Our Poor Reading Culture

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OUR POOR READING CULTURE by Mohammed Awal Abdallah. L300, DAGS. One of the cruel jokes that are often made at the expense of the black man is that, if you want to hide something from him, simply put it inside a book. The idea is that, he does not have the habit of reading for pleasure and knowledge and as such is not likely to go near any secret kept in a book. Another variant of this joke is that, if you want to hide something from a fool, simply hide it inside a book because a fool does not read. Whichever of the variants of these jokes, we are familiar with hardly matters. What is important is that, in Ghana today, particularly in our universities and other tertiary institutions, there is a low level of reading habits among students. Very few students read anything outside the prescribed texts for their studies. Many adults as such loathe reading just to broaden their horizon. Yet an informed citizenry with a broad outlook on life is necessary for good governance and for the successful practice of democracy. It is unfortunate that our race has been identified for the lack of wisdom in most of its people in not reading as much as we ought to. The joke at our particular expense should serve as a wakeup call on all students and blacks to embrace the culture of reading. We should begin to ask ourselves whether it is a mere coincidence that the black race is today the poorest, the least developed and the most backward technologically of all the races or there is somehow a connection between the poor reading culture among the blacks and their relative backwardness. People of all races particularly, we the blacks ought to read because; the wisdom of the ages is contained in books. Educators, psychologist neurologist have all confirmed that, reading is one of the most valuable tools for brain development. The decline in reading nowadays can be traced principally to some of the following causes: Harsh economic reality which affects the buying of books; Poor...
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