of N5,000.00 only.

Mrs. Agbakoba explained that Nigeria Reads is built as a proactive measure to forestall Nigeria being a failed state given the decline in reading among the Nigeria populace.

She noted that the educational system in Nigeria has been consistently undermined by elaborate planning and inadequate funding; regular strikes and disruptions of the academic calendar; policy somersaults occasioned by the unpredictability of political successions; the exceedingly high cost of school fees outside the public schools system, which is generally seen as unstable.

“The race for ill gotten wealth has become a major preoccupation that distracts today’s Nigerian from the somber culture of reading,” she said, stressing that other distractions include television and video games, the internet, e-games and the colossal setback that is called power blackout. She pointed out that the problems that hinder reading in Nigeria are many and are central to the under development of the nation.

“Therefore, any attempt to return Nigeria to the path of greatness envisioned by the nationalists must begin with this plea to turn Nigerians back to reading,” she appealed.

Looking beyond Nigeria, she said the world today is talking about the imminent rise of China, India, Russia and Brazil, noting that these nations devoted huge resources to education and are today reaping the results of a literate, confident, and productive citizenry.

She recalled that a recent study revealed that the Chinese child spends three times as much time on his academics than the American child.

“It would be interesting to compare the Nigerian child to the Chinese in terms of reading,” the e-Book boss said.

Mrs. Agbakoba further said that Nigeria Reads would partner with Governments, corporate persons, educational institutions, parents and other stake holders to equip the citizenry to access the vast reading resources, over 750,000 e-Books, embedded in the World e-Books Library.

Additionally, she said, the e-suite contains 1,280 interactive educational games, 4,000 Computer Science e-books, 5,000 Maths interactive activities, 12,000 Classic Literature e-Books in PDF, 23,000 Audio books in MP3 downloadable, plus simulation tools in the Sciences and Teacher Lesson Notes, Worksheets and Classroom Articles.

She enjoined government at all levels and education stakeholders to take advantage of the Zinox initiative by ensuring that every school, every teacher, and every child around them, has access to these e-books.

“These e-books have solved two major problems associated with reading – availability and cost of books. Access to the e-books suite is gained by the purchase of a Zinox e-learning card, which is renewable yearly. The card costs less than 2 standard textbooks,” she said.

Agbakoba emphasized that this e-suite, is the main tool that Nigeria Reads would use to restore a reading culture in Nigeria and would soon be launched in the six geo political zones of the country.

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