The National Book Trust chairman, Govind Prasad Sharma, said that children need to read literature as a part of school education to earn a successful and meaningful life.
Speaking at ‘Scrapbook 2019 Children’s Publishing Conclave’, organised by FICCI, on Friday, Sharma said that while technology can give children a successful career, literature was needed to build a sense of cooperation in them.
“Sahitya (literature) is vanishing from education and schools. There is no language section in Class 11 and 12. And, the focus on science and technology may give the child a successful career and a job but literature can build a sense of compassion, sympathy and cooperation among the children,” he said.
He urged the publishers of children’s books to create content that may help them go beyond working for self and family by contributing towards society.
“Literature gives the wings of imagination even to a scientist for great works,” he added.
Based on the theme of ‘Diversity of Content‘, the conclave explored possible collaboration between children content creators, publishers, offline and online service providers, teachers, parents, children, and policymakers.
Hrushikesh Senapaty, Director – NCERT, said that it was important to bring a “complete change of mindset” to make children innovative.
“It is a matter of great concern whether the society is preparing a good human being, a good citizen despite most of the children scoring above 90 percent in studies. For this, a complete change of mindset is required to destress the children and make them innovative.
“Knowledge construction will be done by the children themselves, but we will have to create a conducive environment. We will have to facilitate and encourage divergent thinking for innovation and creativity among the children,” Senapaty said.
Book buying behaviour
FICCI, in partnership with Grant Thornton, will be preparing a survey-based study on book-buying behaviour with a chapter on children’s books, the organisers announced.
“The maximum impact on mind happens in early age and publishers have a huge business opportunity in children’s literature to provide customised and diverse content on different platforms both for school textbooks and leisure reading,” Ratnesh Jha, Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and MD, Cambridge University Press, said.