READ OR PERISH: READING HABIT AMONG STUDENTS AND ITS EFFECT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: A CASE STUDY OF EASTBANK SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL-ACCRA.

Author:Ameyaw, Samuel Kwame
Position:Accra, Ghana - Case study

INTRODUCTION

Reading proficiency is the key to knowledge. In modern life, reading depends on the individual's capacity to interpret printed or electronic page fully and accurately. Reading has personal values; it is the door to almost all knowledge and vocations, such that the mechanical worker on the factory floor needs to read some basic material like rules and regulations governing operations on the factory floor. "Reading habit is best formed at a young impressionable age in school, but once formed it can last one's lifetime," (Green, 2001). Failure to read paves the way for all kinds of catastrophes in the society. It is, therefore, important that students should be encouraged to inculcate the spirit of reading right from the secondary level to the advanced level to empower them to have considerable reading skills. Academic accomplishment implies how much information the individual has obtained from the school (Bashir & Mattoo, 2012). Apart from teachers, other experts used to invest their recreation energy in reading both English and vernacular writing. English medium schools quite often requested an additional reading from their students. Be that as it may, all these have gotten to be a relic of times gone by.

As indicated by Issa, Aliyu, Akangbe, and Adedeji (2012) reading habit is a scholarly activity which is conceivable just if a man has shaped the habit for reading and rehearsing it since adolescence. The reading habit alludes to the recurrence of reading, and the normal time spent on reading materials. Bas (2012) underlined an ideal reading habit as essential for a sound scholarly development and assumes an exceptionally vital part in empowering a man to accomplish viable proficiency.

Ogbodo (2010), Bhan and Gupta (2010) and Singh (2011) have done works on reading, particularly how it influences the academic performance of students. However, the majority of these works were carried out in the western countries. Researchers like Agbezree, (2001), Larson and Owusu--Acheaw (2014) conducted theirs in Ghana but were restricted to primary, public secondary schools and Koforidua Polytechnic. It is in the light of this that it has turned out to be important to carry out this study to examine the effect of reading habit on the academic performance of students in private senior high schools with specific reference to Eastbank Senior High School which is privately owned in Ghana in the Greater Accra Region.

Statement of Problem

From the past to the present day, there have been distinctive reasons for poor reading habit among Senior High School Students. The preliminary observation by the researchers revealed that students have low enthusiasm towards reading and the majority of these students do not know how to read, and thus, they are faced with reading challenges amid examination periods.

The majority of parents, guardians, and teachers complain about the rate of the poor reading habit of students today and this notion was buttressed by the official report of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC, 2008). The net outcome of students' failure to read properly is the poor performance of most students in final examinations. From the above, it may be the case that one of the key issues standing up to students these days is not their failure to read but rather their total absence of enthusiasm for reading. From the affirmation above, the study was carried out to investigate the reading habit among students and the effect on their academic performance in senior high schools, specifically among students of Eastbank Senior High School.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this research study is to examine the effects of reading habit on the academic performance of students in private senior high schools with specific reference to Eastbank Senior High School in Ghana in the Greater Accra Region.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine the influence of reading habits among students

  2. To find out the importance of reading to students

  3. To assess the type of materials students read when they visit the library

  4. To find out time spent in reading by students

  5. To discover the effect of reading habits on students' performance

  6. To ascertain factors hindering reading among students

    Research Questions

  7. What influence reading habits among students?

  8. What is the importance of reading?

  9. What type of materials do you read when visiting the library?

  10. What time do you spend in reading?

  11. What is the effect of reading on academic performance?

  12. What are the factors hindering reading among students?

    Literature Review

    Influence of Reading Habits Among Students

    Reading is the capacity to understand words contained in a printed or non- printed material and make use of the information for self-improvement and advancement (Dadzie, 2008).

    Individuals read for various reasons such as joy, recreation, relaxation, information and knowledge development. Palani (2012) reports that reading is the distinguishing proof of the images/symbols and the relationship of proper significance with them. It requires recognizability and comprehension. Comprehension skills help the learner to comprehend the importance of words in isolation and in context. Palani (2012) thinks reading is a process of assessing, judging, envisioning and critical thinking. Reading is a basic instrument for the exchange of knowledge and the habit of reading is an academic activity that builds abilities in reading methods. To know about the world and its environment, a child makes a difference himself through the reading of books, daily papers, and different magazines. Once the child has been instructed to read and has built up the affection for books, he /she can investigate for himself the abundance of human encounters and information through reading. Children, who miss the chance of connecting with books in their initial stages of life, find it difficult to obtain good reading habit in their later years (Deavers, 2000). "Laws die but books never". Indeed, books are the most appropriate medium through which information is transmitted from one era to another or from one person to another, (Issa et al, 2012). Philip (2009) says, "Reading habit tends to be associated with course work and examinations, rarely with pleasure". However, it is obvious that irrespective of the discipline it will be difficult if not impossible for students to exhibit their talents when they failed to read extensively. Devendran (2007) has shown that the more the students watch the reading of their instructors, the more they need to attempt it. The more the students listen to teachers read to them, the better they get to be in reading. McKool and Gespass (2009) found that teachers who read for joy and who actualize reading lessons, utilize writing circles, give chances to reading discussions will probably urge their students to participate in quiet reading sessions, talk about their reading experiences, and suggest different books to students.

    Importance of Reading to Students

    Kurtus (2002) opines that reading habit is a fundamental practice that can leave a positive effect on all age groups. The study stressed further that the acquisition of knowledge through reading is a decent approach, however, it must be productive information, it must encourage a man to get on in a profession, pass an examination, be great at decision, or get hold of a status for learning. Guthrie, Benneth, and McGough, (2007) expressed that reading is the demonstration of getting importance from printed or composed words, which is the reason for learning and one of the key ingredients in regular daily existence. Issa, Aliyu, Akangbe, & Adedeji (2012) expressed that reading is generally connected with books as just the composed...

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