SABC News - Figures indicate poor book reading culture in SA:Saturday 12 September 2015

Figures indicate poor book reading culture in SA

Saturday 12 September 2015 09:03


Statistics show that only 5% of South African parents read to their children, with 14% of the population being active book readers.

South African Book Development Council Chief Executive, Elitha van der Sandt, says more initiatives are needed to promote reading. Van Der Sandt says it is important that government invest in reading material for children.

She says not enough is being done and not enough time is being invested as mothers, caregivers and educators to promote reading to the young. Further, Van der Sandt says not much is done to also get adults to read, adding that a lot needs to be done to make reading a priority in the country as the benefits that come with a strong reading culture assist the country in a transformational goal.

As the country observes National Book Week, Read a Book SA founder, Tebogo Ditshego, feels the national week is not enough to encourage the public to read more. His wish is to see it being extended to a national book month.

Ditshego also wishes for “more sustainable initiative throughout the year because reading is not something that you can do as a once-off.” According to Ditshego, more resources need to be put behind reading initiatives, with parents taking charge to inculcate the culture within their households.

Adding voice to the subject matter, Director of The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, Carole Bloch, believes there should be a clear plan of action by government that will get everyone reading. Bloch says there is not enough reading material for children to read especially in African languages.

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