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Culture of reading among children

Aug 7, 2012, 11:58 AM

The need to adopt a culture of reading is quite necessary especially among our children. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that our children adopt a reading culture.

For children, especially school-going children, reading would help a great deal in enhancing their performance and intelligence.

Therefore, they should develop and improve good reading habits and skills.

Making available literature that is suitable to children will create in them interest in reading, writing and speaking good English.

Libraries could play a vital role in nation-building as reading liberates the minds of people from all shackles of underdevelopment.

Developing a reading culture can best be explained as a learned practice of seeking knowledge, information or entertainment, through the written word. Such practice can be acquired by reading books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.

To participate effectively in the moulding of our younger generation, there is a need to inculcate in children the exigency of a reading culture. This should be the primary goal of institutional heads, teachers, parents, and our communities at large.

The declining interest in reading as exhibited by our children today is a cause for alarm, and a challenge to all.

Reading is obviously one of the basic things a child begins to do in the early stages of formal education, within the school building.

Some children also learn to read from their parents even before they start schooling. It is through reading that children broaden their understanding of life.

Reading opens up a whole new world from which one can mirror one’s surroundings. Reading enables creativity to blossom in the child. It gives them the tools to explore their talents, while learning about themselves and society.

However, there is no doubt that the reading culture among our children is tragically deficient, compared to some Western nations.

Most of us think of reading as a simple, passive process that involves reading words in a linear fashion and internalising their meaning at the same time. But reading is actually a very complex process that requires a great deal of active participation on the part of the reader.

It’s true to say that there is a general low level of reading among people in the country.

Reading newspapers, for instance, would help our people to know what is happening in and outside the country.

Parents should encourage their children by providing them good books to read at home and school. Those with access to modern technology, such as the internet should monitor closely and restrict access time for the children. They should remember that “all that glitters is not gold.” Technology can also be a source of endangerment for our children’s moral growth.

On the contrary, many children care only about passing their examinations - without acquiring the basic knowledge that come with education.

Passing exams alone is not enough. Parents should encourage their children to read extensively for their own betterment.