Lucknow, June 23
Children in classes 8, 9 and 10, studying in prestigious English medium schools in Lucknow, do not read newspapers.
Many of them do not even know the names of leading newspapers published from the state capital.
"After Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath interacted with a group of toppers in class 10 and 12 on Wednesday and asked them if they read newspapers, we decide to ask the same question to our students and the results were shocking. In class 10, out of 42 children, only three said that they read 'some headlines'. They said that focussed on puzzles in the newspapers," said a teacher in an English medium school.
Another teacher said that when she asked her students, majority of them did not even know the name of the newspaper that their family gets.
"In many households, since the pandemic, newspapers are not being bought. People rely on TV and mobile apps for news. The children are the biggest sufferers because they are no longer encouraged to read and brush up on their general knowledge," she said.
The teachers said that children do not borrow story books from the library anymore because they say they do not have the time. Most of them spend free hours chatting online or playing online games.
Shockingly, a large number of children in these classes were not aware of the Russia-Ukraine war and did not know what CAA-NCR means.
Sumitra Rawat, whose three daughters are studying in classes 6,8 and 10 in a local school, admitted: "In the pandemic, my husband's salary was reduced and prices went up. We had to cut corners and we stopped buying newspapers. The children have their mobiles and we encourage them to read news online but their time is spent on studies."
Her father-in-law, D.K Rawat, a retired government employee, said that the new generation had given up on reading habits.
"In our times, we were made to read newspapers-in fact, we read them out aloud so that pronunciation mistakes could be corrected-and also books. Today, my grandchildren do not even read story books," he lamented.
During his interaction with toppers, the chief minister had asked them to regularly read newspapers and brush up their language skills and knowledge. He also asked them to read about government schemes that would benefit them in the coming years.