Skills in reading enable learners to benefit from educational activities, and to participate fully in the social and economic activities in which they take part. In addition, reading is fundamental to progress and success in all other school subjects.
To function in today’s highly globalized world interlinked with social media we are getting lots of information everyday beyond our capacity to process. There needs a well thought out reading skill required in our day-to-day life. Hence, we need to outcompete digital literacy by nurturing deliberate reading skills as well as promoting authorship. Thereby with a developed literary culture, we can undoubtedly chart out the optimization of digital literacy as a way to play proactively for any possible reactionary traits of digital realm. There are many adults who cannot read and write. According to CIA world fact book 2015, adult literacy rate (age 15 and over can read and right) in Ethiopia is 39%, male 49.1 and female 28.9%. Based on the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) conducted in eight regions in Ethiopia in 2010 through USAID/Ethiopia support showed shocking results in oral reading fluency and reading comprehension among lower grade primary school children. Students were found to be slow readers and not understand well what they read. The study says that the majority of children are still learning the alphabet in grade 3. That’s is why improving the reading outcome of children has become the public policy concern for the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and other development partners like USAID that have initiated programs like READ.
Reading is essential prerequisite to thrive in this fast world! We have used tremendous amount of reading in our day-to-day routine, beginning from filling out applications of various kinds, reading road or traffic signs to following a map. With out reading all our day-to-day activities that most of us take for granted become a source of frustration, anger and fear.
Finding a good job heavily relies in one’s reading skill as a vital mechanism to perform well in many well paying jobs as they require reading as part of the work. There are tons of emails, reports, memos that must be read and responded too. Inadequate habit for reading increases the time required to process information’s and reacts in the workplace. Without a reading skill some one has limitation to accomplish his/her tasks successfully.
Reading helps us to learn listening. Lack of listening skill can result in major misunderstandings, which can lead to job loss, marriage breakup, and other disasters – small and great. Reading helps children and adults to focus on what someone else is communicating.
Reading is one of the ways, which helps to discover new things. Books, newspapers, magazines and even the Internet are great learning tools, which require the ability to read and comprehend the text. A person who knows how to read can educate himself or herself in any area of life that they are interested in. We live in an age where we overflow with information, but reading is the main way to take advantage of it.
Most importantly reading is vital in developing a good self-image. Non-readers or poor readers often have low opinions about themselves and their abilities. Often times they feel as if the world is against them. They feel isolated and behavior problems can surface. To our worry, they will take a lifetime refuge in deep and sometimes trivial suspicion. They can perform poorly in other subjects because they cannot read and understand the material and so tend to “give up.” Also, readers are predisposed to be rational other than to be driven by aggressive emotive feelings.
Also, reading helps to expand the vocabulary. Reading new words puts them in their mind for later use. Seeing how words are used in different contexts can give a better understanding of the word usage and definitions than the cold facts of a dictionary.
There is an old saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Ideas written down have changed the destiny of men and nations for better or worse. The flow of ideas cannot be stopped. We need to read and research to build on the good ideas and expose the bad ideas before they bring destruction.
Finally, why is reading important? Reading is important because words – spoken and written – are the building blocks of life. You are, right now, the result of words that you have heard or read and believed about yourself.