REFERENCE is made to Sunny Ntayombya’s article, “For the eloquence of our kids, parents have an upper hand” (The New Times, February 12).
I agree that the way forward is to “Read bedtime stories to infants, buy them books, let them see YOU read, discuss their reading materials with them and give them the most precious gift I believe a parent can give a child; the love of knowledge”, as Sunny put it.
It is very difficult for a child who never gets parental support to excel in school. Parents need to work closely with teachers too. However, I want to disagree with Sunny in absolving our education system. We can’t separate the education system from co-curricular activities because the latter is composite of the former.
Without strong co-curriculum programmes in schools, emphasised by the education authority, parents will lack the motivation to pursue undiscovered talents in their children.
We should also remember that many of the parents were raised from the countryside, are semi or totally illiterate, and so you can imagine the kind of education they are imparting to their children.
This is the time for the authorities and civil society involved in education to act.
You cannot be wrong on that. Reading is the key. This brings back to mind what I read somewhere...about us blacks and Africans in general. That if you want to hide things from Africans, put it in writing (books).
We simply don’t read. Ours is an oral culture. I keep on telling my students that if you can’t read, you do not get new ideas. You’ll keep on repeating yourselves.
If we don’t cultivate a reading culture, we cannot write either.
Parents and educators have to instill a reading culture and pleasure at a very tender.
Andrew Rusatsi, Rwanda