Earlier this week, my eyes came across a news article on the internet which reports that only 28% of the 2014 Ghanaian Wassce Candidates meet the entry requirements for tertiary institutions. That means over 70% did not meet the entry requirements and therefore if bribery & corruption does not rear its ugly head at those tertiary institutions, they will have to sit at home for another year and write the Nov/Dec examinations.
With all sincerity, I took this news article with a pinch of salt. Are you surprised that only 28% of them passed the Wassce? The problem with Ghanaian teenagers today is that, they don’t read books. Back in my day, books were an important part of our lives. We read them, cherished them and often competed amongst ourselves about who had read more books or not. They educated and entertained us.
My mother always had a book in her hands. If you failed a spelling test, she would hit your head with a dictionary. If you ever fell asleep in church, she would whack you with a bible. And God forbid you had a C in English, because the leather belt would be at home waiting for you. So please don’t be surprised, I can write articles, poems and perform spoken word to audiences. Those talents were inculcated in me and I have allowed them to grow to the Glory of God.
We had no choice but to read. It was the only form of entertainment we had aside watching Grace Omaboe’s By The Fireside and listening to World News on The BBC. Books opened our minds to a world of pirates, princes and princesses, crime, funny and thought provoking fables and carefully re-written history. We loved them.
Books were also our primary source of learning. We did not have the internet and sources of information like Wikipedia in my day. If we needed facts we went to the library and took out a 27-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And let me tell you– if you could not find the answer you were looking for, you were not meant to know it.
But these young people today, they don’t read books. They don’t read anything at all beyond silly whatsapp and viber text messages and the words printed on their friends t-shirts. They would not recognize a book if you took them to a library, sat them in the fiction section and forced them to read a Collection of Danielle Steele.
I blame text messaging and the Internet. Everything these young people write is unedited, unintelligent and filled with crazy slang and abbreviations. Okay is now k or kk. Come on, how hard is it to type out the words “by the way”? It is just 8 letters, but no, it has to be “btw”. Shaking my head is now “smh”.
They don’t have time for real reading and can’t fathom trying to digest anything longer than 140 characters in length. They have little or no attention span and are not willing to invest time in anything that requires effort, thought or patience.
It is a damn disgrace and a terrible shame. If this keeps up, it won’t be long before libraries become museums and we have forgotten how to read entirely. We will be nothing more than a nation of illiterate, Facebook and twitter addicts. Our society will crumble and the funny part is, we will not even to able to read the writing on the wall.
Ghanaian teenagers are not serious anymore. One book a week or a month should not be a problem but it is a major problem with young Ghanaian teenagers today.