The Waning Reading Culture In Africa
Posted by: Kadiri Alex
For: Crystalinks Education
I read an article recently in the Saturday Nation by Henry Indangasi on ‘How Shakespeare’s plays gave rise to Obama’. This article got me thinking.
How many people that belong in this generation have actually read Shakespeare? I ask this question because there are complaints from many quarters about the decline of reading culture in the youth.
Should this trend be blamed on the youth? Or are they, perhaps, merely victims of circumstances? Is it possible that the society has played a part in this new trend? Can we, as Africans say that we have a thriving reading culture?
Look at our school curriculum, for instance. In primary schools and the first few years of high school, we are hardly exposed to any reading materials besides our textbooks.
In high school, we have literature set books, yes, but even those are not necessarily read for enjoyment but simply for purpose of passing exams.
In my view, that is the reason why the youth do not read anymore. They were never taught how to enjoy reading. They never learned to read just for the sake of it, for the fun and beauty of it. It was always about formalities, about exams. And even this in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Why can’t we acquire a thirst for knowledge.
The emergence of technology has also greatly contributed to the decline in reading habits. The youth are exposed to technological devices when young and prefer them to reading. For example, people would rather watch a movie than read a book.
If we do not read, how then are we supposed to arm ourselves with knowledge that we previously lacked. Too many of us are uneducated about a whole lot of subjects. And this is because we never take the time to read. For instance, how many people are aware that studying abroad isn’t necessarily as difficult as we’ve always presumed.
Either ways, are you someone, or do you know anyone who has always nursed a dream to study in a foreign country, but who perhaps has remained skeptical because they have no ties with anyone in diaspora?
Get them reading. And more importantly, get them informed about this page!!!
You can also check out our eBook here: