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Reviving the Reading Culture: Nurturing Minds and Cultivating Skills

Encouraging students to initiate shorter reading sessions, gradually increasing the duration, can help build their patience.
by Seema Sabah - 05 Jan, 2024 1720

"Reading maketh a full man; and writing an exact man. And, therefore, if a man writes little, he needs to have a present wit; and if he reads little, he needs to have much cunning to seem to know that which he does not." - Francis Bacon

According to Bacon, reading is a cornerstone for becoming well-rounded and knowledgeable, while writing aids in organizing thoughts and fostering clarity. Both reading and writing, in his view, are crucial for intellectual development and effective communication.

Observations indicate a lack of interest in studies among students, particularly in reading. While they may excel in writing, their reading skills appear weak. The decline in the tradition of reading books is attributed to the rise of technology.

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In the past, reading storybooks was a common source of entertainment, but the advent of technology has shifted this habit. Nowadays, students seem less inclined towards reading, with the tradition replaced by the allure of watching cartoons and engaging in digital entertainment.

In the old days, having a home library was a common practice where individuals would maintain a diverse collection of books, spanning from stories to religious texts, magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. Additionally, schools, colleges, and universities boasted substantial book collections, forming a treasure trove of knowledge easily accessible to all.

However, as time has progressed, the trend of home libraries has dwindled. Even libraries in educational institutions are now often empty and underutilized. This decline is lamentable, considering the once-rich repositories of knowledge in schools, colleges, and universities. The prevalence of digital resources and online research has diminished the perceived need for physical visits to the library.

Nevertheless, libraries continue to offer a serene and focused environment conducive to studying. They grant access to a vast array of books and resources that may not be readily available online. Furthermore, libraries can serve as a significant source of motivation for enhancing students' reading skills.

In addition to the overuse of technology, another factor contributing to the lack of reading skills is the diminishing patience and focus among the new generation. The fast-paced nature of the contemporary world presents a challenge for cultivating these essential qualities in the younger population.

Parents and teachers express deep concern regarding the waning interest of students in reading. As a teacher, I encounter this issue daily, and it is prevalent among both junior and senior students. This decline is a pressing matter that requires urgent attention.

Despite the challenges, it is crucial to underscore the benefits of reading and the joy it can bring. Encouraging students to initiate shorter reading sessions, gradually increasing the duration, can help build their patience. Incorporating library lessons into the curriculum is a positive approach to enhancing students' reading skills.

Some private school systems adopt an open-door library practice, bringing all library books to the school grounds. Students are then assigned different books to read, fostering a more accessible reading environment. Another impactful initiative involves organizing Reading Competitions at various levels within the school. Furthermore, hosting Book Fairs at school or regional levels can effectively promote and cultivate reading skills among students.

In homes, parents wield significant influence in fostering a love for reading among children. By offering storybooks and engaging in joint reading sessions, parents can establish a nurturing reading environment. This not only strengthens the parent-child bond but also cultivates a genuine fondness for reading. The shared experience of storytelling serves as a wonderful avenue to ignite children's imagination and enhance their language skills.

Active involvement in reading activities can indeed make a difference for parents. Encouraging senior students to read newspapers daily is a practical step to enhance their vocabulary and reading skills. While it might be a bit challenging, there are still viable ways to rekindle their interest in books, such as establishing a consistent reading routine.

Recognizing that students constitute the future of the nation, collaboration between teachers and parents is vital. By working together and aligning their efforts toward a common goal of providing the best education and support for students, a substantial and positive impact can be made. This joint commitment can pave the way for meaningful change in students' attitudes and habits toward reading.