Reference is made to Oscar Kimanuka’s article, “We must develop the reading culture to remain relevant” (The New Times, February 27).
About three months ago, my friends and I were having a discussion about this topic. I read a lot, and I have always enjoyed reading since I was a kid. I am in my early twenties and most of my friends just read school or work materials. They think that leisure reading is rather boring and time consuming.
Growing up, my parents had a small library in our house, and that is where my reading habit comes from. Maybe we need book clubs or that sort of thing. It is also not easy to get access to books back home.
There aren’t that many books available and books are expensive. I believe those two factors are among the main reasons why people don’t read.
Moreover, in this new era of technology, the attention span seems to be declining, at least in my age group. We go from texting to WhatAapp to Facebook in a split second, which makes it hard to focus on one thing for more than few minutes.
Thank you for writing this article; I hope that eventually people will start reading more.
There is no doubt that creating a reading culture in schools is essential. However, in my opinion, literacy development begins at home.
Reading is the foundation of learning, and therefore people should read to learn and read for leisure.
It seems the writer is more biased on reading for leisure purposes, but he forgets the skill or hobby is nurtured at an early age, particularly when the children are in school.
As a literacy expert, I still think there is a lot of material—whether in the mother tongue and foreign languages—for Rwandans to nurture a culture of reading.
The reading culture can only be created when the community understands the value of literacy and creates sustainable opportunities to practice and enjoy reading together.
It all starts with schools; kids in primary school should be required to read several books per term and write brief summary of each.
My child does this at the school she went to when she left Rwanda to study in another country.
She is only in P6, but she started reading only two per term, now she tells me she reads 6-8 books per term and she is enjoying it and telling me lots of interesting stories.
So our schools should put emphasis on reading as many books as the kids can get.