Inculcating good reading habits is always on the agenda of every educationist. During the holidays, it was always the grandparent or parent that insisted on either reading to them, or making them read or telling them stories with a moral. Amar Chitra Katha comics were a great source of inspiration to many. Mythological tales, Jataka tales, Aesop's fables, historical and moral stories from Panchatantra tales were many a child's favourite.
Children of today are most certainly different in every way. They prefer to spend all their free time playing outdoors, playing video games, chatting on the internet, or simply surfing the net. they love listening to music on the ipod. Gadgets are a way of life to these young ones. They insist they cannot survive without them! Is that true? Did we not get good grades in school when we had only a radio and no television?
An interest in reading good books should be inculcated in every child. In this age of videos, DVD's, and VCD's, it can be difficult but nonetheless worthwhile. It helps them to think creatively, aids in developing memory, imagination, empathy, etc. Educationists always vouch for audiovisual aids when it comes to teaching, but the joy of reading and understanding gives greater confidence to a child in the language he is reading. He learns new vocabulary, uses the Dictionary when necessary and is capable of speaking fluently, and can write any piece of creative writing without much assistance. In fact, he begins to revel in the fact that he can do it well. It was heart rending to note that a school in Pune had adopted he practice of reading Amar Chitra Katha comics in History class and then engaging in role play of the story that was just read. History coming alive in the classroom gives every child the chance to remember all the historical dates, names, wars, etc in the exact order as well. Hats off to the teacher who tried this as an experiment and was successful to the point of being emulated by several others across the country.
In India, every school-going child learns to master at least two languages besides English. Most urban school children speak impeccable English .They know that the gateway to a bright future lies in being able to write and speak excellent English.
Learning the English language also prepares them for a global career.
The ongoing Bangalore Book Festival is drawing lots of parents with their school and college going children to find great books for fun and learning.This is certainly testimony to the fact that parents still want their children to make reading a habit.
In this Silicon Valley of the east, children are being nurtured to be the next generation entrepreneurs, software and hardware professionals, industrialists,etc.
Yester years saw only two ambitions among children-either a doctor,or an engineer.
Today, the spectrum is wide-pilot,lawyer,astronaut,vet,dietitian,finance experts, consultant(in various fields), management gurus,restauranteurs,etc. And they are succeeding in their chosen field in various parts of the globe. Our system of education is excellent, indeed.