While the debate between preferences over <g data-gr-id="29">hard cover</g> books and ebooks may go on forever, one cannot deny that in today’s digital age <g data-gr-id="28">ebooks</g> are a cheaper and easily accessible mode of education that <g data-gr-id="30">hard cover</g> books. Keeping this in mind, United States President Obama has announced that major publishers should provide free books worth 250 million dollar to students from underprivileged background. He is now seeking commitments from local governments and schools nationwide to provide library cards to all students.
The older generation has been complaining for years now as to how the ebook culture has ruined the beauty of reading books. How kindle and <g data-gr-id="34">ipads</g> cannot replace the ruffling of pages, but let’s be honest, Obama is right. In times when the world’s literacy rate is still 84% and major countries are still struggling to provide basic education to their children, this sort of haughtiness when it comes to books have to go. For instance in India the literacy rate is still 74% and that is just on paper. We have seen the condition of public schools and teachers. In a situation like this technology can be an excellent teacher. The Indian Government took a step in this direction by providing Akash Tablets to students, which by far has been quite unsuccessful. Different political parties have talked about free laptops to <g data-gr-id="37">students</g> but that too has turned out to be election campaigning gimmicks.
Of course, the American module cannot be applied to India. We need children to learn to access ebooks even if we provide it to them. They need to be e-literate and for this we need to once again, train teachers. But, the point in focus here is that the judgemental tone towards ebooks has to go. Online shopping portals have realized the potential of ebooks. They are a better and easier option to learn and get entertained. But, we need to include more and more <g data-gr-id="35">text books</g> and competition books to the list. Let’s drop the whole issue of making our children read in the way we learnt to read ages back, and rather focus on making them read!