Getting learners to embrace reading

Left to right; Bonithah Kobusingye, Director of Girl Talk Africa; Doctor Jean Baptiste Mazarati, Deputy Director General of RBC; and US Ambassador to Rwanda Peter Vrooman on the panel. Photos by Simon Peter Kaliisa.

Reading develops the mind; it provides one with an infinite source of knowledge and keeps one’s mind active.

The relevance of reading, hence, cannot be overstated, and for this, parents are urged to raise their children with a reading culture.

This, and more, was shared by book reading enthusiasts who gathered at Kigali Public Library on Saturday to discuss the benefits of nurturing a reading culture. The event was organised by Afflatus Africa, a non-charity organisation that envisages changing the reading culture of Rwandan society.

Participants listen to the panelists.

During the event, the organisation launched a campaign dubbed #40minutes, encouraging people to spare 40 minutes every day to read.

Bonitah Kobusingye, the director of Girl Talk Africa, said that for a better tomorrow, children need to be instilled with a reading culture right from a tender age.

This, she said, is fundamental and that parents too need to read along with their kids.

The launch of #40minutes campaign.

Kobusingye encouraged those who want to build a reading culture to ensure that they spare ample time for reading.

“If one is to benefit from reading, they need to refrain from the ‘school reading model’ and start paying attention to every word or sentence written, this is when reading will benefit you more,” she said.

The US Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Vrooman, noted that reading helps one to connect with others.

He shared his experience on how reading helped him sail through college smoothly, adding that reading can help one connect with other people in society.

“Reading made my college life exciting because it helped me discover new things that helped me to connect well with others,” he said.

Vrooman agreed that it can be challenging to find time for reading, however, he said to ensure to secure at least two hours a day for reading.

“Though these hours may not be enough, at least I know that something has been added to the scope of my knowledge,” he adds.

Dr Jean Baptiste Mazarati, Deputy Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said that with reading comes mental and psychological rewards.

He, hence, attributed reading as a very important aspect for it turns one from an island to a peninsula.

“Reading is earth-shaking, because to know that you have mastered something you have to read it habitually,” he noted.

Mazarati also noted that with today’s demanding careers, there has to be a sacrifice made for one to be able to squeeze in time for reading.

“One has to first develop love for reading because creating time for something you really adore can never be a challenge,” he said.

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