. There is a notion that Africans don’t read and it’s up to you to prove that wrong by asking yourself how many books you’ve read in the past month.
Saturday Vision - SWAGG
By Eriya Nawenuwe
There is a notion that Africans don’t read and it’s up to you to prove that wrong by asking yourself how many books you’ve read in the past month.
According to Fagil Mandy, the UNEB chairperson, one of the problem you students in schools face is a poor reading culture. Students do not have the initiative to read other stuff like magazines, brochures, novels and anything else that can be read.
You may be saying it is easier and more interesting to watch a movie than read a book coz reading requires lots of concentration and deep thought; that’s exactly where the point is.
You’ve got to first change your attitude and then sacrifice your time. A good reading culture is not particularly limited to the dreaded chemistry, biology, physics or English books. Neither is it limited to the notes that your history and geography teachers dictated in class. It is about reading anything that you can come across.
Don’t start frowning that we now sound like that grumpy voiced DOS of yours who is always drumming in your heads mbu you should read your books.
The thing is you should push yourself to read anything you can come across. We know you love those romantic novels that get you day dreaming. Who wouldn’t want to read a Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts? The thing is such non academic books won’t tasse you when it comes to exams but they can help you get into the habit of reading without being forced to.
You may be asking why you should read any other book, yet you have lots of stuff from school to read. Dr. Ben Carson was once labelled dumb by his parents and teachers.
He only started improving academically when his mom challenged him to review two random books everyday. Carson is currently one of the best neuro-surgeons in the world. Indeed books are magical.
Many movies are adopted from books. That’s why the parodies of Harry Potter made JK Rowlings join the billionaires’ ranks in the UK.
And did you know the Jack Sparrow character is adopted from that of John Silver in the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson?
Other books that I can recommend are Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and A Thousand Nights And One. But that’s just me, you should literally read anything you come across.
Some people get scared by too much text. If you fall in this category, start by reading books that have illustrations.
Guys who are always clashing with their zeyis or teachers should read a book by Sean Covey, 7 Habits for Effective Teens.
There are also inspirational books that will help you set your goals in a proper perspective like Robert Kiosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad or Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do.
Reading will help you improve your vocabulary and get good comprehensive skills that will help you not only in English, but other subjects alike.
Researchers have found a correlation between having a good reading culture and excelling in exams.
Why don’t Ugandans dig reading?
By Brian Mayanja
The popular saying ‘if you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book’ is not strange to Ugandans.
We love listening and speaking more than reading.
The reason for this, is one, Ugandans are more used to oral tradition than formal education.
One of the causes of the poor reading culture in Uganda is ignorance. Ugandans prefer watching television or listening to radio to reading newspapers or magazines.
Fagil Mandy, an educationist and author admits that generally, Ugandans do not want read.
Mandy says even the little reading some people do, like of newspapers, isn’t real, because they sometimes they simply peruse through while looking at pictures.
According to a research Mandy carried out, Ugandan teachers hardly read any new books, hence fuelling the non-reading cycle.
Since the education sector has been greatly commercialised, the reading culture is not emphasised.
Stakeholders focus on passing exams and teachers teach only what is likely to be examined. When a school performs well, more students want to join and schools hike fees to make more profit.
Education experts have attributed the failure partly to lack of interest in reading. They urged teachers to stimulate students’ love to read for understanding, rather than for passing exams.
David Kavuma, the chairperson of Uganda Publishers Association, disclosed that many students who sit for national exams fail to spell their names correctly. He said there is no way one can understand a question without conceptualising it.
In such circumstances, students will always read to pass, but not to understand what they have been taught, which is very easy for them to forget during an examination.
Parents, too, are to blame because they hardly read to their children in their formative years; the children aren’t encouraged to pick up any reading habits. This is evidenced by last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results, which indicate that most schools did not perform well. Pupils failed to read and interpret questions.
The American Association of Paediatrics advises parents to read to their children right from a tender age, noting that the practice is significant in brain development.
Other benefits include the physical, social, spiritual and emotional development. When children read books, they stimulate the brain, muscles, eyes and their sense of smell and touch.
Revive our reading Culture; yes we can