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Kids Failing To Read Books

By Cara

The fast life has casted its spell over school kids as they think reading big fat novels is a waste of time. Most British students, after being presented with short extracts and worksheets to practice comprehension and sentence structure, fail to read complete novels at schools.

The National Union of Teachers have expressed their concern over the trend and said that it is fueled by the widespread closure of school libraries to save money. The union of teachers at the Annual Conference in Liverpool would discuss to dedicate a slot in the timetable to give children more opportunity to “read for pleasure."

Alan Gibbons, the children"s author, who will address the meeting, said an over-reliance on short extracts risked undermining children"s grasp of classic works by Dickens and Shakespeare.

Schools in an bid to complete a mass syllabus use abridged versions of the great classical works. This gets the children in a habit of reading extracts and synopsis.

Gibbons, who wrote the best selling 'Shadow of the Minotaur' illustrated on how a secondary school class that he visited was asked to scan parts of Macbeth for scenes that "portrayed ambition." He says that there was no attempt to read and understand the whole thing.

Schools and parents should consciously make an effort to encourage children to read more books and novels. The education system should motivate children to read rather than make them depend on mere extracts.

Story first published: Monday, March 29, 2010, 12:40 [IST]
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