'School syllabi burdened with memorising tasks'

Cultivate reading habit among children: NCERT consultant Prahallada

Consultant for National Early Literacy Programme of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for Southern States, Regional Institute of Education N N Prahallada said even though reading was readily accepted as a focus area for language education, school syllabi were burdened with information-absorbing and memorising tasks.

He was addressing education functionaries at an orientation programme, ‘Early Literacy’, organised jointly by Public Education department and Department of State Education Research and Training, recently.

Prahallada said that early literacy was a flagship priority programme and therefore steps should be taken for its proper implementation. In order to promote the culture of reading, there is a need for creating opportunities for individual reading at all the stages of schooling. Teachers should set an example by being members of such a culture. This is possible only when students are encouraged reading, he added.

Highlighting reading method, he said, it does not mean just the ability to interpret the symbols on a page and know the words, but it means assimilation of the visual data by the eye and a constructive process. Reading is like playing a musical instrument, he added.

As reading has been confined to textbooks alone, many children in standard one and two are not able to read and write as teachers believe that completing the course material is the main concern. In the country, there is no school programme whereby books will transform themselves into objects of pursuit after knowledge, enjoyment and aesthetic fulfillment leading to an enduring interest in reading as a lifelong activity, said Prahallada.

A group of 60 educational functionaries consisting District Institute of Educational Training (DIET) principals, Block Education Officers, Block Resource Persons and other officials from five districts–Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya, Ramanagara and Chamarajanagara, participated in the orientation programme.

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