Time and again, I have been concerned about the reading culture of the Africans in general. It is shocking to discover that an average African leaves his contact with books the moments he graduates or exits from school in whatever level. Even some of those who are concerned with teaching or aiding others to gain more knowledge are no longer friendly to books. It is shocking to find that many of those in the teaching fraternity also leave their contact with books at college or whatever level they received their training. Most of them teach using the knowledge that was acquired or given to them by their lecturers or instructors at College level and they never seem to care to add more to what they know.
Interestingly, those who claim to know have had to be forced to go back to the drawing board by their students because the inception of world wide web or the internet for that matter has put knowledge so close to our finger tips that no one can dare make knowledge claims that are irrelevant or not properly founded on facts or truth. Many young people who are thirsty for knowledge are outwitting their instructors and appear to know more than them.
So the question arises, if the students are more informed than their teachers or instructors, what does this spell to the future of those in the teaching fraternity, who do not want to expand the horizons of their knowledge base?
There are several ways of responding to this dilemma? One way is to encourage the teachers to be adept in their fields by reading widely to neutralize this challenge from their students. Secondly, teachers could be advised to begin improving their reading culture, so that they may not have difficulties in coping with the rapid rate of young or their students acquisition of knowledge which threatens their career path. Thirdly, teachers must be in the forefront of encouraging a reading culture among the young ones and adult students so that they can make it a habit to read while in school, college, university and even way after their graduation.
The laxity in the area of developing a reading culture comes when children do not see it practised by their parents and other siblings as they grow up in their homestead. This becomes a drawback in every way because a non-reading parent will have no guts or moral authority to tell his young ones to read, because they are not good role models in this regard. Of course an exception can be allowed in the case where parents of the young ones did not go to school but they wish their children could gain what they lost for their own future benefit.
As parents we must make it our habit to read widely so that we can help our children with homework. The question that we should be toying with is for how long are we going to depend upon other people to do what we are supposed to do for our children.
Let's note that we have a dependency syndrome and It is this dependency syndrome that we have grown to accept as normal for us that is retarding our knowledge acquisition. We always depend on others to pass on knowledge to us, but we do not want to dig for it so that we can pass it on to others. It was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, one of the American presidents who challenged his fellow Americans to "Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for your country." He was trying to help Americans undo the dependency syndrome, that parasitic approach to live and begin to take their own initiative by becoming change agents for their country. It takes will power for one to turn around his reading habits and be a role model to his children. If you do not read and even concentrate on any thing, be it a magazine or a newspaper, how on earth do you expect your child to do better than you. As a parent you should show determination and initiative to your child, so that he/she can emulate your example.
It is always good for parents to become good role models to their children and also close mentors. This enables you to instil good moral values to your child as he/she grows up to be an adult. It elevates you as a parent and as someone that your child can look up to. You become a good influence to your child. Remember mentoring means you have to be give your whole and be involved or engaged in what you want your mentoree to become. When your children lack a mentor, they begin to attempt to grow brain that has a natural propensity to likes that are different, which throws them on the opposite side of what you want them to be. As parents and guardians we should not even think of abdicating our roles and responsibilities towards our children. Some opportunities come only once, make the most of the opportunities that you get to be around your child(ren).
Some say it is an exercise in futility to try to teach an old person new skills. But this is not generally true. There are many old people who missed an opportunity to do something that they always wanted to do in life and when they get that chance and resources to facilitate them, they do it with zeal and gusto. This claim has been proven wrong and it does not hold any longer. So parents who want to be change agents and make a difference in their young ones, they can make it indeed, if they engage their will power.
Customarily, when people are done with any pursuit of education they tend to relax and develop some laxity. But, with determination you can become that role model that your children and villagers have always been yearning for. Wake up from your slumber and make a difference in other people's lives and help them improve their reading culture amongst other things that you can influence in their lives. Your community needs a few of such dedicated men and women and change will be in the air as far as school performance and adaptation to reading is concerned. Be the first one to stand up and be counted in spearheading this venture. It is a venture worth noting, and a risk worth taking.
Be the one to hear the sound of BRAVO for a determination that will bear fruit for the benefit of your society and nation.
Gemsbak library Services is a privately owned resource centre open to the public. As stated in our vision, mission and our objectives page. Our drive is to encourage a reading culture in the context where we exist. As we began this Library services, we were hopeful that people will get our primary vision and buy into our mission so as to benefit and broaden their information base through reading widely. One advantage that Gemsbak Library offers to the community around is to give our clients good services. We serve and guide them when they come to our facility.
We are currently serving undergraduate students from the Mushrooming Satellite colleges and Universities within and around Machakos town. We serve Students from African Nazarene University, St. Paul's University, Machakos ECD Teachers College, KIM College, Seuco University, Nairobi University, Kenyatta University, JKUCAT and some Alumni from Scott Christian University. Most of these students are adult learners who are doing distance learning with these Universities and Colleges.
We are also serving the professionals in Machakos town and from the surrounding towns. Many of the people who have subscribed with us are claiming that this resource centre has helped them a lot. It has enabled them to cut costs of travelling to and from Nairobi to source for their research materials.
We have a reading room that can accommodate eight readers at once. We also offer typing services, proposal and dissertation advice and editing, we also offer audio-visual and video services to all our subscription members.
We assist our clients by directing them to the books and also topics of interest to them. This is a resource centre with a difference. You are invited to come and see for yourself and talk with the manager.