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My take on comics as learning tools to improve reading in primary classes
Recently, some politicians and bureaucrats had been advocating for introducing comic strips in textbooks to improve reading. One needs to have a critical look at such mechanical situations and patchwork to improve reading skills which have gone down ever since the primary education projects have been introduced as revealed by ASER study reports of Pratham year after year.

The colourful books with picture reading exercises were introduced earlier without any proper teaching training and changes in classroom processes, the reading did not improve, nor did it improve through short term reading campaigns at grade level two. With the advocacy on introducing comics in the textbooks, with new patch work and tinkering, one doubts the miracle of improved reading skills will happen.

In educational circles and among meaningful educators, the effectiveness of comics to improve reading has been the subject of debate and studies have proved that on the whole and that comics do not improve reading skills. A few stray cases of highly trained and professionalized teachers, it led to improving reading as a therapy with slow weaning away from amusing visuals used in comics.

Comics are for amusement not for serious academic learning and several hundred critical articles in various periodicals have already appeared about their futility. However, media industry in a clever way by influencing politicians and bureaucrats is trying to find inroads in classrooms at the primary education level itself.

When comic strips were applied for 'learning' in the US, Fredric Wertha had remarked that the use comics in education represented "an all-time low in American science."

The problem is low professionalism of teachers, who even in grade one, do not use flash cards to develop sight vocabulary which produce a link between speaking, listening and recognition with mental image. We need to integrate visual and linguistic literacy introduce first with existing textbooks along with giving emphasis on picture reading. Comic strips will give rise to new kind of consumerism of information through the products created by professional comic writers.

The main flaw is in the classroom processes of teaching language and teacher development which will further become serious with throwing comic strips in the classroom.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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