Awakening the reading culture in Kenya

April 7, 2011 –  Today, we are in a global age and the world has become a global village thanks to technological advances in communications and other human endeavours.

Being a global citizen can foster international cooperation on all levels, uniting people and making the world a better and safer place for all.

One way of doing this is awakening the reading culture all over the world.

reading_in_classroom_312947020.jpgLack of Reading Culture in Kenyan Schools

It has become apparent that there is a lack of reading culture in Kenyan schools.

Recently, Public Works Permanent Secretary Professor Lonyangapuo called upon all stakeholders in the education sector to encourage the culture of reading.

So how do we encourage reading in the classroom?

Professor Lonyangapuo says this can be done by encouraging each other to nourish the minds with books that nurture the desire to become better than today.

Lonyangapuo also noted that education for all was a key factor for Kenya to realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim at eradicating poverty.

Secondary school teachers in Kenya have seen their students slowly lose interest in reading, and will usually only read their books and class notes moments before their exams.  Some students even see English in the classroom as a means to an end.  If English is not the language that they use in their daily lives outside of school, it will be difficult to practice the language in meaningful social contexts, or in this case, as interesting reading material.

It’s important for communities to aspire to a more proactive reading culture so that the younger generation will become more inquisitive and aware of the world around them, and at same time appreciate literary works.

Parents need to recommit themselves to providing an environment in which reading is encouraged and appreciated; and, what better way than to lead by example?  

Teachers need to learn how to communicate their passion for reading and sustain meaningful conversations about their textbooks in their classrooms.

There’s so much that needs to be done.  But, at the end of the day, everyone needs to do their part.

In a time where sms-ing, internet and television reign supreme; turning tv’s off periodically may just be a must for parents.

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