Brit kids replacing reading with computer consoles

November 29th, 2007 - 5:39 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 29 (ANI): In an international league table of reading skills, England has fallen from third to 15th position following the evidence that kids have dumped books for computer consoles such as the Wii.

England now ranks below countries like Bulgaria, Latvia and United States.

According to Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, England’s poor performance is linked to a new generation of console kids.

The study has stated: 37 per cent of kids in England who reported playing computer or video games for more than three hours a day constitutes one of the highest proportions among participating countries. Spending this amount of time playing computer and video games is associated with low attainment.

However, it was also found that British students were far less likely to be set reading homework by their teachers, who also spent less time teaching reading in class than the international average.

Education Secretary Ed Balls has called for parents to realise the risks of letting kids spend too much time on computer games.

“We all need to help our children see that reading can bring fun to their lives, feed their imagination, and develop their curiosity about the world. If we just have reading at bedtime for just 10 minutes it will make a real difference. We need to do better,” Mirror quoted Balls, as saying.

However, according to teachers leaders, excessive testing at school had ruined kids enjoyment of books.

Steve Sinnott, of the National Union of Teachers, said: “Our overloaded curriculum and testing system is sapping young people’s enthusiasm of reading for pleasure.”

Chris Keates, of the NASUWT union, added: “It is too easy to blame the distractions of computer games, mobile phones and children’s access to TV. The simple fact is that too many children view reading as a chore rather than a pleasure.

Shadow children’s secretary Michael Gove said: “This is the second report in a month by academic experts underlining the failure of the Government’s reading plans. While the Government says their policies are driving up standards every year, the independent auditors tell a very different story. We are falling dangerously behind other countries. It’s time the Government stopped blaming parents.

The League table as follows:

Russia 565

Hong Kong 564

Singapore 558

Luxembourg 557

Italy 551

Hungary 551

Sweden 549

Germany 548

Netherlands 547

Belgium 547

Bulgaria 547

Denmark 546

Latvia 541

United States 540

England 539

(ANI)

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