Lack of a reading culture among students has been a persistent sore in the eyes of many organizations. Concerted efforts being made by these in ensuring that the seeds of this culture are sown are a manifestation of their recognition that it is only a literate and knowledgeable society that can fully participate in and positively contribute to National development.
The role of a library as a source of information to students in improving education standards and promoting functional literacy programmes in the rural areas with a view of improving the livelihoods of adults/parents who never had a chance of attaining formal education or dropped out of school. It further outlines the role of ICT in promoting access to latest and relevant information with the view of improving educational standards and the livelihoods of the rural communities.
The reading culture is the base to greater passion of every individual’s inner self.
Students particularly in the impact areas will be sensitized that reading books with attention would exercise their faculties of reason to enable the individual have self control to his baser passion. The literacy promotion will arouse keenness in the people to read more of the printed information, which should open the mind of many to better understanding of issues affecting them. This is more or so important with the realization that the future of all citizens require self-education and self-culture because academic excellence is not enough without the culture to keep on reading for continuous self-improvement.
According to Dr. Zainal Abidin Hajib, Lecturer’s Faculty of Languages Studies says, the process of developing a reading culture as earlier stated should start at an early stage of childhood and nurtured into adulthood. This model is therefore expected to play a multi-dimensional function.
“Firstly, it is hoped to improve the standards of education and gradually reduce illiteracy. Secondly, it will enable many rural masses own rural libraries from which they can access information and other reading materials. Thirdly, it hopes to enable the communities source, preserve and access a wide range of literature. And lastly, it hopes to enable the communities maximize the use of ICTs to improve their livelihoods. This is the importance of establishing rural conventional libraries, implementation of functional literacy programmes and
Provision of low-cost ICTs as way of developing and promoting a reading culture among the rural masses”.
He also said, embracing a reading culture should go beyond mere pep talk. Affirmative action must be taken where establishment of rural conventional libraries, implementation of functional literacy programmes and above all, provision of low-cost ICTs should be encouraged with an aim of contributing to high quality of education, empowering rural men and women in the four broad areas namely; provision of basic services; improved local and international governance, support for entrepreneurship and access to financial services.
“I am occasionally disappointed by students’ lack of reading culture. It would seem that most students in Malaysia do not like reading, I mean interesting reading (not the reading of sensational news about celebrities or crimes)”.
“Of course, one cannot blame them entirely. The system we operate in has never really allowed people (young and old) to discover the beauty of reading quality books and magazines. When they reach uni, it’s even more difficult to inculcate that culture”.
“Yet, sometimes it makes me feel like saying that we should not allow students in University if they do not like/love reading. I suspect that if that criterion were to be, we would have only a handful of students, if any!”.
“Student who doesn’t like to read should never ever be allowed to follow a course at university level. What if a student decides to read about things from the internet? We are still learning although not by reading a book” Muhammad Luqman Hakim bin Mohd Sa’ad, 22, said.
“Perhaps if I could get myself books of actual movies that would really have enticed me into reading more and more since now I haven’t seen many such books at the market or the USIM library as another said the casual stuffs are indeed boring and these are what we actually have stocked in our library”.
“In my opinion, the thing is that students are not so keen to buy a book (ok let’s mention it..an expensive book) for just one semester and then afterwards leave it aside. But there are other ways of reading as mentioned. Subscriptions at the libraries. As i mention it now, it’s been what since one month i have not been reading books apart newspapers. Ok Ive grapped the Harry potter book (goblet of fire) and that’s it. I think that’s the last i saw”.
“In fact, I suspect that most students just toss away the knowledge acquired at University cos what interests them is the piece of paper at the end of the day that allows our to secure a job, get a promotion or a salary increment”.
I’d rather see a real personal desire to learn and read an eagerness to acquire knowledge, to grow intellectually” he said.
“I agree about the lack of reading culture among students. I would go even further by stating that there’s a lack of interest in general knowledge among students. I just wonder how many people watch the intesting programmes like Doha Debates, Hard talk, Have Your Say on BBC. Speaking of which, here I’ll go outside the current subject of the post, the MBC in its wisdom to promote general knowledge and English systematically replaces BBC programmes with football” Mohd Aizat bin Zulkifli, 21, says.
“I reckon an in-depth reform of our educational system can prove to be a good way of starting to turn things around. Is it going to happen, ok lets not get into politics.
“Lets develop the reading habit at the early stage of our educational system and surely we don’t need any political help on this one. That’s only a couple of things where we can get started”.
“What I would advise to people, especially students, we need to cultivate the habit of reading, it really helps”.
Reading “things” on the internet is not the same as reading books. Do we really believe that someone can curl with our desktop computer and read Hamlet?”
Another point, the Internet makes it easy to find information we are looking for. It’s not always easy to find the information in one place though. We may have to browse a dozen sites to find one that satisfy our needs.
“My conclusion is that it depends very much of our self and of the family we grew up in. If the parents are the type of “thirsty” ones of culture, information, knowledge from all domains, are very close and open to their children and are engaging we in their conversations about different important topics in developing a strong general culture, the children will be more avid for information, to develop ourselves, to know more and more about anything (geography, medicine, literature, history) and the only way to do that is to read”.
According to Mohd Nur Aqmal Mohd Sairi, 23, says, a book contains related information in one place, is easy on the eyes, portable, cheap. We can borrow, lend, trade, write in and do may things we can’t do on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile computer.