Coimbatore: Young people are reading less than those of earlier generations because education has begun focusing on narrow goals, V.S. Prasad, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore, said here on Saturday.
Mr. Prasad, who inaugurated a conference on libraries and information centres at Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences (KITS) Deemed University, observed, "the reading habit is decreasing because the whole purpose of education seems to be scoring marks and getting a job. At one time, education had broader goals but the focus has now become narrow."
Waste of time
Even computer science students could benefit by reading poetry but they consider it a waste of time to concentrate on something that was outside the field of academic study about which they would be examined.
P.K. Philip, Vice-Chancellor, Karunya Deemed University, said that the pull of the electronic media could have contributed to the decline.
If there was interest in books at the school level and in the family, children might be more inclined to read widely.
Michael N. Kumar, Registrar of the University, observed that in earlier years, students used to look at the syllabus and study accordingly. However, this system was now being neglected. Education had been turned into a series of questions and answers that students needed to learn in order to do well in academics. Examinations were the only goal.