Ghana’s former ambassador to Russia, Dr. Kodzo K Alabo has underscored the need for parents to help inculcate good reading habits in their children to influence their academic performance.
He observed that parents’ involvement in their wards’ academic performance contributes to an increase in their perceived level of cognitive competence.
Dr. Alabo made the observation during the launch of the book, ‘The Woman with Child’ written by Djabeng SO at the Assembly Hall of the Krobo Girls Senior High School at Odumase-Krobo.
“I don’t know whether it is technology or sheer laziness or combination of both but I worry that increasingly our young people do not read again,” Dr. Alabo said
Dr. Alabo in stressing the need for reading buttressed this point with the popular English quote, “Reading maketh the man,” supported by the blunter Rumanian saying which says “A man is worth the number of books he has read.”
“Anybody, who is in this hall today must be consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, a believer in the power of books to help us develop, among other things, critical thinking,” the former diplomat averred.
The power of books and reading, he believes, leads to the improvement of the individual and to national development.
Reading helps to change our thoughts. And by changing our thoughts we give stability to our character, he said.
On the bigger educational front, the celebrated ambassador observed that literature makes rooms for a nation of inventors.
“Indeed education has for its objectives formation of character,” he said. “Education through reading awakens the creativity imagination. And I must quickly add that nothing great was ever achieved without the inventor first doing some dreaming and fantasizing. So when we make room for children’s literature we make room for a nation of inventors.”
Dr. Alabo further called for the reading habits in children by recounting Albert Einstein’s quote which says, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression as knowledge.”
To him, parents are burdened with the bigger responsibility of grooming their children into the book worms they desire.
“We think of 2 teachers in this wise. The parent as a teacher and then the classroom teacher. It is the duty of the parent to groom the child into a bibliophile – i.e. a lover of books,” he said.
“The parent must join the child in reading together or read to them, and in the selection of books. In the choice of books, the parent must choose those ones which excite the child’s interest.”
He suggested the formation of neighborhood reading clubs set up and supervised by parents as well as libraries be set up as ‘neighborhood concerns.’
He challenged advocates of reading to “stand up and change the popular saying that the only way to hide something from the African is to put it in a book.”
“Is it true that if you wish to hide something from the African put it into a book? If you, like me, do not agree with this then let’s join hands together to change the narrative,” he asserted.
“Let’s start with ‘The Woman with Child’ beautifully written by our own Mr. Djabs.”