Friday, 9 January 2009

How to read well

I do not want to dwell why this is so and bluh blah dat. But it is a fact that reading is not an established culture in Ghana. You can get on the London tube every morning and find readers of all income classes and ages reading. (mind you the tube is not more comfortable than our trotro's believe me on this!!)

The fact is everybody reads and you will often find a man strectching his neck on to a book raised above the heads of everybody else standing, just to get on with his reading. Its a common occurence on the tube to see people holding on to the rail with one hand and with the other holding onto a book or a newspaper.

Dont ask me how the pages are turned. It comes with practice as I have learnt: with careful timing and deliberations, you wait till it seems the train has attained a balance and then quickly release your grip on the rail and turn the page quickly before the trains hits the next curve, please dont loose your balance or else you will find yourself saying a thousand sorries and apologies to polite London train travellers.

A significant difference between the developed and the 3rd world countries is the level of literacy. Ghana has an adult literacy program which has been running for years. But this is not what I am talking about. Nor is this about the technical and vocational training programs at our basic levels or the read-a book-cumpulsory-for final-exam-book thing. But it is fact that we (Ghanaians and Africans ) do not read. If we do it is our text books and no encouragement is given to go beyond these and satisfy our indulgences. This is even the case in our universities. Neither do we have enough writers.

These 2 are the missing ingredients in our quest for development and the earlier we start looking at them the better. Lets have more libraries and encourage reading earlier on in our eduction system and not wait till secondary school to start reading Macbeth.( the fact that you are reading this shows we are getting there somewhere.

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