3 Out Of 4 Students In Pakistan Never Read A Book Other Than University Course. Only 9 Percent Are Avid Readers
The world is going to celebrate the International Day for Book Reading on April 23 but majority of the students in Pakistan are not aware of this day because book reading is generally avoided by the students and common citizens here. It is one of the major reasons of our failure in the fight against radicalism since we lack the tolerance for opposite points of view that a book reading culture might have instilled in our attitudes.
In the past, books were not only a regular feature in our households, they were discussed in social gatherings too. The market of books has also shrunk since there’s not much demand for the product anymore.
According to many experts, religious extremism and domestic violence have not only augmented due to this decline in book reading culture, but have also contributed to its decline.
Many believe that alongside other reasons, the internet revolution and new media have also affected the book reading culture and majority of students in Pakistan instead of reading books waste their time on online games and other social media activities.
But experts reject this opinion. According to them, European nations are far more advanced and modern compared to Pakistan and even then the people in Europe and other developed countries spend a lot of their time on book reading daily and this is one of the reasons why they are ahead of us in every walk of life.
According to a latest survey conducted by the Gallup and Gillani Foundation Pakistan, 75% of Pakistanis are not reading any book at all; only 9% are avid readers.
This recent survey was conducted on a sample of 1,178 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country between February 23 and March 3, 2019.
According to Professor Khadim Hussain there are many barriers to promoting the book reading culture in Pakistan.
The first he says is that ‘the book reading habit should be developed in a child in the early phase of education so that in the future it would help a student stick to book reading’.
The second factor he highlights is the issue of distribution. He says, “Book distribution is a huge barrier in the way of book reading culture because many publishers distribute their books in a limited area and this is the reason that most of the new publications remain unheard of in most parts of the country. This is why the book reading culture is not flourishing in Pakistan.”
The third reason he elaborates is the lack of arranging of book reading sessions by government-run organizations like National Book Foundation. He added that such sessions can prove quite helpful in promoting the culture of reading books.
He advised the students and teachers to arrange more and more study circles in order to create a habit of book reading in the society, particularly among the youth.