In school we were told to read and read to get a lot of information. Sometimes one comes across information that they never expected. Long ago, the teachers would punish us for not scoring well in some subjects, especially units we had been taught.
In our minds revision was to pass exams by end term. There was this habit of people revising and comparing notes of the answers they wrote after the papers. In cases when one got something wrong, they would either shrink or say they are revising for the next exam. In the real sense nobody was revising, these are things they were used to.
Few people knew of writing. Teachers only perfected on our handwritings and compositions when writing of English ad Swahili exams. After that, it ended.
While in high school, the trend continued. In university, the difference was while doing a term paper or some research.
Communication skills is a core course taught in almost all the disciplines in colleges and in the university. If your college or university does not offer this, please demand for it. It is important for some reasons: how to write, communicate, and do research and more.
The latest research shows that Africa has the least number of publications every year. Again, it is because we have a poor reading culture. I have always said that the more we read, the more we will write. Europe and America are the leading in number of books, articles, dissertations produced per year.
Visit the University of Nairobi, Chiromo Campus and Department of Physics every Monday at 11.00 am-12.00 pm. There is a Physics seminar each and every week. Lecturers and students come up with the work they have done; projects or a new research that they have just come across. Though at times this workshop is never maintained. In most cases it is the lecturers presenting because students have grown lazy, and cannot do a lot of research.
I am trying to imagine a group of students who will have started doing their research from first year. The number of publications per year will increase. With more research, more publications and surprisingly the number of innovations that we will come up with.
To be a good writer, one can do the practice in several ways. It starts with articles and newspapers to newspapers, advertisement companies and periodicals. Once a person knows ways of doing research and writing, they can find areas of interest. Newsletters can grow to opinions and later columns in newsrooms and publications. Continuation of this gives one the urge to do more research and writing. I am looking at an example of a person doing research on drip irrigation and later on ensuring it works. It will yield like the Galana Project our government is currently bragging of.
Most of what we write is not taken into practice. By this time we would have done more than imaginable. We are not short of experts and professors in different fields. We have done enough reading. Let us write and practice.