The Language Centre of the University of Professional Studies, Accra has launched a reading project aimed at stimulating the interest of tertiary education students towards reading outside their field of study.
The ‘Reading School Project 2019’ which is in collaboration with the Accra International Book Festival (AIBF), was launched Monday, 21st October, 2019 at the UPSA LBC Auditorium under the theme “Speaking without speaking, the role of language.”
Addressing participants, Coordinator for the Language Centre, Mr. Mohammed Sadat, explained that the reading school campaign was the University’s response to reactivating the dwindling reading appetite among students and the youth in general.
Mr Sadat said it was not enough for students to limit their scope of reading on academics but it is also necessary they explore outside their chosen field of study. This he said enhances their cognitive development and builds their ability to think on their feet.
The Coordinator further opined that it was imperative for educational institutions to partner non-governmental organizations like the AIBF in an attempt to bridging the communication gap between writers and their readers.
Retired Ghanaian surgeon, poet and special guest of honour, Professor Lade Wosornu, who was spoke on the theme, underscored the importance of communication in every human institution saying the lack of it undermines family cohesion and social co-existence.
“Communication can break up countries, communication can break up families so if you get it right, you have got all of the things right,” he said.
Prof. Wosornu further observed that communication between and among individuals in Ghana was gradually plummeting with the advent of technology. He said family members no longer communicate with one another and friends have resorted to digital media to express their feelings with the use of emojis. This he said has had rippling effect on the reading and writing skills of students and wants the situation reversed with the launch of this project.
Author of Africa’s best-selling novel, ‘Of Women and Frogs,’ Bisi Adjapon, in her submission, said it is unfortunate the current educational system was only skewed towards rote learning which focuses on reading for memorization with the ultimate objective of passing one’s examination. She said the practice over the years has relegated reading for leisure and discovery to the background.
“Reading has taken a second place to other things [in the lives of most students] and education now a days is focusing solely on passing examination which makes reading for leisure, reading for discovery, etc being relegated to the background.”
She, therefore, urged the students to nurture their writing skills irrespective of the programmes they are pursuing. She added that the fascinating thing about writing is that it wields the power to persuade its audience and expresses one’s thought and emotions through words which can be applied in any profession.
The Reading School Project is a prelude to the 2019 Accra International Book Festival (#AccraBookFest2019) which seeks to provide a common platform for the exchange of ideas between writers and their readers.
Meanwhile, the two renowned writers donated some copies of their works to the Centre and the Department of Communications Studies. In attendance was the Head of Department of Communications Studies, Dr Theodora Adjin-Tettey as well as lecturers and students of the University.