By: Prudence Okonna & Sunday Shekwonya.
To ensure writers and authors enjoy the full benefits of their intellectual property, Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Olusade Adesola, has called on School Heads and Principals against patronizing pirated books for educating their students.
Adesola gave the warning while declaring the 2023 FCT Annual Book Fair organized by the Education Resource Center (ERC), opened on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary explained that Piracy is a hydra-headed monster that short-changes the system and robs authors and writers of their hard-earned reward and intellectual rights.
He, therefore, called on Principals and School Heads across both Public and Private Schools across the FCT not to patronize pirated books or get involved in any form of book piracy.
The Permanent Secretary also commended the ERC for consistent and timely conduct of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), which students can now obtain from anywhere in line with the 9:3:4 Educational policy rather than reliance on Primary School Testimonials.
Adesola called on the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) to cooperate and support the ongoing Revalidation of the registration status and Biennial accreditation of schools in the FCT and tasked them to instill reading culture in students through its programs in their various schools.
The Permanent Secretary also commended the ERC for sustaining the book Fair for 28 years and called on stakeholders in the Education sector to key into the National educational policies so as to sustain the Nation’s developmental agenda.
Speaking earlier, Acting Secretary Education Secretariat, Abdulrazaq Leramoh, explained that the book fair is the Secretariat’s modest contribution towards the fight against book piracy and an opportunity to provide books for educators and parents alike at discounted prices.
He called on School Principals and Heads of Schools to ensure that the recommended book list is strictly implemented in their schools.
Director, Education Resource Centre (ERC), Hajiya Nemat Abdulrahim, said the book fair organized by the Centre began in 1996 in order to encourage reading culture and to identify recommended books for schools in the FCT.
Abdulrahim added that one of the aims of organizing the book fair annually is also to uplift the standard of education and to improve the circulation of recommended books in both private and government-owned schools.
Speaking on behalf of the publishers, the Chairman of Nigeria Publishers Association (NPC), FCT Chapter, Innocent Agbanu, emphasized that the program is organized to fight against those involved in book piracy in the nation’s capital.
He encouraged the publishers to improve in their endeavours as books are read by a multitude of persons and book readers are seen as potential leaders who can bring about the betterment of education in society.
The Annual book fair which started in the year 1996 brings together book readers, School owners, and School Principals, to interact with Publishers and other Educational Entrepreneurs.