After considering the role of religious societies in nation building, which readership promotion is not left out, I have decided to explore on this topic so as to point out the role of religious entities in readership promotions for children and youths in our society. Religious societies are spiritual organizations in which every activities that takes place there is supposed to bring about positive changes in the lives of the members.
As a service center to God (belief) and humanity, they play major roles in nation building. This services are sometimes evident in their counselling approaches (both spiritual and physical), which societies such as churches, mosques and other traditional organizations adopt as a sensitive tool in order to address members personal problems and also to strengthen their faith thus, the enhancement of good character formation among its members.
According to society for Readership Promotion for Children and Youths (2015), reading facilitate the transmission of knowledge from each succeeding generation to the other, it allows one to listen to wisdom and people of the ages.
A qualitative correspondence of this, is evident and emphasized by many different religious traditions and societies. The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy ‚Study to show yourself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15), Islam holds acquisition of knowledge in high esteem.
The Holy Qu’ran reveals that the first communication (injunction) between Allah and Prophet Mohammad was knowledgebased ‚Iqraa‛, meaning ‚read‛ or ‚recite‛ (Qu’ran 96:1-5). Other religious traditions such as Buddhism, Paganism, Polytheism, Hinduism, Taoism and Judaism holds the quest for knowledge as an important need, not as an end in itself, but because the main cause of our bondage and suffering is ignorance, not understanding things as they already are, and thus the antidote needed to heal ourselves is knowledge or insight, and there is no other insight than knowing.
From the aforegoing discussion, it is very clear that there is no religion that is against knowledge, or does not see knowledge as a tool for personal and societal development. But, despite knowing the importance of knowledge in daily routines, transactions, dealings, and endeavours, they are still adamant and lackadaisical about their total involvement in readership promotions for children and youths. Such is the case in Nigeria, where we have so many churches, mosque and other religious entities such as Eckankar, Rosscicuran order, etc, but the character formation of the citizens are very bad and extremely poor.
Well, I didn’t mean to go further than the scope of this piece. Back to the domain of my subject, the way of life of a nation is influenced by the percentage of its citizens who are literate, as such readership promotion for children and youths in the religious societies is necessary and imperative. This is because the world is changing, people irrespective of beliefs or religious bases face challenges that require interventional help from others, the church, the mosque, and other religious societies are good medium of such. And as its goes, if a sustainable reading culture is not inculcated among children and youths, the fate of the nation will be in total doom and in constant underdevelopment.
Therefore, as a readership activist and a librarian, having considering the importance of reading in both personal and societal development, I believe it would be a supportive and qualitative development if the religious societies will play their respective roles in readership promotion for children and youths in our society.
The roles include; a) To subscribe to readership promotion through awareness and sensitization campaigns for their children and youths, in order to educate them on the importance and rudiments of reading to their personal and societal development.
b) Projection of books and other information materials as medium of self discovery, entertainment, education, liberation, information and empowerment.
c) Incorporation of reading activities in daily routines as regarded their religious activities.
d) A professional librarian and a readership counsellor should be contacted, in order to provide readership counselling and services for their children and youths in areas of difficulties and challenges, as regards reading habits and culture.
e) Provision/Donation of books to non-governmental organizations with the message of readership promotions for children and youths, so as to facilitate their services.
f) Award of scholarship/prizes for the best students in each academic sessions.
g) Reading competition should form part of youths and children programs of the church.
However, the above will control and eliminate anti-social behaviours such as school violence, bullying, examination malpractices, juvenile and adult delinquency, as well as other social evils which may arose as a result of ignorance and lack of knowledge.
A good readership promotion announcement should be regulated in every church service, in order to inform parents and the entire members of the church on the importance of reading and why they must inculcate the habit among their children and youths.
Conclusively, as religious societies, doing the above will not only bring development to the children and youth, but the church and the society as a whole. It is time to build the future and not waste the time on the alter of inconsequential assumptions.
Thank you for reading!
Yours in Service,
Prince Enwongo-Abasi Francis (Readership Activist, Humanitarian and Librarian) 08168155341