By Samuel Ben Turay
President of Book Sellers Association, Alfred Kargbo, has condemned the ‘negligence and carelessness’ of parents who buy expensive phones for their children instead of buying books for their educational advancement.
Kargbo said his association has observed that many parents who have pupils in schools and students in tertiary institutions would rather buy them expensive phones, shoes and bags among a host of personal trappings, than text books and novels; a development he said is undermining education in the country.
He said some pupils have phones worth Le400,000 yet cannot afford a book worth Le50,000. “We really want this system to change. Parents should invest in education more than fashion investment. That is not the way to help your child,” said Kargbo.
The books sellers boss encouraged parents and school children to invest in books as every book contains knowledge, which is power. “If you go to a phone shop you can see people throughout the day buying phones, but we seat here for the rest of the day without selling five (5) books per day,” he told Concord Times last week.
An SSS III pupil of Rokel Secondary School in Freetown, who admitted she has a phone without the knowledge of her father, said parents alone should not be blamed for the lack of reading culture in the country, as some of parents are unaware their children own and possess expensive smart phones.
“The phone I am using was bought by my uncle, although my father doesn’t know that I am using a phone,” she said. “I really love reading books as I can take myself away from any troubles or stress in my life and I can lose myself in a world where I can be and do anything I want to. Also it gives me a good grasp on the English language and in some cases learn the culture and concepts of other people’s races,” she said.
The Book Sellers Association president opined that the importance of reading books is acquiring new insight or perspectives into issues that matter to the reader, which helps them to have a new understanding of the world around them.
“Readers can apply the insight in everyday life or as a way of building upon the knowledge that already encompasses their mind and enrich their lives,” he said.