Africans read less, talks alot!

mwengeso

JF-Expert Member
Nov 27, 2014
7,146
2,000
Posted date: June 09, 2017 by Jacks Meena, Freelance Media and Communications Consultant.

IF WHAT IS POSTED HERE IS TRUE THEN WE HAVE A LONG WAY TOWARDS INDUSTRIALISATION. Inserted in red are my personal comments!

"It’s not something to be proud of or to let the world know about it but that’s the way it is. We have disconnected ourselves from the roots, that is, the reading culture . (I bet few of JF members will read this through). We simply don’t want to read and instead are masquerading as the most read and know-it all citizens of the world (our politicians). We know everything, the social media has made it easier for us, eeh?

Contador Harrison is an Ausie’s avid blogger, coder, coffee lover and a rock music nut. He penned a wakeup call article after a thorough research in 2016 in sub- Saharan Africa on reading culture. I don’t know if relevant ministry officials, education stakeholders, and Tanzanians in general have come across this study and other studies on reading culture in Africa.
Sad as it may be, a quick flip in our newspapers today confirms Harrison’s findings. The reading culture in Africa and more so in Tanzania has tumbled.

In the world of communication- communication is usually considered complete and effective when the sender receives feedback from the receiver. Reflecting on the past, Kenneth Petro, a Tanzanian political analyst based in Mwanza, observes that newsrooms used to receive a helluva lot of letters to the editor but as of now, mmh, it’s everybody’s guess. “I hardly come across a letter to the editor in our newspapers these days and fail to understand what has gone wrong,” he said. The absence of these letters show that something isn’t right and paints a gloomy picture in the knowledge industry community.(yet our newsmen claim to have limited freedom)

Harrison’s study reveals that Africa is reading less and watching more. According to the study, the old habit that used to involve turning the pages over with a flick of the finger, not the click of the mouse or remote is slowly dying a natural death.
Adults as well as teenagers are spending a lot of time these days chatting on smartphones, reading copy and paste stories and all wastes (exactly what is happening with all of us here in JF including you who is reading this post) that go with the new technology. They spend hours watching soaps, plays, football and music on televisions as well as listening to less serious programmes on radio.

Sarah Mlaki an official from the ministry of education and vocational training attribute the low reading culture to social media, negligence and life style of modern parents and grands. “As you might be aware in the past our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents read story books and spent time to narrate a number of folk stories for us. Apparently, all these have been replaced by social media and television,” she recounts.

Another official from a non-governmental organization known as Children Books Project (CBP) which is based in Dar es Salaam, Pili Dumea, says one of the underlying causes of the problem is the use of inappropriate teaching methods to children.
“We have a problem in our early and primary schools. Some teachers have failed to apply appropriate teaching methods that would make children comfortable and cultivate a culture of reading books,” she observed.

According to Dumea if a child cannot master 80% of alphabets while at kindergarten it becomes difficult for him/her to read properly and therefore enjoy reading books like other pupils. “And when these children grow up and become adults they will not like to read. Unfortunately, in secondary schools, colleges and universities they rely on writing notice their teachers or previous students a.k.a desa as their only source of knowledge,” she explained.

Ms Dumea also attribute the challenge to lack of books and libraries in most public primary schools in the country. She says despite the fact that the government had ordered all primary schools to have libraries way back in 1995 but presently there are only a few schools with such facility.

Oddly, unlike other people from developed world who spend hours reading a range of books and novels, Africans are wasting a lot of time gossiping on the trivia.(in any social gathering about 70% of the people would be busy with their smartphones) A quick observation at bus stations like BRT and airports could affirm this.

Furthermore, Harrison’s study reveals that in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Zambia steady decline in the popularity of the newspapers seem to have leveled off after several years of sliding. However, books aren’t getting any traction in the aforementioned countries.

Africa’s 15-year-olds are slipping down in the world literacy rankings at a rapid speed, apparently because they are reading less and less books although they still rank among the fastest improving in developed countries for science and mathematics.
Comparatively, fewer African students, however, are at the highest levels of reading literacy than in the past as per Harrison’s study finding. The reason for this may be that students are inclined to sit down with a good book. Africa’s percentage of readers has gone down from 2004 and 2014 because there are fewer students who can read at a high level, which is lowering the average.

The study has also identified that African girls are falling behind boys in literature, losing the strong gains females have made in the past decade. The study shows a significant decline over the previous three years in the literacy performance of African girls compared to boys.
Undeniably, the findings are hard to ‘swallow’ but that’s how it stands on the ground. We simply don’t want to read for many and varied reasons.

Despite the presence of many free sources of knowledge such as online libraries- www.amazon.com- which offers a range of content and references but we still don’t want to read.
Thus rumours surrounding a number of contracts our governments have entered to with various investors revolve around that. That those who were mandated to prepare, review, negotiate and eventually sign the contracts either deliberately or out of ignorance failed to spot out provisions that has made our government a losing partner.(the case of our mineral contracts)

If we seriously want to increase and expound our knowledge and skills we must read. And it’s not just about reading but reading widely and the right content. We must also be able to cogitate, annotate and develop our own version to suit into our working environment and culture.
Comrade, when was the last time you read a book or narrated a story to your child?"

Paskali, MwanahabariHuru, MzeeMwanakijiji, Daudi Mchambuzi, etc. your comments on this.
 

Joseverest

Verified Member
Sep 25, 2013
42,861
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Umenifundisha kitu, utaratibu wa kusoma na kupata maarifa kitabuni nitafanya kama zamani..Ila kusema ukweli Tangu Simu Janja ziingie kusoma kitabu nimekuwa mvivu
 

mwengeso

JF-Expert Member
Nov 27, 2014
7,146
2,000
Umenifundisha kitu, utaratibu wa kusoma na kupata maarifa kitabuni nitafanya kama zamani..Ila kusema ukweli Tangu Simu Janja ziingie kusoma kitabu nimekuwa mvivu
Wengi wetu humu tunachangia kwa hisia tu bila kuweka juhudi kutafuta ukweli. Na ukweli unapatikana kwa kusoma na kurejea maandikoa ya watu wengine hasa waliobobea katika suala husika na/au kufanya utafiti
 

idaz

JF-Expert Member
Sep 1, 2013
1,010
2,000
I have read a few books this year and currently im reading.."THE FIRST PHONE CALL FROM HEAVEN"...by Mitchel Albom...its an interesting fiction novel..published 2013.
 

1taifa

Member
May 31, 2013
75
95
Posted date: June 09, 2017 by Jacks Meena, Freelance Media and Communications Consultant.

IF WHAT IS POSTED HERE IS TRUE THEN WE HAVE A LONG WAY TOWARDS INDUSTRIALISATION. Inserted in red are my personal comments!

"It’s not something to be proud of or to let the world know about it but that’s the way it is. We have disconnected ourselves from the roots, that is, the reading culture . (I bet few of JF members will read this through). We simply don’t want to read and instead are masquerading as the most read and know-it all citizens of the world (our politicians). We know everything, the social media has made it easier for us, eeh?

Contador Harrison is an Ausie’s avid blogger, coder, coffee lover and a rock music nut. He penned a wakeup call article after a thorough research in 2016 in sub- Saharan Africa on reading culture. I don’t know if relevant ministry officials, education stakeholders, and Tanzanians in general have come across this study and other studies on reading culture in Africa.
Sad as it may be, a quick flip in our newspapers today confirms Harrison’s findings. The reading culture in Africa and more so in Tanzania has tumbled.

In the world of communication- communication is usually considered complete and effective when the sender receives feedback from the receiver. Reflecting on the past, Kenneth Petro, a Tanzanian political analyst based in Mwanza, observes that newsrooms used to receive a helluva lot of letters to the editor but as of now, mmh, it’s everybody’s guess. “I hardly come across a letter to the editor in our newspapers these days and fail to understand what has gone wrong,” he said. The absence of these letters show that something isn’t right and paints a gloomy picture in the knowledge industry community.(yet our newsmen claim to have limited freedom)

Harrison’s study reveals that Africa is reading less and watching more. According to the study, the old habit that used to involve turning the pages over with a flick of the finger, not the click of the mouse or remote is slowly dying a natural death.
Adults as well as teenagers are spending a lot of time these days chatting on smartphones, reading copy and paste stories and all wastes (exactly what is happening with all of us here in JF including you who is reading this post) that go with the new technology. They spend hours watching soaps, plays, football and music on televisions as well as listening to less serious programmes on radio.

Sarah Mlaki an official from the ministry of education and vocational training attribute the low reading culture to social media, negligence and life style of modern parents and grands. “As you might be aware in the past our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents read story books and spent time to narrate a number of folk stories for us. Apparently, all these have been replaced by social media and television,” she recounts.

Another official from a non-governmental organization known as Children Books Project (CBP) which is based in Dar es Salaam, Pili Dumea, says one of the underlying causes of the problem is the use of inappropriate teaching methods to children.
“We have a problem in our early and primary schools. Some teachers have failed to apply appropriate teaching methods that would make children comfortable and cultivate a culture of reading books,” she observed.

According to Dumea if a child cannot master 80% of alphabets while at kindergarten it becomes difficult for him/her to read properly and therefore enjoy reading books like other pupils. “And when these children grow up and become adults they will not like to read. Unfortunately, in secondary schools, colleges and universities they rely on writing notice their teachers or previous students a.k.a desa as their only source of knowledge,” she explained.

Ms Dumea also attribute the challenge to lack of books and libraries in most public primary schools in the country. She says despite the fact that the government had ordered all primary schools to have libraries way back in 1995 but presently there are only a few schools with such facility.

Oddly, unlike other people from developed world who spend hours reading a range of books and novels, Africans are wasting a lot of time gossiping on the trivia.(in any social gathering about 70% of the people would be busy with their smartphones) A quick observation at bus stations like BRT and airports could affirm this.

Furthermore, Harrison’s study reveals that in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Zambia steady decline in the popularity of the newspapers seem to have leveled off after several years of sliding. However, books aren’t getting any traction in the aforementioned countries.

Africa’s 15-year-olds are slipping down in the world literacy rankings at a rapid speed, apparently because they are reading less and less books although they still rank among the fastest improving in developed countries for science and mathematics.
Comparatively, fewer African students, however, are at the highest levels of reading literacy than in the past as per Harrison’s study finding. The reason for this may be that students are inclined to sit down with a good book. Africa’s percentage of readers has gone down from 2004 and 2014 because there are fewer students who can read at a high level, which is lowering the average.

The study has also identified that African girls are falling behind boys in literature, losing the strong gains females have made in the past decade. The study shows a significant decline over the previous three years in the literacy performance of African girls compared to boys.
Undeniably, the findings are hard to ‘swallow’ but that’s how it stands on the ground. We simply don’t want to read for many and varied reasons.

Despite the presence of many free sources of knowledge such as online libraries- www.amazon.com- which offers a range of content and references but we still don’t want to read.
Thus rumours surrounding a number of contracts our governments have entered to with various investors revolve around that. That those who were mandated to prepare, review, negotiate and eventually sign the contracts either deliberately or out of ignorance failed to spot out provisions that has made our government a losing partner.(the case of our mineral contracts)

If we seriously want to increase and expound our knowledge and skills we must read. And it’s not just about reading but reading widely and the right content. We must also be able to cogitate, annotate and develop our own version to suit into our working environment and culture.
Comrade, when was the last time you read a book or narrated a story to your child?"

Paskali, MwanahabariHuru, MzeeMwanakijiji, Daudi Mchambuzi, etc. your comments on this.
I AGREE WITH YOU. FOR ME I DECLARE THAT FOR OVER THREE PAST YEARS I HAVE NEITHER READ BOOKS NOR ARTICLES INSTEAD OF GOSSIPING ON SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS.

SO, MAY YOU PLEASE COME UP WITH A SOLUTION PROPOSED BY THOSE ACADEMCIANS OR RESEARCHERS.

WITH THANKS,

1TAIFA.
 

mwengeso

JF-Expert Member
Nov 27, 2014
7,146
2,000
I AGREE WITH YOU. FOR ME I DECLARE THAT FOR OVER THREE PAST YEARS I HAVE NEITHER READ BOOKS NOR ARTICLES INSTEAD OF GOSSIPING ON SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS.

SO, MAY YOU PLEASE COME UP WITH A SOLUTION PROPOSED BY THOSE ACADEMCIANS OR RESEARCHERS.

WITH THANKS,

1TAIFA.
Instead spending your time on social media (on your bundle), use the internet to search beneficial material from web search engines e.g. google. The material could include downloadable scientific, educational and business books, papers, articles, etc. Did you know that most of books, even old ones are also posted on the web!
 

bagamoyo

JF-Expert Member
Jan 14, 2010
9,341
2,000
June 23, 2017
Nairobi, Kenya

Tragedy of the perishing scholar

Academic publishing is the natural outworking of an academic career, the currency of academic mobility. Yet Africa accounts for 2.1 per cent of academic journals.

In a lecture delivered to Munich University graduate students titled ‘Science as a Vocation (Wissenshaft als Beruf), acclaimed sociologist Max Weber, argued that the academic career is built largely on commitment. According to Weber, an academic must possess both a commitmcent and an experience of science. This commitment, borne out of hard work and a singularity to a specialised research area, is materially visible through academic and research publications.

Thus, academic publishing is the natural outworking of an academic career. An academic does not publish because of external prompts (say regulatory bodies or promotions) but naturally, as outworking of the vocation. Publications are the currency of academic mobility. The maxim ‘publish or perish’ is deployed to capture the reality that academics must publish or vegetate.

Gradual collapse
Ironically, while academics in Africa make efforts at producing publications, most actually end up perishing. Much of the published work by African academics is only helpful in securing promotions and meeting regulatory demands, but fails to meaningfully influence and shape debates in the respective disciplines or aide the goal of improving our understanding of the world.

But why, despite publishing, are African academics in danger of perishing?
The statistics on academic publishing in Africa are not impressive. According to a UNESCO science report, Africa accounts for only 2.1 per cent of journal articles. Sub-Saharan Africa produced an average of 13,000 scientific articles in a year.

Within the subcontinent, South Africa produced almost half (46.4 per cent) of the total, followed by Nigeria (11.4 per cent) and Kenya (6.6 per cent). In other words, these three countries alone produce two-thirds of the sub-continent’s scientific articles. These figures show that a lot needs to be done with regard to research by Africans. Several factors conspire to marginalise the African scholar from the critical space of knowledge production.

First, to understand how Africans are excluded (and also exclude themselves) from knowledge production, the issue must be looked at from the internal and the external level. At the internal level, we have to go back to history. In Kenya for instance, the rain started beating us after the gradual collapse and inactivity of professional associations such as the Historical Association of Kenya and the Literature Association of Kenya, and with them, the established journals that assured publication to scholars who participated in their annual congresses.

These associations motivated the production of high quality papers and sustained interest in them. In most of the associations, the transition from one generation of scholars to another never happened, especially when older scholars made the transition to university administration and external politics. Meanwhile, prominent publishers of tertiary texts such as Longman, Heinemann and Macmillan, simply abandoned the field for the more profitable primary and secondary schools textbooks. For now, universities continue to pay lip service to research and conference support in the context of tight budgets and financial woes.

Meanwhile, not wanting to perish, some scholars took matters in their own hands and soon a number of journals sprouted in departments and faculties in universities across the country. Some did not go beyond the first few issues before they collapsed either because of poor subscription and funding, or because of their internal contradictions.

Regarding the latter, once the editors and their friends had published themselves and their associates, and achieved their immediate objective, they lost interest in the journal. But more fundamental was the problem of funding, which was aggravated by poor subscriptions. Except for the usual captive market of own graduate students and faculty colleagues, our journals do not sell. This pattern was replicated across most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The quality of some of these journals and books published is variable. While a few are products of painstaking scholarship and quality work, most are slap-dash contraptions aimed at a promotion. Worse still, many have not been subject to peer review and copy-editing. In any case, the result of lack of peer review in the continent is betrayed by the quality of some texts (which are self-published in many instances).

As the publishers are either the authors themselves or even less competent persons, and as competent readers were not recruited to review the manuscripts, abysmal standards are unavoidable. In other instances, editors of some texts include as many as three of their own essays in a collection of about 10 papers. Editors are also accused of swapping essays with their friends, patrons and protégés in their respective journals and edited works. It is now dawning on African scholars that it is not enough to simply ‘publish.’

At an external level, the scourge of predatory journals, and the hierarchies of knowledge production have dealt a double blow to African scholars. Predatory journals, at a hefty fee, aggressively solicit and accept articles quickly with little or no peer review or quality control. They have blatant falsification on basic editorial formalities and are easily recognisable by their ‘broad’ journal titles designed to attract as wide a range of papers as possible. The logic of predatory journal is deception. As such, many have published only to perish. Statistics show that African scholars comprise the largest victims of predatory journals. Tragically, a number of top professorships in Kenya and the region are founded on predatory journals.

To address this problem, it is important that universities and research institutions improve publication literacy among early career researchers in Africa.

Increasingly, various hierarchies of scholarly production appear not to favour the African scholar. With most of the so called top indexed journals domiciled in Europe and North America, some editors in these journals still think of Africa through Joseph Conrad’s lenses, imagining that nothing creative or innovative can come out of it.

In a conference I attended in Sweden a couple of years back, editors confessed that once they received an article from an African (in an African university), they immediately formed an opinion of its quality. Academic journals on Africa, most of which are not based in the continent are most implicated.

Critical choices
The political economy surrounding publishing in those journals only worsens matters. Cameroonian scholar Francis Nyamjoh argues that the cultural dimensions of publishing on Africa, where a historically pervasive denigration of the African in western academic production, exacerbates the situation further.

Two things happen. Publishers are predisposed to holding Africans to western intellectual standards, seen as the hallmark of intellectualism and cultural production. Second, adhering to such standards, in order not to perish as a scholar, often entails cultivating insensitivity to issues of relevance to Africans. The African scholar thus faces a critical choice between sacrificing relevance for recognition, or recognition for relevance. Many, to get published, sacrifice relevance.

As such, academic discourse on Africa is at risk of slipping out of the hands of Africans’ scholarship. The reality, according to Oxford based scholar Wale Adenamwi, is that intellectual thought and knowledge production on Africa is not”‘independent” and “continues to exist within a borrowed and dominated framework”. Is it any wonder why originality lacks in African scholarship? Why, for instance, should a Journal focusing on say, East African studies; run several issues without voices native to East Africa?
Academic publishing on Africa is a colonised space in urgent need of decolonisation.

- Dr Omanga lectures at Moi University
Source: Tragedy of the perishing scholar
Mwengeso
Africans read less, talks a lot!
 

mwengeso

JF-Expert Member
Nov 27, 2014
7,146
2,000
June 23, 2017
Nairobi, Kenya

Tragedy of the perishing scholar

Academic publishing is the natural outworking of an academic career, the currency of academic mobility. Yet Africa accounts for 2.1 per cent of academic journals...

... academic discourse on Africa is at risk of slipping out of the hands of Africans’ scholarship..

Academic publishing on Africa is a colonised space in urgent need of decolonisation.

- Dr Omanga lectures at Moi University
Source: Tragedy of the perishing scholar
An accurate revelation of academic publishing of African Academicians.

While, what has been discussed in the post is true, yet the fact remains that African read less, including so called publishing academicians. This fact is reflected in the type of peer reviewed papers in international journals, which most of them are field research based.

In addition, of late few academicians have published reading books for edicational and other purposes, let alone review of other published books.

There is a need to address this weakness at academic level throught out the Region.
 

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