Why did I decide to write this little post?
Well it's just because of a single sentence, only one. Which ? “Today's children no longer read”. You remember that famous phrase, don't you? In any case, I remember it very well. Learning, despite my little literary culture, I have often been hacked up with this sentence. Today, we continue to hide behind this “poor” sentence in order not to assume our responsibilities. At the start of my career, I was also quick to blame learners as solely responsible for the problem. But over the days, months and years, I realized that we are all guilty. Who should lay the first stone?
To any lord all honor: the parents.
Yes, most parents have quit but are quick to accuse the school and the teachers. More seriously, how many parents buy books for their children or introduce them to reading and give them a taste? I will certainly be told that there are not enough scholars on the continent. Wrong answer. The number of educated people is on the rise in Africa. And even if we admit that there are few educated, how many of them buy books for their children? In addition, from the height of my few years of experience as a teacher, I can tell you that there are many poor or middle-income illiterate parents who sacrifice themselves for their offspring. It reminds me of the anecdote of Dieudonné, a student in the first class, the son of a peasant that his father regularly brings to the library and came to inquire about his child's school performance. This child is the first of his class. The case of Dieudonné is just one example among many.
At the second level, we have the State.
It is up to the latter to define educational policy and guarantee education for its citizens. This implies then that he must put at the disposal of the schools, the means which they need to accomplish the mission which is theirs. Unfortunately, the finding reveals that the vast majority of public schools do not have a library. The few that do exist are rubbish huts, where we often find agglutinated a good amount of bookish obsolescence which the West in its "great generosity" gives us from time to time. What is even more deplorable is that in the midst of the 21st century, there are a large number of African cities which do not yet have libraries. In addition, some books included in the school curriculum do not take into account the tastes of learners. This explains the lack of interest of many learners in these works. When politics take precedence over education, the damage is sometimes difficult to repair.
In 2007, the Beninese government for political and social purposes hired teachers who had initially received training in legal sciences, sociology, geography, to teach French, - what was called the repayment -; these disciplines have no link with the teaching of French. Added to this is the unintelligent application of the Competency-Based Approach (APC) which has contributed to the drop in the level of learners. We must also deplore the low existence of emulation competitions and literary events in Benin. It is enough just to look at the budget allocated to the book sector to be convinced of the fact that the book is the poor relation of the development process.
Now we come to the teachers.
It is an undeniable reality that many teachers no longer read. The worst part of all this is that there are French teachers who, in addition to the fact that they don't read, do not want to pay the slightest kopeck to buy books. Some teachers “find it difficult” to buy some of the books included in the program.
Learners, on the other hand, are the least to blame in my opinion.
It is true that we will have done everything, some will not take the fold when it comes to reading. However, if everyone played their part, we will limit the damage.