Building Healthy Mentality in World of Literacy

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UNAIR NEWS – The development of books and literacy is often associated with reading interest. However, the lecturer of Indonesian Language and Literature program at Universitas Airlangga, Bramantio S.S., M. Hum., had another view. According to him, it does not lie in reading interest, but in the mentality that grows in the community.

“If we want to look further, there are always two sides. The first one, there are parties who continue to promote literacy in various ways and various forms of activity. But, on the other hand, I see that this literacy problem is also related to the mentality of most Indonesian people, “he told UNAIR NEWS at Faculty of Humanities (FIB) Universitas Airlangga on Monday, April 8, 2019.

As a lecturer, he found a tendency from students. First, related to students’ reluctance to spend money to buy a book. And, secondly, the question of reading endurance from the current generation which is different from the previous generation. Bramantio did not deny that the existence of digital devices had an influence on the life of public literacy.

 Everything must have its roots          

Regarding the influence of digital devices on public literacy, the alumnus of UNAIR Faculty of Literature emphasized that everything must be rooted in something. In his observation, Bramantio saw the phenomenon of cellphones as means of entertainment for early childhood so that eventually they are accustomed to audio visual.

“The children are not used to quietness when reading books. They are more audio-visual. And, I think it will be very influential in the future. Even though it is possible, there are still ten years for them to really immersed in reading activities, “explained the author of Equilibrium, a short story collection.

The habit of using digital devices massively makes mobile phones seem to be a physical part of someone. As a result, the time which can be used to carry out activities such as reading books, is then used. It’s not easy to change the mentality that has been nurtured for a long time.

“The reading movement in children must begin in the most basic areas of education. And, for me, the stage is already institutional, not family. Because the child could have reading interest, but his parents might not be economically capable. So, the school is responsible for providing reading materials that are suitable for the growth and development of children, “he added.

Literacy Innovation: From Children’s Books, Mobile Libraries, to Digital Platforms

The current literacy innovation in Indonesia is getting more diverse. One of them is mobile library initiated by young people, a movement to read books in public places and promote reading through social media channels, from more books with interesting illustrations to the development of digital platform -based literacy.

“I have seen children’s books with various genres, illustrations, shapes and types of paper. In my time, children’s books were not that diverse. Although the price is relatively expensive. For me, it is really nice when a child is exposed to such things. Because, he does not only dwell on stories and linguistics, but also visuals, “said Bramantio.

Ilustrasi: Unsplash
Ilustrasi: Unsplash

However, literacy activities are not only seen from reading. To hone skills in writing, Bramantio suggested starting from the simplest stage, reviewing books that have been read. People can also use writing platforms such as websites, blogs and wattpad.

“This provides a medium, for writers to convey whatever they want to convey. Because, indeed the mechanism is not as complicated as writing a book. For me, everything that allows access to reading and writing activities should be appreciated, “he explained.

Even so, the mentality in the field of literacy must still be built so that the community develop. This also applies to those who are interested in pursuing a career as authors. Authors must be prepared to accept criticism from their works because, writing is not a trivial matter.

 Issues in Literacy: Book Confiscation and Copyright Infringement

The development of literacy is also inseparable from several problems. In an era where freedom of opinion and works are getting more appreciated, cases such as confiscation of books and copyright infringement still occur frequently.

In Indonesian literature, the most obvious case of book confiscation is in the case of Pramoedya Ananta Toer. The works of a writer who once spent his life in detention on Buru Island was considered dangerous by one of the state institutions because it was believed to bring a negative impact.

“I am worried, the confiscation of books by certain people happened because they were ordered. But, they do not really understand and read the contents of Pram’s book. This kind of thing actually returns to mentality. We tend to judge something we don’t know. In fact, if we want to read Pram’s book, nothing is negative, “he said.

According to Bramantio, through Pram’s books, the public can see portraits and thoughts of the older generation in seeing themselves as human beings and a nation. It is surprising that there is a ban on such books.

Regarding copyright infringement, he said that appreciation of works both in the academic community and book industry in general should be a shared responsibility.

“Like it or not, when we use it in any form we still need to include the author. Because it is an appreciation. Remember, there are not a few cases related to plagiarism which must then be resolved in courts, “he said.

 Make yourself to read consistently

For some people, being consistent in reading books is quite a difficult thing to do. Reading cativity cannot be forced. However, it would be good to train it from childhood. Various efforts can be made to make someone fall in love with books, such as through gradual reading challenge.

“If I make a rough calculation per year 100 books are not something difficult. Within a week, we can read at least two books. Try to pay attention, how happy it is when in so many years we can spend hundreds, even thousands of books, “he said. (*)

Author: Nabila Amelia

Editor: Feri Fenoria Rifa’i

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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