READING CULTURE AMONG TEENAGERS IN URBAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The place of reading in the general development of man and his society cannot be over emphasised. However, where the habit or necessary enabling supports are inadequate or absent, the future of such society is endangered. This study investigated the influence of reading culture among the teenagers and their academic performance in relation to the level of economic development. It used the cross sectional survey dataset of 2015 among students from four urban secondary schools that were selected through a systematic sampling technique in a Metropolitan City of Lagos, Nigeria. Overall, only 183 questionnaires were ‘processable’ out of the 200 administered. The attrition rate was due to literacy level and lack of willingness for completion of the interview. Only descriptive and multivariate statistics were employed in the analysis. The results revealed that e-libraries were absence in most of the schools visited and computer usage still limited. It also indicated that reading culture and parental monitoring are statistically significant to student’s academic performance (P-value = 0.000). However, the fear of unavailability of jobs is a disincentive to reading habit among the subjects. Also, the issue of peer pressure, inadequate library facilities and multiple assignments show negative correlation with reading habit. While the study conclude that good reading culture is vital to academic achievement, parental monitoring and government support in terms of modern library facilities could enhance good reading habit, high academic performance, reduction in school drop-outs and possible economic advancement.