Reading Culture: UK-based Don to Inspire 1m African Students

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti 

The Director of International Exchanges and Associate Professor, University of Bath Management School, UK, Dr Teslim Bukoye, says ReadCycle Bath targets one million students in universities, colleges and schools in Africa, Asia and the Middle East with books within seven years.

He said that the project, which began in 2022, had already supplied thousands of books to some Nigerian universities and polytechnics, including Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Ilorin, Ilorin; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Other beneficiaries include Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Leads City Trinity University, Ibadan and Federal Polytechnic, Offa, etc.

In a statement made on its first anniversary, the don, also a visiting professor at FUTA, said that incentives were put in some books as part of efforts to inspire the students to read.

Bukoye said, “We incentivise our reading culture by inserting a token of reward and words of encouragement in these books randomly, for lucky readers.

“ReadCycle Bath is motivated out of my strong desire to give back globally. ReadCycle Bath has a mission to inspire reading/studying and sharing books for the global good.”

“The idea is to create a global community that bridges the gap between those who have books to share and those who have not but are inspired to read. The goal is to reach a million students in seven years across universities, colleges, and schools in low- and middle-income countries with Africa as our flagship project, then Asia and the Middle East.”

Bukoye, a leading international innovator and advocate for inclusive teaching and learning excellence, noted for contributions towards the development of impactful teaching and management within universities and colleges, said, “So far, this project is helping to address gender imbalance and support students in LMICs.

“I am motivated with a strong desire to collate and ship books to countries where they would be utilized and valued, in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals – quality education (4), reduced inequality (10) and no poverty.”

“I am keen to see improvements in the students’ reading culture [in addition to the use of social media], particularly for the current and future generations.”

“The opportunity came when colleagues at the University of Bath were willing to either downsize or support with their textbooks as they moved to new offices. Thus, I saw the prospect to collate and ship these quality books to countries where they would be utilized and valued,” he stated.

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