Mzuni Vice Chancellor urges Malawians to read widely

Mzuzu University (Mzuni) says wide reading of literary books can help secondary school and college students excel in their various subjects of study in addition to enhancing their general understanding.

Mzuni’s Vice Chancellor, Robert Ridley, expressed the sentiments when he officially opened the second conference on Malawian Literature which the university organized in its compass on Wednesday.

The conference has drawn different literature gurus from local and international universities.

Ridly (R): Read extensively
Ridly (R): Read extensively

Apparently, observing that most of today’s students confine their reading to books on subjects they have enrolled, Ridley observed that reading widely would enhance deeper understanding among students.

He said if the students adopt the wide reading practice, they would understand better the different subjects under study as literature consists of a wide range of topics.

“When students read widely, they are able to analyse situations no matter how tricky they might be, and with the knowledge they gather from different books they are able to know what to do and how to go about situations,” explained Ridley.

The academician told delegates that the conference was organized to find ways of assisting students on how to study literature and fully participate in literature subjects up to college level.

According to the vice chancellor, this year’s conference is unique because it has drawn youthful writers like Wesley Macheso who is pursuing a Masters Degree at Chancellor College and writers Nicholas Maganga Msowoya, Shadreck Chikoti and Pius Nyondo; poet Qabaniso Malewezi and Jahebic Banda.

Ridley said literature helps in the development of a country through written books and poetry which help the country to generate income when the books are sold, especially when they are embraced by the international audience.

In his remarks, Acting Education Division Manager for Northern Region, Pauper Mkandawire concurred with Ridley that literature helps students to excel in other subjects because they are able to critically analyse situations.

He observed that most students who went through secondary school at a time literature was optional in secondary schools and they did not choose the subject, are not good at reading books.

“Literature is a core subject if students are to pass subjects that do not need memorizing answers, like English and Chichewa languages,” said the acting education division manager.

He commended Mzuzu University for organizing the conference that has drawn gurus from different universities to deliberate on how to improve literature in the country.

At the end of the three-day conference which started on Tuesday, a journal will be produced.

In addition to providing an opportunity for students in the country to read the journal on what was discussed at the conference, it will also go into international academic literature, according to the conference officials.

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