Friday, December 02, 2005

School Inculcates Reading Habit

Ludhiana, November 5: WITH more and more TV channels and the fast-paced life keeping parents busy, children are free to watch TV for hours together. Like a couch potato, they remain hooked to cartoons, serials and many other entertainment programmes. All this has lead to the disappearance of the reading habit among children, and their reading is restricted to the books in their syllabus alone. To promote the reading habits among children and to make them more familiar with english language, the efforts of GGN Public School, Rose Garden, have paid off.

Ten years ago, the school started a practice in which all students are supposed to read books other than their school syllabi. The school authorities feel that it has produced good results.

Says R S Grewal, principal of the school, ‘‘More than ten years ago, this idea came to my mind. Since then, each student from Class IV to VIII is supposed to buy one book every year other the school books. It may be a short story, a novel, comics etc. This way, if their are 30 students in a class, there will be 30 books in that class. And all these students read these books one after the other. These books are kept in the custody of the language teacher of the class, who keeps noting down which student has read which book. At the end of the year, each student is given his/her book, which also adds to the personal library of the students.’’

Says Poonam Madiya, an English teacher at the school, ‘‘We encourage children to read books of Enid Blyton, Jeffrey Archer, Agastha Christie, Nancy Drew, R K Narayanan, the English version of Panchtantra, books by Rudyard Kipling and other such books.’’

Principal Grewal highlights that it has been seen that when book exhibitions are organised in the school, the children themselves purchase and read books. ‘‘Their expression in English has improved too,’’ he says.

He adds that to check if the students read the book completely or not, the school has now planned that each student will be asked to write a synopsis of the book, which will be checked by the teacher concerned.

Supreet, a student of Class VII, is happy reading the complete collection of the English translation of Panchtantra. ‘‘I like reading these books whenever I get time in my summer holidays,’’ says Supreet.

Adds Jaskiran, another student, ‘‘The stories by Rudyard Kipling are really interesting. When my mother told me that the serial Mougli is based on his stories, I purchased his books and read them,’’ says Jaskiran.

Grewal says that students up to Class III are too small to understand the story books while from Class IX onwards, their workload increases. Hence, they are exempted from this practice.

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