READING is crucial to ensure that students do well in school.
Based on her experience as a researcher for more than three decades, the director of the Center for Research in International and Comparative Education at Universiti Malaya, Professor Assoc Dr Vishalache Balakrishnan, said that having books at the home and parents who love to read can make a difference in whether a student is successful academically.
âSurrounding a naturally curious child with books from an early age is essential to broaden their knowledge.
âThey may have a short attention span, but they will continue to flip through books, especially those with pictures and colors, and start asking questions,â she told StarEdu.
Even children raised in the digital age need to cultivate a habit of reading because it is “the most effective way to acquire knowledge,” she said, stressing the importance of bringing back books.
However, she stressed that reading should be deep and interactive, fun and joyful, reflective and stimulating.
Reading for the sake of reading and simply being surrounded by books is not enough.
Vishalache said children need a role model – in this case adults at home who are great readers themselves and make a point of reading to children at home.
âMost kids prefer to watch TV or play digital games.
If parents are educated and understand the importance of instilling the basics of education through reading, they would answer children’s questions, read with them and invest in books suitable for children’s cognitive development, âsaid she declared.
Head teacher at Universiti Utara Malaysia College of Arts and Sciences School of Education, Dr Muhammad Noor Abdul Aziz, said that if students didn’t like reading, they would have a hard time keeping up in all subjects of the school. class.
This was evident during the Covid-19 pandemic when students had to be independent and learn from home.
âWith distance learning, most of the children had to learn on their own because they couldn’t go to school.
âThey may need to research information on their own and if reading is not their strong suit, how can they complete their homework? ” he said.
Parents, he said, don’t need to host an entire library at home, as books are no longer limited to physical sheets of paper bound in thick or paperback covers.
E-books, he said, are just as beneficial – if someone is actually reading them.
Reading is essential for children and being read is just as important, he added.
The former teacher said about 30% of his students had their parents read to them when they were younger.
âThis is evident in the way they answer the questions asked,â he said.
The ability to raise questions, he said, is an indication that students are confident in expressing their opinions.
This leads to creativity both in writing and orally – then it becomes easy to manage the program.
To do well in school, he said, is unlikely if parents are not present in their children’s lives.
âI have seen parents who spend most of their time working. The lack of time spent with their children means that students have little interest in studying, âhe said.
Stressing that the time and support of caregivers and teachers are crucial for academic success, he said these factors give students the confidence and motivation to strive harder.
He also called on society to make reading a habit again.
âThere is a lot of research showing a correlation between reading and academic achievement,â he said.
According to a recent study by Dr Kimmo Eriksson of MÃ¤lardalen University College, Sweden, access to books is a better indicator of a student’s success in exams, compared to access to the best teachers and learning resources.
The study, released on November 22, analyzed the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores of nearly 600,000 students in 77 countries, including Malaysia.