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Need to focus on the reading skills and habits in schools
The standards of reading skills in India are dismal on an average. The studies by Pratham NGO over last few years show that a child of grade five cannot read the book of grade two properly. This shows that overall quality of primary education is bad or no attention is paid in developing and testing reading skills of children.

"When quality of teaching is poor, reading by students is typically hesitant and characterized by frequent starts and stops as well as it meaningless. Even those can read take too long to read the words, leaving little scope for remembering and understanding what was read," said a retired teacher Prabha Kishore, who worked for long 20 years in a residential school.

Not only in India, in many advanced countries the reading problems have cropped up due to excessive use of technology, video games and TV watching. The UK researchers at the Institute of Education have found that children who are read everyday both at school and by parents at home do better in studies and show lesser behavioural problems.

The sample of study consisted of 8,000 five-year-olds in Britain and it threw up the following three important findings:

  • Almost as many girls as boys experience difficulties in learning to read.

  • Children who read daily had better foundation stage profiles and higher behaviour scores as well.

  • On an average, children who watch three or more hours of TV a day achieved lower scores on the tests.

Therefore, schools have to pay attention to reading skills and hold special transitional courses through daily reading for one or two months for 40-60 minutes daily and provide access to the wonders of books and other kinds of texts like weakly wall magazine created by the school for reading and enjoyment.

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