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Today October 5th, young Cameroonians are  back to school.

Written by Audrey TOHNGODO

On this day, many children are getting ready to hit the books. So, AFIDI wants to tell you why books are important. Although the obvious positive effect reading has on children’s neural connections, it is also a way to free themselves. Grab your pen, take notes and let’s dive into the three reasons why reading is freedom.

        Cameroonian pupils


  1. Mistake-Free!

As a kid, I always had trouble writing. My mother couldn’t help but accept my long-standing relationship with grammar and spelling mistakes. Back then, this situation wasn’t pleasant at all. I was afraid to express my mind on paper because of teasing. The younger me would have done anything to escape from “ Please write on the board” kind of situation. Due to my writing skills, I felt like a prisoner in my own body. Growing up, people do look down on you when you can’t write correctly. So, kids need to be good at it. The more they read, the more comfortable they will be at writing. The more comfortable they are, the more confident they will be as an adult. Not to mention how a lack of confidence can impact one’s personal life. Good writing skills is a must-have!” Once you learn to read, you will be forever free” Frederick Douglass. 

  1. Reading is education, education is freedom 

Books are the ground of any education. In 2018, the World bank reported at 77.07% adult literacy rate in Cameroon.  Compare to the initial level in 1976(41.2%). Book accessibility is a factor in literacy rate fluctuation. Children are the future, and they are the upcoming adults of our society. Reading will determine the position they will have and the place they will be. Reading has a central role in education, and because we believe education is freedom, reading books is freedom too. Knowledge allows you to move within society.  Children will learn a lot from reading, and this knowledge can drive them far. Doors will open, with its opportunities.

But reading doesn’t only change the way people see us in society. It also changes the way we see ourselves.

  1. Self-determination 

Have you ever been inspired by a story? A character in a book? Do you remember how it allowed you to think freely? I bet you do. Reading opens your mind to the unknown and urges you to create pictures with your eyes. Not a lot of authors will tell you exactly what to see or imagine. Your mind is free to think. This process in which you make your thoughts yours is a key for child’s development. In an age where external stimulation hugely impacts the way they picture the world and themselves around it, children need to train their brain. Reading does empower children’s thoughts . Even more, it empowers them as a human being. “ I think therefore I am,”( René Descartes) I think; therefore,  I can be. Children can be anything they want because no one can think for them so that no one can choose for themselves They are the master of their life. No matter what society tells them, they are free to become a doctor, lawyer or writer.

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