Monday, October 06, 2008

Reading the sign for the hump in Uganda

From a nice study done by two Swedish students Anna Jönsson and Josefin Olsson entitled, "Reading culture and literacy in Uganda: The case of the 'Children’s Reading Tent'", available here is the PDF file.
Apart from perceiving reading and writing as vital to passing tests a majority also gave other reasons to why it is important to read. The children said that reading is important because you can “learn things”, “understand new things” and “get new skills” through reading. Reading also “helps you learn how to behave” and is a way to “communicate”. Moreover, some children said that it is important to read because otherwise you are not able to understand information given in written text. Those children stated that if you can not read you can miss out on information (and secrets) given through letters, signs and sheets. In addition, one child explained why reading is something to take seriously, since your life can depend on it.

A driver who didn’t know how to what? Read. Now like what? Like a sign. There is a hump ahead. That means you have to decrease what? The speed. This man just rushed, when he doesn’t know that it is ahead there, what? A hump. He ended up making an accident. Because he didn’t know how to read. He saw a doctor, there was nothing he could do. It was the ending of his life (Boy 13 years old, Mityana, 2007-02-27).

Some children also express the view that writing can be part of their everyday lives outside school. This view came through when some children stated that they wrote letters to pen-pals, poems and in their diaries at home. One girl stated that she wrote about the war in the North which she had experienced first hand and said that it made her sad to write about the war but that she felt better afterward (Girl 11 years old, Mityana, 2007-02-26).

No comments: