By Damiete Braide

Schools are equipped with books in their libraries, which attract students to visit and read as well as find relevant materials for their assignments.

But in recent times, the trend has changed with the advent of technology and various search engines, which have made visiting libraries no longer attractive.

The Education Report sought the views of students and parents on the use of libraries.

Shade Bolanle, an SS2 student of Agboju Senior Secondary School, Agboju, Lagos, said: “I visit the library twice a week, which is Tuesday and Friday, depending on the assignment to be done.

“Sometimes, I look out for educational items to enable me to have diverse information on a particular topic. I also look out for Christian books to enable me to broaden my knowledge.”

Shade revealed that reading historic books has broadened her knowledge of people, old empires and recent happenings.

“The assignment depends, but most times it is easier checking search engines for such assignments and sometimes the library may not have a current edition of what I want. So, I prefer search engines, which have current materials for any topic needed.”

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Chika Madu, a JSS 3 student of Ebu-Field Secondary School, Akesan, Lagos, said: “ With my phone, I am able to do my assignments easily and without stress. I type the question on my phone and Google gives me so many answers. I may go to the library to read novels and other books but not for doing my assignments.”

Ajao Aliyah, an SSS 3 student of Command Secondary School, Ojo, Lagos, said: “With my phone or laptop, I am able to get answers to my assignments. If I go to the library, I may spend hours searching different books before getting what I am looking for and sometimes I may not get relevant answers to the question. I only go to the library to read novels and documentary books.”

Sobifaa Dokubo, Nollywood actor and photographer, said: “Funding education has been a difficult task for all governments in Nigeria in the last 30 years. Basic science equipment is not supplied and desks for students to write on are not available. We had successive governments who never bothered about funding education; so, putting extra books in the libraries and encouraging reading habits died.

“If you say students are not doing their assignments in the absence of libraries, you may be right. The books in the library may not be current as we expect them to be.

“There is hardly anybody (adult) that will tell me that he or she has visited the library to read a book in recent times.

“The phone has become an option for students because of pure, simple, inexplicable laziness transferred from parents to their wards,” she noted.

In his contribution, Chief Kroma Amafina, a hospitality expert argued that these days’ parents don’t pay attention to their children’s education because they are busy with their work. His words: “Gone are those days when parents used to have time for their wards’ education and make amendments where necessary.

“ These days, students are lazy and don’t go to the library rather they search for materials or do their assignments using the Internet. With the advent of the internet, it has made things easy for students that they no longer go to the library to read.”