When we say Rwandans don’t love reading, do we look at the upbringing of our children and society in general?
What do we put on our TV station, news papers, how many libraries do we have in our towns, who is willing to invest in literacy?
Adults who work; wake up prepare to go to work, go seat in office, leave at five in the evening, most of them are so tired, the relaxing they think of is seat with friends in a coffee shop, bar and discuss.
Few remember to go home with news papers or books to read. Our local news source show news for only 30mins the rest of the time, the news is on repeat or playing music, is it bad; no that’s not what I am saying.
The routine becomes work, sleep, eat, Day after day.
Young ones go to school, come back home, eat go to television the lucky ones watch movies, and the rest watch television which shows inappropriate music to under age, and irrelevant shows, those who don’t own televisions, listen to radios; which have programs that mostly have no benefits to the development of children’s brain or reading culture.
The one library we have can not feed the whole country, it also needs to update.
A person will walk miles to the library and when they reach there, the books they want to read are not there.
In schools, students go to class and the teacher will write to the boad, explain a little and they copy notes, the school curriculum is bigger than the time set so there won’t be time to revise in class as a whole. They will tell you to go home and read but who reads to have knowledge?
Few, the rest read when there’s a test or exam in which case they will read what they think the teacher will ask, reading becomes a burden and when they see a general knowledge book, they will tell you; school books are enough for them, their brains are tired, is it wrong, yes it is because reading is supposed to be fun, it actually relaxes your mind. Reading is a brain exercise.
Some countries, parents read to there kids before going to bed. A child grows with that culture.in class they read for each other and in front of the class.
What do we need to change our reading culture?;
I believe it all starts with parents, you give birth to brand new human being which means you can shape her/him in what you want them to be. If you have a library in the house, you read to babies, teach them the importance of reading when they are young, they grow up with that culture because they see you reading and it doesn’t look like it’s hard so they love it too.
When they go to school, they will carry a book to school and their friends will be curious to know what they are reading hence to bore and read too, that’s how it starts.
Put charts on your kids room walls, letters, colors, all things that helps them read. We think it’s expensive because we are lazy to find out yet in reality, it’s not.
Illiteracy is more expensive.
Let us make more time for our students to read in class, it doesn’t only encourage them to read, it builds confidence of speaking in public so your shooting two birds at once which should make you proud. Start with story telling books, comic books, all it takes because it’s something new and you can’t feed a baby hard food, start with mashed potatoes then move to hard ones but start somewhere.
We need reading campaigns, there are people who think reading is for white people especially village people, I had a novel reading at school back in high school and a fellow student came to me and asked what I was doing, and I showed her then she was like, where do you get white people habits, I laughed and told her it’s an interesting book then she asked me to explain to her. There are more like her out there who need to understand that reading is the source of knowledge, it’s sad when a university graduate can’t read a speech, leave alone composing one, making a CV is difficult to most people. Should we be proud of that?
Libraries should be put in different towns where all students can afford to reach,
Put enough books, all kinds of books, we all won’t read IT books, put books that will attract all readers.
Investors should start putting their money in literacy too, how many publishing companies do we have? Encourage people to write, they put they mind to paper but even those who can write publishing is nearly impossible for them.
Why not invest in public libraries?
Internet has been made available in so many places that most people can now go on social media but how many is it helping develop?
Most of use to chat with people whom we are going to be with at home, take pictures and post on facebook and instagram, follow people whom we see as our role models and that’s not bad at all because they inspire us sometimes though we get caught in the process of following them and forget internet can be a lot more useful than follow and post, there books on internet you can read, you can create a blog and write as your flows, everything you say or do can help someone else, not only fashion is needed on internet, there is a lot more to teach people than how to dress. Let’s take advantage of the civilization.
The future is the youth and if you raise lazy young people expect lazy grown ups. The ones who will receive a document and they can’t read because of the language or laziness and they will just sign which might cost the institute millions and it will definitely affect the country and all of us. It’s those little mistakes we forget to correct that lead to our down fall. Let’s love and encourage each other to read.. It’s for our sake after all we all are the citizens of one nation one continent. Start here and spread to the whole continent.