CHALLENGES MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE BIOLOGY STUDENTS’ READING CULTURE IN NIGERIA.
Adequate knowledge of Biology is vital in such disciplines as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, nursing among others. Furthermore, Biology graduates play significant roles in national development, for instance, teaching/lecturing students, human over-population control / family planning, environmental pollution control, diseases control, carrying out Biological researches, writing of Biology textbooks among others. Despite the importance of Biology graduates in nation building, researchers have found out that annually the achievement of Biology students during WASSCE (West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, National Examination Council (NECO) and General Certificate in Education (GCE) is low and some of the causes of poor achievement of Biology students in these external examinations include inadequate numbers of trained Biology teachers, inadequate resources for teaching/learning Biology, poorly equipped Biology laboratories for conduction or practical, poor reading culture of Biology students in Nigeria among others. Reading of books is a basic life skill as well as cornerstone of students’ success in school examination and throughout life hence reading of books by students and other people is indispensable for the development of our nation Nigeria and other countries in the world. Reading culture is a process of building positive attitude of reading textbooks especially Biology textbooks over a period of time by students or any other persons. However, the reading culture of Nigerian students is very poor when compared with that of students in other countries of the world. The challenges / problems which cause this poor books’ reading culture among Nigerian students are the students’ non-challant attitude of reading other books apart from the recommended textbooks which they read in order to pass their examinations. Some students do not have the interest of reading novels, magazines, newspapers and other recreational materials in order to improve their reading habits. Other challenges militating against effective books’ reading culture among Nigerian students are inadequate library resources in some schools, lack of libraries resources in some schools, watching of home video syndrome, excessive use of mobile phones, non-integration of library time in the school programmes, lack of academic competition among students, high cost of textbooks, get rich-quick syndrome among others. In view of the identified challenges, the following recommendations are made to includes integration of library time into the school programmes, building of libraries in all schools, employment of adequate numbers of librarians, provision of relevant and currents textbooks in the libraries for students to read, proper orientation of the students’ parents on the importance of encouraging their children and wards to read their books to minimize excessive watching of home videos. Parents should stop their children from being addicted to their mobile phones as well as discourage them from too much internet trend especially browsing of non-academic programmes where they learn about crimes, violent acts and other sexually – immorality activities which will predispose them to immoral acts and possibly destroy their academic pursuit.