ISLAMABAD: An acclaimed writer once said that when I think of heaven, I imagine a beautiful library. There is no denying that reading is one of the most productive habits a person can have, and it is rather unfortunate that today’s children are not avid readers. In an attempt to enlighten teachers to encourage students to read, a session was dedicated at the Teacher’s Literature Festival organised here at the Lok Virsa on Thursday.
“People usually complain that the children don’t like to read, but as a children’s magazine editor I don’t agree with that, because I get so many story submissions from children to know that the passion for reading and writing stories still exists,” said Amra Alam, author and editor of Uran Tashtaree, The Flying Saucer, while speaking at the festival.
“We just need to give children stories that they can relate to. Heroic stories may be great but if the child has not seen the hero, they will not find it appealing. Give children books on topics that appeal to them, topics they want to read and they will definitely read books,” she said.
Acclaimed television drama writer, Haseena Moin said that, “It is rather unfortunate that libraries in schools are decreasing in size and the weekly library periods have started disappearing from timetables in schools in order to save up on the librarian’s pay.”
She said that in order to inspire children to read, schools should invest in books and libraries, and teachers should themselves read and discuss books with their students.
“Teachers inspire students and if teachers read, their students will also develop a reading habit”, Haseena Moin said.
She said that school students should be encouraged to develop their own personal libraries at home.
Sarwat Mohiuddin, a renowned poet and prose writer, said that it was very important to encourage children to read and write poetry.
“Poetry enhances the imagination of children and helps them get an understanding of complexities of life later on,” she said.
The session also signified that reading was a habit that should be inculcated from home. The speakers highlighted that parents who read stories to their children at an early age, raise children that develop an appreciation and fondness for reading later on in life.
Amra Alam advised teachers to develop a young authors’ club in their schools, which encourages each member of the club to write a story based on their own imagination.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2015.