Admittedly, in the process of making some areas in our education system as racially inclusive as the resources would permit, other basic elements at the foundation have been either compromised or ignored. One of the areas is the reading ability of students.
Concerns that the conveyor belt of the education system is producing students who can neither even spell nor read a book are not exaggerated, neither are they racist. Ironically, some of products of ‘lowly’ Bantu education are now prolific writers, accomplished doctors and administrators. But, finger pointing, will not resolve matters. We have to pull up our sleeves and take action. The fact is: if you remove reading from learning then there is no learning.
The following ways could be helpful in reviving the dying culture of reading in schools:
- Use English books
Let us remove emotionalism in our approach and acknowledge that English has got a wealth of material that can be used to foster reading amongst children. Children should be given interesting English storybooks that have repetitive, predictable language structures.
- Literature from diverse backgrounds
To reflect our racial diversity, use literature from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We constantly whine about the erosion of our vernacular languages why don’t we follow this step?
- Create platforms for use of English
Create opportunities to allow students whose first language is not English to express more complex ideas and feelings.
- Reading, writing and speaking
Enable children to learn to read, write and speak. Be aware that one of these cannot be done in isolation. Generate a conversation.
- Parental intervention
Don’t outsource parenting to an expensive private school you drained your financial resources to pay for. Parental duties also include ensuring that your six year old is doing his or her homework. Develop interest in the learning abilities of your child. Ensure that waste a lot of time watching cartoons or on playstation 4. Get them books from a local library. Start today!