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Social media taking over reading habits in Ghana - Opanin Agyekum

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Tue, 7 Sep 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Professor at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Agyekum has bemoaned the growing disinterest of Ghanaian youth in the culture of reading.

According to him, social media appears to have taken over the interest of the youth in recent times, a trend which is worrying particularly because it has greatly affected the literacy growth of the country.

Speaking to Wonder Ami Hagan on The Lowdown on GhanaWeb TV, Opanyin Agyekum as he is popularly called noted how youth today prefer checking out sensational and entertaining posts on social media as opposed to spending hours reading and developing themselves.

“Habit formation is by constant repetition. If you do something constantly, it becomes a habit so if people are tuned in to social media and they are interested in the pictorial, video and sensational stories here and there, somebody has fought with his girlfriend and all that, I’m sure if you put Chinua Achebe’s book, nobody will read it. It’s a matter of habit, the attitude and how people tune their minds,” he said.

Adding, “How long do people read on social media? They prefer to read about 40 pieces on social media as compared to us putting Ama Atta Aidoo’s book on the same platform for you. How many of this age group will go for that if it is not a set book to be examined?”

He believes the solution lies with parents who have the sole responsibility of training children with the reading habit right from their infantry.

By getting them books and ensuring they constantly are reading, Opanyin Agyekum said, they will grow to not only be habitual readers but lovers of books.

“The solution? I want to start from the home. That, if every parent is ready to get books for the children and imbibe that habit of reading in these children at their younger age, anytime you go out, you come back with a book, give it to them, you time them, that by the end of this one week you should have finished reading this book, the child will finish and ask 'Dad, is there any other book?'”, he stated.

“We are building up this habit in them so then if at some point if you put these things there for them, they’ll be ready to read”, Prof. Agyekum added.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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