Investigating reading culture among students in higher learning institutions in Tanzania

Evans F Wema


This paper presents findings of a survey conducted in some selected higher education
learning institutions in Tanzania to determine the reading patterns of students when they
undertake extracurricular activities.. The purpose was to ascertain whether students
utilize their time in reading various informational materials for purposes other than
academic activities. Electronic questionnaires were conveniently distributed to students at
DUCE, IDRP Dodoma, Law School of Tanzania, RUCU Iringa, SLADS Bagamoyo, SUA
Morogoro, SUZA, Tumaini University (DSM campus), UDSM and Zanzibar University. The
study findings indicate that students spend their spare time reading print and e-newspapers,
books and magazines, and access social media that cover aspects such as sports, economic,
technological and social issues. They are motivated to read by their desire to learn new
aspects of life, expanding their vocabularies, improving reading skills, and acquiring new
information. The findings also indicate that students spend their time watching TV, talking
to friends, listening to radio, playingand watching games. Furthermore, it was revealed
that too much academic work, limited internet connection and family responsibilities are
among factors that inhibit their reading habits. The study recommends that academic
libraries should work out means to create conducive reading environment for students by
stocking more reading resources, conduct more outreachprograms to attract more readers,
create reading and writing clubs at schools to empower students in education at large and
launch TVprograms which will attract more students to read and learn when undertaking
extracurricular activities


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