According to UNESCO 2016, just a little above half of the Nigerian population is literate while youth literacy is less than 70%. Moreover, about 10.5 million children are out of school (UNICEF 2014). Expert surveys on Nigeria reveal that an average Nigerian reads less than one book per year and 40% of adults never read a non-fiction book from cover to cover after they finish school.
As we celebrate the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoting literacy has proven to be an effective approach to improving the general wellbeing of the society as well as fostering sustainable development.
So, you are encouraged to read a book as we remind you of some evergreen books:
WITHOUT A SILVER SPOON
By Eddie Iroh
The legendary book that tells the tale of a 10year old boy, Ure Chokwe and his struggle to further his education in the face of seemingly insurmountable financial challenges was written in 1981.
Ure Chokwe’s brother dropped out of school to work as an apprentice in a faraway location due to financial constraints. Later on, Ure is faced with a similar fate, as he is unable to attend classes due to unpaid fees. He, being an intelligent young boy, suggested an idea that will help him stay in school. He suggested staying with a teacher and being a houseboy and attending school from there. This plan seemed genius until he was accused of stealing. He is saved by the well-placed total trust of his parents and his teacher
The book, Without A Silver Spoon, depicts a combination of determination in the face of unyielding challenges, the dichotomy of good and evil and the relief that comes with victory after a long line of challenges.
The major lesson for every child from the book is honesty as a non-negotiable virtue
By Charles Dickens
The protagonist, Oliver Twist, is born to an unmarried woman who died shortly after his birth. He was raised by a Child Farm who sold him off to coffin maker as an apprentice for asking for more food. After being abused by the Coffin Maker’s wife and apprentice, Oliver set out to London on foot.
The journey to London marked the genesis of his escapades in the hands of the notorious Jack Dawkins whose sole aim was to introduce Oliver to pick pocketing. Through a series of ups and downs, Oliver discovers that his half-brother, Monks, paid Jack and his crew to negatively influence Oliver so that he can take over their father’s property.
Oliver ends up with what is left of his inheritance after being legally adopted by Mr. Brownlow, an old friend of their father. Everybody lives happily ever after. Except for Fagin, who is arrested and hanged, and Monks, who dies in prison.