‘Social media making children poor writers’


Jesusegun Alagbe

The Lead Professional Developer of The Writers’ Corner [a group concerned with training pupils and teachers in writing], Uche Odoji, said the use of the social media by children was turning them into bad writers.

Udoji stated this during the week at the 2017 Rising Star Writing Competition Award in Lagos.

The competition, organised by TWC in conjunction with Vuvuzela Communications Limited, was to encourage children in both primary and secondary schools to become better writers.

Udoji said the children were asked to write an essay on the theme, “The beauty of nature,” and that over 540 entries were received from Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Delta and Ogun states.

She said, “We are concerned that the writing culture is dying in Nigeria as a result of the social media. We have noticed how the online language is making its way into the class. Some children can’t write properly again.

“We are struggling with them using the words they use online in the class. Right now, some of them can’t punctuate properly, they write improperly. They are now using contracted words in their writings.

“These children probably think they are right because they see adults use those words online. It’s actually a big trouble for us, but we hope that through competitions like this, they can become better writers and readers.”

Udoji added that she hoped that more pupils from more schools and states would participate in the next edition of the competition, which would be the third organised by TWC.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the  chairman of the occasion, said through his representative, Dr. Olusola Adekanmbi, that it was time parents created more time to train their children.

He said, “There’s room to do more in terms of educational development in the country. We teachers in particular and everyone in general need to do more. The government shouldn’t be totally blamed for the system’s collapse.

“We all need to play our part so as to move the country forward and to make sure it is reckoned with in the comity of nations. Parents too should be willing to put in more work and create time to train their children. They shouldn’t be running after money while they forget to train their children.”

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