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Cameroonians And Reading Habits 

By Becky Njonje*

Reading is known to be basic to the ability to achieve in school and at the job. A child that reads well becomes better at taking tests, which are the standard measuring tool used in the school system and on the job to determine progress.

Good reading skills can lift people out of the clutches of poverty, yet the reading habit seems to have died in Cameroonians both among youths and adults. The youths, who are naturally expected to read for leisure and in the quest for knowledge, seem to abhor the habit. They may, however, read when faced with examinations.

Dora Mbua, a student of Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, says she reads but only her notebooks with the only objective of passing her examinations. She says reading any other thing apart from that is boring, besides reading is not her hobby. Another student, Issabelle Ngweamaew, of the University of Buea, says she likes reading about stars in magazines and sometimes a few newspaper articles if they are interesting.

She too, says the only time says she reads seriously is when she is preparing for examinations. Marie-Clair Nji, a businesswoman in Molyko, says she used to read novels but since she started running a provision store, she has not been able to read even a newspaper because she no time for that.

The Post also interviewed one Jude Elio, a student, who said he reads whenever he feels and only for examination purposes. He said he prefers watching TV and movies to reading. Elio also mentioned that when people pick up a magazine, they are only interested in the pictures and not what is written. Most school drop-outs cannot even remember reading anything to either increase their vocabulary or improve on their conversation skills.

Charles Awah Fru, told The Post that ever since he dropped out in Form III, he has not really found it interesting to read books or even newspapers, maybe if he had continued with his studies, he would have found it interesting to read books in order to prepare for examinations.

Despite the fact that most Cameroonians seem to have a very low reading habit, there are others who cherish reading. Eleanor Manyo says she was raised reading that is why she is always finds something worth reading. She also says that this habit has helped her a lot because she already knows a lot including her rights in the society. According to her, whenever she reads anything, she learns a new thing.

It has also been noted that most teachers always read a lot especially as students nowadays are reluctant to read ahead of the teachers. Elvis Ekerum, a teacher says everyday he makes sure he reads something important. He knows  that his students depend a lot on him he would not be helping the students in any way if he do not reads to upgrade his knowledge.

*(UB Journalism Student on Internship)

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