The Reading Association of Nigeria, River State Chapter, have called for improved digital literacy skills for Nigerians to enable them cope with the damaging effect of the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic. The call was made at a one day interactive section to mark this year’s International Literacy Day at Ignetious Ajeri University of Education, Port Harcourt, River State.
One of the sectors mainly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic is the education sector. With the lock down measures imposed by Governments across the world, the acquisition of literacy skills were restricted to those who could afford digital devices and has the know-how.
Participants at the interactive section organized in conjunction with Nigeria Literary Society, National Library and Association of Nigerian Authors, to celebrate this year’s World Literacy Day in Nigeria, however, said that the only way Nigerians can cope with the new normal is to acquire digital literacy skills.
Professor Adokia Okujeagu said it is imperative for everyone to acquire digital literacy skills in addition to their reading and writing skills.
“If one does not have the literacy skills for students who are in school, it would impede their school success because there is no way they can understand what is contained it the printed materials if they cannot read.”
Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Literacy Day, “Literacy for Human Centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide”, Mr. Samuel Ibuokwe called on lecturers and students to quickly adapt to the current trend of acquiring digital literacy skills.
“…for example, a lecturer can have a Facebook page and has a tab for discussion or Google Classroom where students can login to learn and contribute”
The President, Reading Association of Nigeria, River State Chapter Professor Ibiorie Ken Maduako said the time has come for Government to take the lead in providing the necessary facilities to improve digital literacy skills of Nigerians.
“We need the Government to come in and spend some money to buy some of these digital skill tools that we need. Provide laptop for schools and Android phones for teachers to help us facilitate this digitalized learning”.
The President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Chief Ade Wale enjoined Nigerians to make the best of the Internet to boost their literacy skills.