PUNCH Newspaper Reports on The Launch of The Book Swap Initiative
“A literate and inclusive Nigeria cannot be built by the government alone.
Tackling illiteracy should be on everyone’s agenda. The basic education statistics show how much work that remains to be done to achieve some degree of acceptable equity in access to education and improvement in the quality of education in general.”
– Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, at a Presidential Retreat on Education for Ministers.
It is well known that Nigerian children do have the intellectual capacity to attain extraordinary academic achievements. The majority of Nigerian youths are to a large extent, bilingual and speak their local dialects perfectly.
The cost of living, providing the basic essentials upon which families need to survive, means that many families are treading water in an ocean of daily, monthly and termly expenses. Investing in the additional resources’ children need to strengthen their academic performance, is, sadly, a luxury many cannot afford. These realities are not unique to Africans alone. Similar economic circumstances around the world means that we are now facing a global ‘literacy crisis.’
With a growing population that is estimated to be at 2.2 billion by 2050, The Book Swap Foundation understands that real impactful solutions need to be implemented now.
The Book Swap Initiative is attempting to fend off the impending doom of poverty of literacy and finances in African homes. Graduates of the school of thought of ‘Give a man a fish…’ are crippling our society’s ability to write its own self-made success stories.
The answer to the vast majority of the issues we are facing now and are to inevitably face in the future is ‘…to teach men how to fish’.
The success of our continent and our country is based on our ability to create a generation of individuals who are equipped with the tools necessary to overcome the challenges that have been passed on to them.
While the digital realm has its advantages, it cannot provide an all-encompassing solution to literacy. In fact, the over-dependence of children on digital systems soon presents symptoms of unexpected and undesirable issues arising as a result.
Literacy is the key. Given that storybooks at home are the strongest indicator of academic success, providing children with this resource may be the highest-impact, lowest-cost way of boosting literacy levels.
Therefore, the work of providing books to all children is crucial and urgent.
The Book Swap Foundation is gearing up to tackle this issue from inception and on a grassroots level. Our mission is to provide all children with free access to storybooks.
Strong readers make better students. Many studies show that children who read outside of school are more likely to experience success in their education and develop the abilities required to realise their potential in their personal and professional lives.
We want to enable children to experience the joy of getting lost in a good story, through which we will nurture young imaginations and creativity. Learning about different characters, cultures and community values. Morals, integrity, hard work, and resilience are all embedded in stories.
These are the things that are not taught in schools but are crucial to a prosperous society.
Giving children access to storybooks in this way, is a planting a small seed that will bring forth a bountiful harvest of knowledge and wisdom in the life of that child.
The Book Swap Initiative is unlocking the pure potential that is rooted in the genetics of every Nigerian child.
Our goal is to provide a community of children with 300 different storybooks. Each child will be given one book, which they will be able to swap with each other. This means that each child in that community will be able to potentially read 300 different books!
We plan to establish 3000 Swap Spots in communities locally and nationally.
With the support of our leaders, employers, teachers and parents, we will provide 900,000 children with storybooks to read. In doing so, the Book Swap Initiative hopes to contribute to the government’s meritorious commitment to realising the rights of all children in a bid to help them build a strong foundation and have the best chance of fulfilling their potential.
Please join us for The Book Swap Foundation’s launch event on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10.00 AM West Central Africa. Register to attend on the website www.bookswapfoundation.com/events Or register to attend via Zoom on https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkc–gqjksHdS4xQSDyzE-mJ5vsL9h-xKB
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.